Some Opinions Should be Kept to Yourself

The Letters to the Editor section of the Star Tribune is a source of near infinite entertainment for me. Seldom can I read through the section without finding at least two stupid letters penned by persons ignorant on the subject they’re expressing an opinion about. This is one of those letters:

The U.S. Post Office is vital to the economic and cultural health of our country and should not be treated as a for-profit business.

Actually the United States Post OFfice isn’t all that vital. With the exception of first class letter delivery, which the government maintains a monopoly on, the functions of the Post Office are also performed but numerous parcel deliver services including UPS, FedEx, and DHL. Our economy would suffer little, if any, were the Post Office shut down. Even most of the jobs lost by this move would likely be picked up by private parcel delivery services to cope with the additional surge of business that would have previously went to the Post Office.

It should be subsidized sufficiently so that closures or delayed deliveries are unnecessary. It is an honored and respected department of our government.

Emphasis mine. There isn’t a single department of our government that has one shred of honor not deserves any respect.

A history of the department shows it was responsible for keeping members of the Constitutional Convention informed on a daily basis no matter where they were.

Because of what the Post Office did way back when we should continue to subsidize it now? Should our government have subsidize the horse and buggy industry when Ford came in and stomped that market into practical extinction?

In furtherance of its charter, in 1848 the Post Office Department awarded a contract to the Pacific Mail Steamship Co. to carry mail to California. Under this contract, mail traveled by ship from New York to Panama, moved across Panama by rail, then went on to San Francisco by ship.

Emphasis mine once again. What one man called a contract I call a monopoly. Whenever government contracts with a company to provide a good or service that company receives a de facto monopoly in the government market. Because Pacific Mail Steamship Co. was granted the contract they received an increase in business that was denied to other potential shipping companies. Because of this large surge in business they would have gained more money and therefore would have been better positioned to buy out or otherwise eliminate their competition. It is never good news when the government grants a monopoly contract to a private firm for something.

It was supposed to take three to four weeks to receive a letter from the East, but this goal was seldom achieved. The Pony Express was very competitive in time, but the mail was limited to 20 pounds.


Do you know what other company was very competitive with the United States Post Office? Lysander Spooner’s American Letter Mail Company. Of coure the government didn’t have any control over that mail provider so they killed it through costly (to Spooner, not the government as they control the courts) court battles.

We need to face the fact that the United States Postal Service needs to be entirely privatized (not this stupid hybrid of private and public they currently suffer) and made to compete on the free market. Their monopoly on first class letter delivery needs to be revoked and they must be forced to innovate and improve their service just like UPS and FedEx.