Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Tail Support

NYC Jobsearch: Today was reasonably productive; tossed resume to a few other places that look like they offer flexible employment, decided to upgrade the American Museum of Natural History to first-tier desirability and send them a knowingly-full-time job application. Had a phone interview scheduled with another company, but it was pushed back to tomorrow. Oh well. It might still be what I'm looking for.

More thoughts on the US Postal Service:

As I mentioned in a prior post, I do think it's worthwhile to have a postal service, I believe it should be a government service, and I think it's reasonable to have the monopoly mandate of the USPS extended to parcel delivery if that's what's needed to keep postal service reasonably solvent. Additionally, I am not bothered by using the general tax burden to directly support the USPS if/as needed for reasonable levels of service, and I think junk mail should be banned. Post Offices also serve as public government offices of last resort, often handling passport and other services if there is no other convenient building for the purpose.

Still, there is an uncomfortable fact that the role of snailmail is changing in modern society. While mail still serves a special role, legally/financially in the United States, mail is no longer used for personal communication and people are regularly choosing to handle a subset of the legal/financial matters online (as an opt-in service that banks and utilities offer). The shrinking role of mail is going to put financial pressures on the system, particularly as mail is required to be same-rate to remote regions, and the wealthy, modernised areas that subsidise those areas will probably see the most rapid transition away from postal service. Parcel delivery might save the USPS (if it achieves monopoly over it), but if it does not...

We might need to ask ourselves if the founders belief that postal service is essential to a functional democracy is still valid, and if so, are we willing to pay for much of that directly out of taxes rather than service fees (meaning stamps). Also, are we willing/ready to extend the monopoly of the USPS into parcel delivery? Finally, if we were to decide to modernise our transit system, investing heavily in national rail infrastructure and finding ways to make that faster and cheaper, how would that change the equation?

As a data point, I would love to see a colour map across the nation for cost-of-delivery-per-letter. If anyone knows where I might find that information, I would be grateful.

Tags: politics

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