Friday, September 16, 2011

Letter Carriers On The Edge!

I'll have to confess that I'm staggered to hear actual discussion in the news media about allowing the United States Postal Service to disappear. It's the kind of fringe claptrap I've long associated with shortsighted over-the-top libertarian "thinking".

The United States without the Postal Service would become some sort of bizarre quasi-third world environment with vast numbers of its populace able to communicate only in limited ways, and at greater expense.

I know that the traditional working model of the Post Office needs to re-tooled for the needs of a different country, but to even discuss allowing it to cease to exist is utter foolishness.

The suggestion is that the Post Office should be making money. Why? I know it exists in a weird inbetween-worlds situation where it neither gets direct money from the government nor is allowed to act like a true-blue business and shed non-profitable aspects of its operations, but change that situation, do not talk of getting rid of it. Fund it differently, perhaps limit the operation to only serve individual citizens and not supplement industries.

I've heard nitwits scoff about the fact that letters to the far reaches of the country cost the same as letters to more traveled zones, and suggest that more money is needed to serve those outlying regions, money supplied by those in the those hard-to-get-to regions. But that's the beauty of the Postal Service, the real wonder is that all Americans can get in contact for the same rate regardless of location. It's part of the bond of citizenship.

It's a beautiful thing, like the great public libraries and should be celebrated and supported. This is not one of those either-or situations. We can have private industry move packages and mail and pay for the privelege, and we can have a public system supported for the population at large which requires it. We don't have to expect the latter to make money, but merely run efficiently. The test of the Post Office is not whether it makes a profit, but whether it performs its function of uniting the people of the country it serves.

To talk about closing down the Postal Service is looney and suggests that we are no longer a nation which respects all of its citizens, especially those who happen to exist on the outskirts, both geographically and economically. But then I dread that may be what is actually happening.

Stan Lee & Dan DeCarlo

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  1. Thanks. The modern trend of lambasting public service seems downright perverse to me, and miserably short sighted.

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