It’s Time to Eliminate Daily Mail

January 28, 2009

The US Postal Service is considering dropping the number of postal delivery days from six to five.  The only problem with this idea is not going far enough.

What’s the right delivery frequency?  I’d suggest starting with weekly deliveries.  This would not significantly degrade the quality of service.   Most mail is not time-critical.  Larger items that are time sensitive could be handled just as well by services like UPS and FedEx.  For short messages, we have telephones, email, IM, SMS, or, for those who want to drag along, fax machines.

Physical mail should not be protected as if it were still the only or even the best form of long-distance communication.  It’s one option among many and neither needs nor deserves the level of subsidy and protection it receives.  More, as recent losses have demonstrated, it simply can’t afford to operate at these levels.

It’s time to allow the postal service to adjust to current realities.  Congress needs to drop the requirement for daily delivery and the USPS needs to respond with more than a minor restructuring.  These services have their place and can be profitable, but not if they remain stuck in the past.


5 Responses to “It’s Time to Eliminate Daily Mail”

  1. Here’s a good account of the efficiency of the post in Victorian London:

    ” The existing arrangements of the English post-office, and the penny-postage, which, in 1840, was introduced by Rowland Hill, have proved so excellent in their results, that the majority of continental states have been induced to approximate their institutions to Mr. Hill’s principle. Men of business and post-office clerks are not yet satisfied; they desire a system of cheap international postage, and it is devoutly to be hoped that those pious wishes will, in the end, be gratified. But the majority of the continental governments hesitate before they commit them­selves to an experiment, which, in the most favourable case, only promises a future increase of revenue, while in every case if is certain to entail losses on the present. In England, however, the experiment has been made, and the system works well and pays. And the arrangements of the post-office have been brought to a degree of perfection unknown even to the wildest dreams of the boldest political economist of the last century.”

  2. Maj Says:

    Hey mister I’m gainfully employed, sure waiting a week for your mail sounds great to you. I’m sorry I’m not willing to wait a week after my weekly claim for my unemployment check. I can barely pay bills on time now. 🙂

  3. what the #%^^&&* Says:

    You have no clue as to the level of service you receive for your little .41 cent stamp. Each and every letter must be handled 21 times at min. to be sent to the other jacka** your mailing to.

  4. Jack Says:

    Is Postful still in business? I was considering signing up, but see that it’s been a YEAR since this blog has been updated. That’s not a good sign.

  5. Chris Says:

    I too am wondering if postful is still alive. This fits exactly what I need (the ability to send snail mail to olden time school districts easily as I travel internationally), but I’m not sure if its still functioning. Are there any good alternatives otherwise?

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