The U.S. Postal Service, established in the CONstitution, to enable Benjamin Franklin the first patronage federal government monopoly for the then smartest man in the world.
So already it smelt.
At some point in recent times the postal service was "privatized" to keep it afloat in the only way government knows how to privatize anything---they declare it so while continuing to run the business. The normal term for this kind of government is communism. But in Washington, DC it is just another business day.
So the CEOs of the country have run the postal system into massive debt. The postal service wants you to know it doesn't get a dime in taxpayer money any more. It runs off its sales . . . and massive loans from the federal government (aka, the thugs who mug the taxpayers for a living). In fairness to middle management, the CEOs of the country won't let them cut delivery days, alternate delivery days despite ever declining amounts of mail needing to be delivered, layoff staff or raise rates on heavily subsidized commercial mailings. But is does permit them to continue to raise rates on first class mail.
As a result the postal system now owes $15 billion [shhhh---to the taxpayers]. They can't get more due to a cap imposed by the CEOs of the country. But I suspect the CEOs of the country will again raise that borrowing limit at the same time the CEOs of the country raise their own limit once again.
The postal service will never actually pay back the debt it owes to the taxpayers. But I think this matters not.
If the postal service is not allowed to remove its non-profitable services, and cut staff, and it is not allowed to go bankrupt, then it will continue to be the butt of jokes and an annual excuse for CONgressional hearings where fingers can be pointed everywhere but at the CEO's of the country.
But worry not taxpayer. The solution came to me when my mailbox post had to be removed, relocated and replaced. I went three days without a mailbox . . . but first:
Cell phones have become ubiquitous. Everyone has one. At some point a new phenomenon started. Long distance phone calls were free on cell phones, so people started cancelling the long distance service with their federal government approved land line monopoly and saving some money for a service they no longer used.
It wasn't before long they began to realize they talked more and more exclusively on their cell phone. Their cell phone was generally free of pesky commercial calls. It had caller ID, forwarding, messaging and lots of other features for free for which the federal government land line monopoly charged extra. At some point they realized another chunk of money could be saved (and a lot of harassing calls discontinued) by saying goodby to Ma. Quite a bit saved once the federal government taxes that accompanied the land line bill were also simultaneously terminated.
So I sat there missing my mail. The postmaster left me a nice note telling me I was not authorized to remove the street side box and they would not deliver mail to the residence without it. And I thought what a sacrifice, what exactly do I get in the mail anymore?
Now I am a Luddite who likes checks. I like the paper trail instead of the electronic trail. Of course the federal government monopoly on clearing checks through the federal monopoly on banks quickly transfers the paper to electronic form but I live the illusion. But most people today have already gone to automatic bill payments. The businesses you interact with (including federal government and other government approved monopolies) have your credit card, they deduct and where they used to send you an accounting through the mail, now they email it to you.
I still get a few magazines, but those are rapidly dwindling. All are available online to subscribers, and clearly will soon only be available that route. So that is gone.
What else do I get? Most things from friends or businesses are through email.
Sure I can get books, CDs and small odds and ends shipped through the mail. But all can and usually do come instead through a private business shipper such as UPS or Fedex where I can actually track shipping progress in real time.
The only other thing I get is 4th class business mail whose heavily subsidized ads deliver lots of print I could care less about and cause me to feed the recycle bin before I ever step back into the home.
So I am behind the curve. But I have to wonder how many people are at a point where it is too much effort to put a mail box back up once it falls down? How many are "it's okay, you keep it" to the post office when it comes to their mail? How many think it no longer worth the trip down the driveway to even open up the box?
So the end may come not from massive debt but from obsolescence. You lose nothing if you don't have to buy their stamps.