Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Righteous Indignation, Post Office edition

Flipping through a magazine at the airport today, I came upon a full-page ad for the U.S. Postal Service, mentioning how it offers the lowest overnight rates.

In the words of Zbigniew Cheezinski, DISGUSTING! Seriously, think about this. Not only does the USPS have a legally-enforced monopoly on first-class mail, but we actually pay taxes to help them steal business away from legitimate private-sector companies.

And they have the nerve to claim to have the lowest rates...as if the rates would be anywhere near where they are without massive taxpayer subsidies. People complain about Walmart setting low prices to drive out competition, but it's happening within our own government! Where are the hippie protesters when we need them?

I seriously see no need for the USPS to exist. The fact that they need to advertise to avoid losing business to "competitors" is clear proof that the private sector is serving the market just fine.

This was the final straw, USPS! Next time I have gum to spit out, it might just find its way into a mailbox instead of a trash can.


Joseph Mises said...

Lysander Spooner, abolitionist, anarchocapitalist political theorist, entrepeneur from the 19th Century berated the US Postal Service. He ran a mail courier system that offered lower priced, cheaper services than the US Post Office. What do you think happened?

It became so popular, the Federal government shut it down.

So you see, the government is anti-monopoly, except when it comes to the industries it conducts, such as money and mail.

Joseph Mises said...

As a sidenote, mailboxes in NYC have been noted as serving as nice chewing/bubble gum and/or saliva disposal units.

zbigniew cheezinski said...

Postal service is constitutional, though. I think it was needed in early government, but not so much anymore.

Joseph Mises said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joseph Mises said...

With all the more vigor we should oppose it!

Are you proposing the Constitution to be infallible? We can amend that specific section of the Constitution, by withdrawing it.

Additionally, the particular provision does not ban competitors.

zbigniew cheezinski said...

What I'm suggesting is that of all government programs, at least the postal service is still somewhat true to the founder's intent.

If competitors never arose, I doubt the postal service would be advertising at all. I also suspect overnight packages would cost $1000 to send, but hey.