What does a business do whose market share is decreasing, is billions of dollars in debt, and which incurred one-third of that debt just last year?
Realistically, it cannot be sustained. Not as a normal business.
Of course, the business in question has been struggling to reform, has been cutting costs. But can’t cut enough.
I’m referring to the United States Postal Service. Not a “normal business,” either: no “normal business” is authorized in the U.S. Constitution — or must suffer with the 535 members of Congress as its board of directors.
Kevin Kosar, writing at the Foundation for Economic Education, says the “existential crisis is already happening.”
And by this he doesn’t mean that the organization is going through a bout of anxiety leading to Nausea, or is so estranged from humanity that on a beach the company will kill an Arab — though that may be indeed true, “going postal” and all. He means, simply, what his title says: “USPS Is Going Down, and It’s Taking Billions with It.”
Many on the left say the problem is Congress’s insistence that the enterprise fund its employee retirement program. Kosar quotes an economist who figures that, even without current (and still inadequate) levels of pension contributions, the post office would have “lost $10 billion over the past seven years.”
Besides, those pensions must be paid for at some time — postponing them just delays the inevitable, making a future bust that much bigger, less manageable. (Current level of unfunded liability? $54 billion — which is not accounted for in its official debt.)
The Internet is more important than the post, now. Could it be time to junk mail?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.