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Tuesday January 23rd, 2018   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 5:45am PST   •  

On Thursday, December 28, 2017, a Los Angeles publication mailed me a check via the United States Postal Service. I received the check on January 18, 2018, a full 21 days after it had been mailed, so the cost worked out to just pennies a day. On the other hand, in 21 days I could have walked there from northern California and picked up the check myself. On January 22, 2018, I asked a neatly uniformed USPS employee if there was any way to find out why my check took three weeks to arrive, and if I could find out who might be responsible for the delay. The USPS employee told me neither was possible. So this outfit is both slow and unaccountable, but that hardly covers the problems.

As we noted, last year the USPS reported losses of $2.7 billion and considered it a cause for celebration that the losses were less that the $5.6 billion from the previous year. Even so, 2017 was the eleventh straight year of losses, and during some of the worst years USPS bosses bagged big raises. Snail mail is dropping off since more people now pay bills electronically. The response of the USPS is to jack up the price of stamps and hit up taxpayers for more money. For its part, Congress has proved unable even to shut down Saturday delivery service.

President Donald Trump claims he doesn’t like losers, so he might team with Congress to end the USPS monopoly on first-class mail. In the digital age or at any time, that is the only way to end the USPS losing streak. Let private carriers compete and taxpayers will get the first-class service they deserve.

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January 2018