Why Not Finish Privatizing the Postal Service?

Richard B. Levine/Levine Roberts via ZUMA

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Speaking of the postal service, why not finish the job of privatizing it? We hear a lot about the pension prefunding requirement that has wrecked its finances, but let’s face it: the real problem is the absurdly low rates that USPS is required to charge for first class mail. A first class stamp currently costs 55 cents, about half what it costs in Great Britain. Other countries are even higher, some charging $1.50 or more.

We should give the postal service control over their own rates along with control over everything else too. There would be some exceptions, of course: the basic deal in which USPS gets a monopoly on first class mail in return for universal service should remain intact. There are a few other rules that would remain as well. Generally speaking, though, there’s no special reason that delivering mail shouldn’t be about 99 percent private these days.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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