For those who argue that we should turn over more activity — such as health care — to the federal government, take a close look at a government monopoly that’s been around for a long time.
The United States Postal Service has a monopoly on the delivery of first class mail. As an example of its level of service, consider my bank statement. When it hadn’t arrived by its usual time, I called the bank. The bank assured me it had been mailed.
Today the statement arrived in a plastic bag explaining that it had been damaged during processing. I can understand that happening once in a while. Machines are not perfect, and sometimes improving their reliability can be very expensive when compared to the benefit received.
So what was the delay caused by the malfunctioning machine? One day? Two or three days?
The piece was postmarked February 2. It arrived on February 22. The delay — realizing that mail delivery is not guaranteed — is around 18 days.
How does a piece of mail being damaged in a machine cause it to be delivered nearly three weeks late? And it’s not bulk or junk mail — my bank statement is first class mail.
It’s lack of competition. What motivation does the United States Postal Service have to do a better job?
Think about this as we consider moving activity from the private sector to government.
A related story from a friend of mine is Postal service?