Privatize the Postal Service

Privatize the Postal Service
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Today, the U.S. Postal Service, whose financial condition resembles that of the federal government, of which the USPS is another ailing appendage, is urging cancellation of Saturday deliveries, perhaps en route to three-days-a-week delivery. The USPS lost $5.1 billion in the latest fiscal year — after serious cost-cutting. Total 2012 losses may exceed $14 billion, a figure larger than the budgets of 35 states.

The fact that delivering the mail is one of the very few things the federal government does that the Constitution specifically authorizes (Article I, Section 8: “The Congress shall have power to . . . establish post offices and post roads”) does not mean it must do it. Surely the government could cede this function to the private sector, which probably could have a satisfactory substitute system functioning quicker than you can say “FedEx,” “UPS” and “Wal-Mart.”

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