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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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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