Tad DeHaven

The PRC rejected such a request in 2010, but it appears that the USPS will try again. And both the Washington Post and The Hill are reporting that industries forced to use the USPS (greeting card companies, magazines, direct marketers, etc) are non-too-pleased with the prospect of higher prices. The mailers argue that an excessive price increase to deliver their products will speed up the diversion from physical mail to electronic alternatives (and thus hurt their bottom lines).

Here’s my opinion on an exigent increase in stamp prices: the postal service should beprivatized and delivery charges should be determined by market forces. Maybe the mailing industry is paying too little; maybe it’s paying too much. I think it’s impossible to say so long as the government maintains a monopoly on the delivery of its products and delivery prices are set by politicians and regulators. Unfortunately, ending the government mail monopoly and privatizing the postal service isn’t even a topic for discussion in Congress.

Nope, those busy little bees have more important postal matters to attend to (from the New York Times):

As Congress has become less and less efficient, the numbers are all the more striking. In the 111th Congress, which met from 2009 to 2010, members passed 383 statutes, 70 of which named post offices. In the 112th Congress, the last Congress to meet before the current one convened in January, members passed 46 measures naming post offices, out of 240 statutes over all.

Tad DeHaven

Tad DeHaven is a budget analyst at the Cato Institute. Previously he was a deputy director of the Indiana Office of Management and Budget. DeHaven also worked as a budget policy advisor to Senators Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Tom Coburn (R-OK).