I was reading a fascinating article in The Economist about the U.S. Postal Service, and a few things came to mind:
- Hmm, the comments are delightfully civil and informative!
- Can I count on one hand the number of postal items I receive quarterly — perhaps even yearly — that I actually want? Why, yes, I probably can!
- What would happen if the U.S. Postal Service delivered only three days per week (say, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)?
This latter idea, then, prompted me to wonder the following:
- Would this pose an actual hardship on people, and if so, would it (I assume) most likely hit the economically-disadvantaged more heavily? And if so, in what ways? Could other factors/proposals mitigate the potential hardship?
- What if the U.S. Government got out of postal delivery altogether, perhaps in conjunction with some sort of requirement (stick) or deep incentives (carrot) prompting private delivery companies to continue delivering to loss-leaders (rural areas)?
- Is the postal service largely public in most, or even all other industrialized nations?
- What about a subsidy or other incentive for households or even apartment complexes which offered to accept minimized or even eliminated postal delivery services?
Keep in mind, I’m not necessarily proposing that pickup from centralized locations be reduced or eliminated.