Saturday, June 09, 2007

Nor Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Stupidity...

This is prolly something I should have known prior to now, but through learning about the transportation industry at work, I learned that the only legal way to send a letter is through the Post Office.

Now, it's a little loose in the interpretation. My company can deliver a letter under the guise of a 'document'. But legally, a document is different than a letter. Small packages are a different matter.

But here's what I don't get. The Post Office advertises.


They do commercials ( which I never paid much attention to ), and they sponsor things. This caught my attention, as I noticed that they sponsor the Milwaukee Brewers. Commercials themselves are expensive, but sponsoring sports teams??? It can't just be the Brewers. We've sucked for so long, they've got to sponsor other teams, which I imagine is really expensive.

But why advertise? They have gov't employees working for them, and there will always be some type of work for them to do. Even with the constant rate hikes, they have an infrastructure that can't be beat. To send a letter from New York to LA in a matter of days for less than fifty cents... no private company could compete with that. Most private companies can't compete with the pricing on non-expedited small packages either.

The competition comes in the expedited delivery, which the Post Office isn't so good at. But they don't have to be. The private companies are good at that. So why doesn't the Post Office stick to what they are good at? Why are they spending tax dollars to advertise??? If they're losing business to UPS, FedEx, DHL, or even E-Freight, so be it. Why are tax dollars being used to advertise a service of the government? If private companies are doing some of the workload, then why not reduce the size of the Post Office, and reduce the tax burden? Advertising only increases the burden.

Private companies can't touch the mainstay of the Post Office. Nor do we want to. What company in their right mind is going to pay me fifty bucks ( assuming that it didn't have to be there in three hours ) to deliver a letter to Chicago, when they can send it for forty-some-odd cents?

There are private garbage collection companies. But you don't see the government advertising that they do trash pickups. There are private security companies, but you don't see the Tosa police force running commercials. Local governments have their own parks departments that landscape public space, but they don't try to compete with private landscapers.

Now in each of those examples, the private company does NOT provide the exact same service as the government entity. Same goes for the Post Office. UPS, FedEX, and even E-Freight does not do the EXACT same thing the Post Office does. We advertise to try to grow our business. We don't have taxpayers paying our bills, we need customers to do that.

Take the garbage men for example. They are there to provide a service. Tax dollars give them an operating budget, and you hope that they run the service in the most cost effective manner as possible. But if half the people move out of the town, then you downsize the service to support the people that are left. The garbage men don't advertise to try to get people to use them more often. Why is the Post Office advertising, and trying to get more business? If people are sending less mail through the Post Office, downsize the service, and just be big enough to support the need.

In the Constitution of the United States, there are only TWO services that are spelled out that the government is supposed to provide for the citizens. One is to provide for a military, and the other is to deliver the mail. I've never been in the military, and you can debate forever if we're spending enough money on it - but I think the military is doing a helluva job.

The Post Office, not so much. Sure, they deliver MOST of the mail that they're given. But stop wasting tax dollars on advertising!!!!

Alot of things in government are just plain stupid. I can't fathom how there are some people that do nothing but follow government. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad we have watchdogs. I just couldn't ever be one, cuz I'd be unconscious from banging my head against the wall over the stupidity.


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