If the USPS was private, it would be out of business

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Dear editor,

I’m responding to the August 20th Ranger Review articles from Avis Anderson and Jim Elliott where they both declare their support for the United States Postal Service as it now operates. Anderson is concerned about the removal of mail boxes from some of our Montana cities and Elliot is upset over President Trump’s remark that “the Post Office is a joke”.

Well, coincidentally, I listened to the 8/19 interview that Senator Rand Paul (Kentucky Republican) had w/ Neil Cavuto where he stated that the US Postal Service has lost approximately 78 billion dollars from 2007 through 2019. In fact, the USPS lost 8 billion dollars last year alone and is asking for 10 billion dollars for this year. Sen. Paul stated that the problem with the USPS is that 80% of their budget is labor costs compared to UPS (50%) and Fed Ex (38%) and that you cannot run a business when your competitors have much lower labor costs. Paul said that in the last 14 years the Post Office has seen their mail volume drop by 1/3 and if the government is going to rescue them each year then we, the US tax payers, need to see some reforms. He’s proposing a hiring freeze, and lowering their employment significantly because they need to have 1/3 less employees and become a smaller organization which would also help with their expensive pension program. Senator Paul stated that “nobody comes into a company with venture capital and just says, Hey, here’s a bucket of money and you can just keep losing money”. “No, they tell you, you have to change”.

Finally, Jim Elliot stated that it’s good that the Post Office isn’t run by a private company but he must not realize, that if they were a private business, they’d be out of business.

Patrick Prescott

Glendive, Montana