When was the last time you sent a telegram? I myself have never sent one. This is because I have vastly superior ways of communicating. Did you know the Postal Service owned all the telegraph lines at one point because it was seen as competition and so the government owned them to maintain a monopoly?
When was the last time anyone set out on a ship for a business trip to Europe or Asia? Used a carrier pigeon to send a message? Took a train out west? Me neither. Why? Because these things are outmoded.
There is coming a time that between VOIP and Cellular we will no longer need land line telephones. I can easily foresee (as long as Net Neutrality regulation does not happen) Television as we know it become a thing of the past replaced by YouTube- like streaming web shows. But I am getting off track.
The Postal Service was created 230+ years ago. It is 18th century technology. Oh sure, Presidents have moved it to a quasi private industry and we use computers to sort the mail now, air delivery is not novel and does not come with a special envelope but it is still an extremely old idea.
-ADD moment: what are the top three employers in the United States? 1) Federal Government; 2) Wal-Mart; and 3) the USPS--
Railroads in this country date back to the mid 19th century. Sure we no longer use coal powered locomotives, but except for commuter trains very very few people take a train to go anywhere. Few business routinely transport good by train. With the exception of Cars, Coal, Oil, and other extremely heavy shipments it just does not make sense in this “Just in Time” age of business. The need to keep overhead down reduces the amount of products that businesses want to keep in stock necessitating smaller but more frequent deliveries. Locating your business near a rail head is very inconvenient as well. In our area they are ripping up tracks and making the rail beds walking trails. After growing up listening to trains rumble by constantly, I heard a train horn the other day in town and it freaked me out.
What is my point? These businesses are too big to fail, and have been subsidized by the Government for decades. We are lucky we are not still getting mail via Pony Express. Do you know the last time I bought stamps…me neither. I pay my bills online. It is instant, it is nearly foolproof, it is free, and I can see that it happened. The free market did that. Not Government.
My Partner in Crime here on the blog informs me that the Post Office in FL near where he lives no longer accepts cash. WHAT? I checked just to make sure and on one of my Federal Reserve Notes it does still say “This note is legal tender for all debts public and private” But I guess the USPS has decided to no longer accept cash as a form of payment. I was astounded that this seems somewhat common in certain areas of the country, and nearly taken for granted across the pond. I will admit I rarely carry much cash. It is inconvenient, I almost NEVER write a check, not sure where my checkbook even is. I do it all online, or with a Debit Card. But for a “business” (and I use that term loosely with regard to the USPS) to not accept cash seems somehow… wrong.
Be that as it may, should I ever get thrust into the spotlight and become President I would likely do completely away with the whole organization as just one more thing we are holding on to sentimentally and because it employees a lot of people in a really great fairly cushy job. I would just contract with FedEx or UPS and mail would be delivered three days a week. Sale bills would be outlawed as well as all junk mail. Can I get a “holla!”