"The post office provides something that's extremely valuable and has to be maintained, and that's universal service," Grayson told me. "There are countries a lot poorer than the United States, including the Congo ... that try to provide universal mail service to everybody. ... People don't want post offices closed!"
On the floor of Congress, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., proclaimed that universal service is required, saying, "It's in the Constitution."
But it's not. The Constitution says, "Congress shall have the Power To ... establish Post Offices." But it doesn't have to use that power.
Cato Institute budget analyst Tad DeHaven argues, "People living in rural America aren't living there by force. ... Go back to history. Private carriers picked up the mail from the post office and took it the last mile, or people came to the post office and picked it up."
And private alternatives are much better today. We have e-mail. UPS delivers 300 packages a minute and makes a profit. Federal Express, UPS and others thrive by finding new ways to cut costs. They don't do it because they were born nicer people. They do it because of the pressure of competition. They make money -- while the post office loses $16 billion.
Why not just privatize it? No more special government protections, no limit on competitors offering similar services.
Then mail service would be even better than before. The market delivers.