What an absurd response - sure, I could also purchase a car, tape my letter to the windshield and hire a driver to drop off the car on the lawn at the destination address. And anyway, drawing attention to the letter monopoly enjoyed by the USPS is not to criticize the service itself, but to point out that comparison with competitors is practically impossible. You can't say that USPS letter service is better than something else, because there is no something else that is an appropriate comparison. At least, not recently.Prof. Wagstaff wrote:I have no problem with this whatsoever. (And you can always stick your letter in a box and ship it UPS, if you don't mind paying more and getting crappier service.)ArturoBandini wrote:The USPS has a monopoly on letter delivery with a few minor exceptions for super-urgent items.
By supporting a monopoly on letter service, at least, you are suggesting that private competitors should be outlawed in that space. But we were talking about parcel service, so I grant your point. Anyway, I called for privatization, not dissolution. I don't care if the USPS continues to exist, but it should exist without subsidy and without monopoly protection. Actually, I would be happy to allow the USPS to be continue to be supervised by the government if the subsidy and monopoly protections were removed, so I'm not even a hardliner for privatization.Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Of course, which is why I never suggested private competitors should be outlawed or anything -- I just don't use them (and 99.99% of my customers thank me for that.) You, on the other hand, called for the dissolution of the USPS because blah blah blah free market and whatever.
Do you actually know that 99.99% of your customers actively thank you for using USPS, or are you just inferring that?
Two points - the Constitution was fairly vague on the implementation of the postal clause, and to me it says nothing about monopoly protection and subsidy, merely establishment. Additionally, it is merely within the powers of Congress to establish postal services and roads, it is not an obligation (imagine the same interpretation being applied to Congressional war declaration powers).Prof. Wagstaff wrote:I really couldn't disagree with you more strongly, both on principle (I believe the government should help subsidize quality postal service for everyone --just as the fellas who wrote The Constituion did) and also because what you're suggesting would almost assuredly put me out of business.
Upon recognizing that you are dependent on the subsidized USPS for your own living (if that is indeed true) - some of your advocacy in favor of preferential treatment for the USPS must be construed as self-interested rent-seeking. That aside, you should consider the alternatives more deeply - maybe you couldn't stay afloat at the present rates of competitors ceteris paribus, but there is no reason to think that those rates would stay the same absent the monopoly protection and subsidy of the USPS.
To make a final point, if the present service and rate structure of the USPS that you favor is in part the result of monopoly letter privileges and revenues thereof, maybe you shouldn't be so critical of Charter Cable and other junk-mail offenders - their junk mail is helping you get lower parcel rates!