Washington Post: Time to privatize the Postal Service

From yesterday’s surprising editorial in The Washington Post, which endorses positions long held by the Libertarian Party.  You may click here to read the full editorial.

The Post concludes:

Europe’s increasingly privatized mail services offer exciting examples of postal possibilities in the 21st century. They are leaner and greener than the U.S. service because they work with, not against, the Internet. Switzerland’s Swiss Post, for example, employs green technology, providing customers with secure, address-linked online mailboxes where they can view scanned images of their mail and decide whether to virtually "open" it, discard it or have it physically mailed to them. This system has greatly increased efficiency, promoted recycling and decreased junk mail.

Such are the steps the U.S. Postal Service might take if it were a real company and not a hybrid hamstrung by a large and heavily unionized workforce, congressional management, and an antiquated business model. Instead of its short-term cost-cutting measures, it needs to reduce its giant fixed costs to continue its appointed rounds. The Postal Service must reinvent itself for the 21st century, starting with a plan that doesn’t rely on the resurgence of traditional mail. To do this will require innovative leadership, freedom from congressional micromanagement and an understanding of the possibilities of new technology that goes beyond building a better Web site.