Thrice-weekly postal deliveries: Pound wise or pound foolish?

business and consumers, society

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:
  1. 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?
  2. 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)?
  3. Is the postal service largely public in most, or even all other industrialized nations?
  4. 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.
Your thoughts?

1 comment… add one

  • ThatAdamGuy Aug 29, 2011

    Katya, it was a pleasure to receive your thoughtful comment!

    And yeah, I noticed the hugely increased cost of sending my friends packages, too.  Such a bummer!  

    Also, re: paychecks… even for those who ARE living paycheck to paycheck… wouldn’t it make more sense for them to receive their payments electronically and bypass snail mail entirely?  I’d think that’s cheaper for the company paying them (no checks to process) and better for the worker, who gets the money faster.  :)  

    Anyway, thanks again for stopping by!  Would love to see you on my Google+, too.

What do you think?