I think if a company is failing and losing money and the customers are dissatisfied, nobody should be allowed to compete with it and it should keep wasting money on unprofitable projects while also raising its prices again and again. I don’t think that’s such a radical philosophy. I mean, doesn’t everybody think like that? Okay, maybe not.
On the other hand, it doesn’t really matter what you and I think when it comes to government-protected monopolies like the postal service. No matter how badly run the United States Postal Service may be, it never has to answer your complaints or provide better service. Arguments don’t matter. Customer service doesn’t matter. Where else are you going to go?
The postal service has just raised the price of stamps. But that hasn’t caused all the waste and mismanagement to go away. They’re still expecting operating losses somewhere in the two or three billion dollar range this year. So now USPS is submitting a request to raise the price of stamps yet again. Will that cause the waste and mismanagement to go away? No, but that’s okay. They can always hike the price of stamps again later, and then again.
And then again. And again. And again.
We talk about the power of incumbency when it comes to career politicians feathering their nests and scaring off political competition. But there are other kinds of competition-squelching incumbencies, too. And the United States Postal Service is about as incumbent as you can get.
This is Common Sense . I’m Paul Jacob.