Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Weeks ago, in the debate over whether to euthanize what’s left of freedom in American medicine, President Obama made a stunning concession about the so-called “public option” being proposed. Hoping to assure attendees of a townhall meeting that private insurers would not be threatened by the public option, he said, “if you think about it, UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? . . . It’s the post office that’s always having problems.”

Yes. The post office. The “public option” in mail delivery: chronically in financial trouble; chronically over budget; chronically being bailed out by taxpayers.

So, don’t worry, everybody! Government expansion into our medical delivery system will be just as lumbering and inefficient as the post office is in our mail and package delivery system.

Er, good point, Mr. President.

Some might argue that under the proposed public option, direct private competition will in fact be allowed, whereas direct competition with stamped-envelope postal delivery is not allowed. But, as many supporters have conceded in unguarded moments, the Democrats’ reform is intended to be a transition to a single-payer system. Moreover, the medical reform bills pending in Congress are bulging with new mandates and price controls for private insurers that will hamper their ability to compete — something UPS and FedEx don’t have to contend with.

The president has done us a favor. He’s reminded us why we should privatize postal delivery.

Health care too.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Garry Nowak says:

    The U.S. Post Office is protected by the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Postal Service is not going to go anywhere without a Constitutional amendment. In my opinion what you will see long before the privatization of the Post Office is a tax on email to fund the Post Office. That idea has reared its ugly head in the past. It will rise again in the future. The only thing that one can wonder is just how high that ugly head will be raised.
    Garry Nowak

  2. Hank says:

    The US Postal on-service is MANDATED by the Consttution. The postal monopoly was created by an act of Congress when it was found that private first class maio was being operated far more efficiently than the good ol’ gummint could do it.

    Look at the wonderful thngs that have happened with the former USPOD since I worked thare in 1943 before going into the Army: There were two deliveries per day to homes. First class in the city waws two cents to the rest of the country outside the city it was three. There was separate airmail sevice at a cost of 6 cents. Special delivery existed and was SPECIAL-they delivered those letters and packages on Sundays and at night as late as 11PM. Try getting service like that now!

    The proper way to cure losses, of course, is to cut services and raise prices,the nonservice has been doing that for years and look where we are today. The idiots running this mess have posters telling you that you’re getting “the best service in the world-check it out” I did years ago-France does better than we do, and I have no use for France or the French-who know many ways to lose wars they somehow manage to start, usually by inaction.

  3. Bill Brower says:

    The solution is easy. Always has been. Charge enough for a stamp so that the yearly over-budget mess goes away. Charge all types of mail at the same rate. Never mind “non-profit”, “bulk rate”, “pre-sorted”, and all the rest.
    That will cause an automatic downsizing of the Post Office and eventually an amendment to eliminate the Post Office (which would be a necessity) or allow other entities to carry & deliver mail.

  4. steven sass says:

    It was competition with the Pony Express that caused the federal government to establish that ONLY the government post office can deliver first class mail. That can and should be changed, as Japan, Sweden and other countries have done.
    An interesting aside is that I have called my 2 senators and congressman to ask if they favor the ‘public competition obtion for health care’ and when their offices report they do, I have asked EACH TO INTRODUCE legislation to allow competition with the post office for first class mail and allow MY MAILBOX to be used by anyone I want. We will see what type of form letters I got back. ALSO, I contacted Steney Hoyer’s office since he is from Maryland and is Majority Leader. His office said he ONLY responds to his own constuents, and I ask WHY if he is not MAJORITY LEADER for Congress, why does he get a pay bump if not ALSO responsible to all citizens.

  5. Paul Jacob says:

    To clarify one point: The U.S. Constituion does not “mandate” the U.S. Postal Service (which I read was actually created prior to the Constitution by the Second Continental Congress) or the creation of post offices or mail delivery. In Art. I, Section 8, it merely says, “The Congress shall have power…To establish post offices and post roads;…”

    It’s up to Congress (help!). Congress could end all monetary and regulatory subsidies of USPS tomorrow.

  6. Monte Poague says:

    First of all, since the Postal Reorganization Act (when the Post Office became the Postal Service), the USPS had to become self-sufficient, charging what it costs to send mail without being subsidized by the government. That’s why it doesn’t cost 13 cents anymore and goes up on a regular basis because of inflation. If I private company like, say, UPS were allowed to deliver first-class mail, they’d charge 20 cents to send it across town and $4.00 to send it to Aunt Matilda in Big Sky, Montana (if they would even deliver it at all). The infrastructure needed to deliver all over the country is so large, most companies would never attempt it, just cherry-pick the best parts, leaving most people in rural areas on their own. Sure, it may be a big, bloated, government agency, but it’s the only one that pays it’s own way and among the other Postal operations in the free world, it’s still the cheapest and most efficient. As for government run health-care, if it could be spun off as another choice without dipping into the Treasury, let em try.

