Even after deep cuts in jobs, the USPS lost $8.5 billion dollars in the last year. Next year the agency will run out of money, and is asking Congress for emergency help. Some are saying Congress should not intervene and let the nature of business takes its course.
The simple fact is this: people just don’t mail letters anymore. The Postal Service is little more today than a junk mail service. 59% of all mail delivered is advertising, 41 lbs per year delivered to the average American. In order to further cut cots, the USPS is asking Congress to cancel Saturday service and raise the price of a stamp. Their last request for a rate increase was denied.
One argument for assisting the Post Office is that it simply must exist. Postal service, according to the claim, is part of the fabric of American life. Does the Post Office have to exist? Everyone’s heard of the Pony Express, but do you realize how short lived that business venture was? Shortly after the Pony Express began delivering mail to the West Coast, transcontinental telegraph service started. The express riders were simply no longer necessary. E-mail started cutting into the Post Office’s business more than a decade ago, and an increasing number of home and businesses are trying to go completely paper-less. If Time and Newsweek go down, if the New York Times quits printing newspapers, if e-books outsell actual paper volumes, then why should the Post Office continue to exist, offering a service that no one wants or needs?