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Fully Fund the United States Postal Service
January 23, 2015
by William P. Meyers

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Postal services are crucial to modern economies and cultures. Messenger and transport services of various kinds go back to the dawn of civilization. Benjamin Franklin realized the importance of postal services. With the other Founding Fathers he built the United States Postal Service (USPS) into the original U.S. Constitution:

Section 8. Congress shall have the Power To ... establish Post Offices and Post Roads.

The list of Powers actually granted to Congress is quite short. Since the adoption of the Constitution various Congresses have taken to authorizing (along with Presidents and Supreme Courts) many, many things that are not clearly intended by the Constitution.

But in the last two decades, what Congress has failed to do is to fully fund the Post Office. Pushed by lobbyists, ideologues, and government-haters, Congress has purposely made a shambles of the Post Office. Their actions come close to Treason against our Sacred Constitution. They have funded corrupt governments abroad, funded corrupt friends at home, but they have not funded the Post Office.

That hurts all of us, except perhaps the stockholders of Federal Express and United Parcel Service.

A strong, efficient and universal Postal Service is a keystone to modern economies. How bad has it become? It costs less to send a package from any city in China to Seattle than it costs to send the same package from Seattle to San Francisco.

Why? Because the Chinese government realizes the importance of postal service to business and economic prosperity. They fund their postal service. So if you go to eBay and are looking for the best price including shipping for anything (like an input into your own American business), the cost of shipping across the Pacific Ocean does not prohibit buying from Chinese merchants.

While electronic communications have had a revolutionary impact on the world, people are still physical and need physical things. Consumers need them and businesses need them. If a business needs a shipping container full of something, they don't need the USPS. But if they are in the business of breaking down that container and selling to individual consumers over the Internet, they need a reliable low-cost shipper.

By subsidizing the Post Office instead of (or even in addition to) oil companies, farming corporations, and road builders, Congress could help to restore the American economy to maximum efficiency. We need a system that delivers paper and parcels to every physical address in America every day. People should not have to wait in long lines at post offices to pick up packages, especially when the packages were sent via rival services and then dumped at post offices for final delivery.

Given that the Post Office charges for its services, it would not take much of a direct subsidy from Congress to get it to peak modern efficiency. Subsidized rates would be available to all shippers. That would encourage consumption and help all the mom-and-pop businesses that have emerged to ship what consumers want directly to their homes.

When you hear some doltish politician is against funding the Post Office, wave a copy of the U.S. Constitution in his face. Ask him to trample on it, because that is what he (or she) is doing when they vote to strangle the United States Post Office. Don't vote for the S.O.B. Vote for someone who honors the Constitution and has some business sense.

Make full funding of the United States Postal Service an issue in the 2016 elections. Demand that candidates take a position. And the only right position is that the USPS be fully funded so it can become the most economically effective Post Office in the world. Let's enable U.S. merchants to include the lure of "free shipping" when they sell to the Chinese, or anyone else in the world.

If the U.S. wants to be number 1 in the world, it needs the number 1 Postal Service in the world.

Agree? Disagree? You can comment on this post at Natural Liberation Blog at blogspot.com

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