  7. steven sass says:


    If a private company ‘cherry picked’ LET THEM! Let’s find out what REAL costs are. Why am I subsidizing Aunt Matilda at all? Further, UPS and Fed Ex are ALL over the place, and while they CORRECTLY charge more for someone further away, they would at least offer COMPETITION to the feds, who could adjust charges to REAL costs. They should also be able to dump unneeded unionized carriers and close wasteful stations.
    Besides all of that, IF I paid for my mailbox, WHY can’t others use it? WHY is my expense there resticted to be used ONLY by the post office?

  8. Lawrence Pate says:

    Mr Common Sense,

    When you write about privatizing the Postal Service you display a lack of commons sense. As other posters pointed out… cherry picking and tier pricing for delivery would result. and your interpretation of Art I Sec 8 is yours. If it was not important why is the Post Office the only federal agency mentioned in the Constitution? The federal highway system is also legal because of that clause.
    When people start complaining about the deficit caused by the Dept of the Interior.. The Commerce Dept and other Cabinet level departments no covered by the Constitution then we will understand that the Postal Service should not be considered to operate at a loss.

  9. steven sass says:

    What is the problem with cherry picking? Buy a piece of meat for grilling in Kansas and it will cost a lot less than buying it in New York City. The Constitution says Congress shall establish post offices and post roads — it DOES NOT SAY THEY MUST BE FEDERALLY OWED AND OPERATED! The Federal Avaiation Administration OVERSEES airlines and the Federal Communictions Commission OVERSEES those media, but the U.S. government does not even OPERATE commercial systems in those fields, MUCH LESS ESTABLISH A MONOPOLY.
    I agree that excess spending is rampent in government and we should look carefully at all. I see no reason for the government to RUN the postal system [other than Union power] BUT AT LEAST allow competition! Look what has happened in package shipping where the Post Office must compete!

  10. Jake Witmer says:

    The apologists for coercion are always limited in imagination. They don’t understand how the Lysander Spooners of this world can outcompete the government in any area. They love the idea of everyone working together, but neglect to see that that’s precisely what the free market accomplishes, …without the coercion.

    It’s called rational self-interest.

    The market may not create “total order” as fast as a top-down centralized command (although it often does, and typically at a fraction of the cost). But what the market does is far better: it creates a stair-step evolution that does not ever crumble in upon itself, but rather continually improves on itself.

    The real trouble with the post office is that we are all forced at gun point to pay for shoddy service that we may not even use. This creates an institution that does not compete with the market: and eventually, the gun-supported system fails. …But not before threatening and perhaps aggressing against a lot of innocent people.

    People like the father of cheap postage himself: anarcho-capitalist Lysander Spooner. Spooner outcompeted the US Postal Service until they ordered him to shut down his operation at the barrel of a gun.

    …I’m surprised a free market guru like Paul Jacob didn’t mention that. Maybe he was hoping the people writing in his comment section would google the facts:

    We don’t need the government for any reason (not even “collective defense”, when you take into account the immense negatives of the for-profit war-mongering defense contractors. Even there, we don’t break even.). “Government” is a group of secretive thugs, liars, thieves and murderers who manage to slide by on the willing credulity of the gullible public. They are the individuals in society without enough conscience to avoid theft as their means of survival. Since they are incentivized to steal they are either too dumb to realize taxation is theft, or too evil to care. In either case, they are unfit to lead, and the only “government” we need to put food in our own thought process.

    We would all be well-rid of the Postal Service, IRS, AMA, ACS, FDA, DEA, BATFE(ces), ETC… ETC… ETC…

    …They bring nothing to the table.

    (Unless you think widespread, generalized brutality is a virtue. If this is the case, you are indicative of America’s pre-collapse era, and a footnote in our history that we will remember with shame. When you get what you voted for, you will have as much to celebrate as Hitler’s early supporters eventually had: famine and war.)

    We are well on our way to collapse, because even with our legacy of Thomas Paine and Sam Adams, our nation went the way of the rest of socialist earth: the dumbing down of education, the dumbing down of the majority vote, and managerial exploitation by big-business and government cartel. (When I say “exploitation”, I don’t mean voluntary hiring practices. I mean big business like Fox News supporting prison-building and the drug war so they can collect tax dollars for enslaving innocent people on “mala prohibita” offenses.)

    Keep licking swine-flu dusted stamps, dolts. …I’ll use email, and Fed Ex.

  11. Jake Witmer says:

    In either case, they (people who seek government employment) are unfit to lead, and the only “government” we need to put food in our mouths is own thought process.

  12. steven sass says:

    Thanks for that info on Spooner, Jake, I had not heard of him, but understood that the Pony Express competition caused Congress to give the Post Office a monopoly.
    I agree with all you say, EXCEPT for the reference to defense as a purpose of government. I recognize EXTREME abuse in the system, but just as a policeman can and does abuse his badge against guiltless civilians, I prefer a government operated police and military. I am not about to hire a personal ‘pinkerton’ and I don’t think my neighbors would be interested in chipping in to develop a new jet fighter — BUT BEYOND THE VERY BASICS, government is NOT needed and causes more of a problem than a solution!

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