Economics

Privatize the Post…Oh, Just Forget It

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USPS: We deliver clocks AND birds!

Time was, small government-types loved to freak out about the Post Office. It was slow, inefficient, overfunded, and overhyped, everyone had to use it, and everyone hated it: The perfect infuriating symbol for government incompetence! As unlikely as it may seem to today's wee young Ron Paul supporters, "Privatize the Post Office!" was once a seriously stirring rallying cry. (On second thought,"Abolish the Fed!" is a far more surprising rallying cry. Carry on, unflappable Paultards.)

In the era of FedEx, email, texting, and free long distance calling, the privatization issue seems rather less pressing. And the Post Office has gotten much, much better, simply by offering cheaper, less reliable, subsidized knock-offs of the same services as their private competitors.

Wednesday, the Post Office reported a $2.4 billion quarterly loss. Mail volume will continue to fall by about 8 billion to 15 billion pieces a year in 2010, with a 20 percent decline since 2008.* The Post Office folks blame their bleak financial scenario a persnickety 2006 law that requires them to set aside about $5 billion annually to pay for retiree health benefits. Because it's, like, so unfair that they don't get to have unfunded liabilities when everyone else in government is totally doing it. (Mom to USPS: If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?)

Congress Daily reports on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee's good-cop-bad-cop, wait-until-your-father-gets-home routine:

[The committee] approved legislation last week that would restructure those payments….The bill must be signed into law by the end of the current fiscal year in September to ensure that mail continues to be delivered as usual.

But union leaders testifying today said they oppose the bill as passed out of committee because of a "mean-spirited" amendment sponsored by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., requiring that arbitrators take the financial situation of the USPS into account in negotiating union contracts. 

But even the good cop turned out to be mean: 

"I didn't see how I could justify voting against that amendment," said Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joseph Lieberman, who backed the Coburn amendment. "It is permissive, it is not mandatory, and it is a statement of reality."

Enjoy Reason's USPS privatization archive

*typos corrected.

NEXT: Vast Right-Wing Astroturf Conspiracy Revealed!

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  1. “…and it is a statement of reality.”

    Since when has that started to matter in legislating?

  2. “Paultards”?
    Oooh, that’s gonna get letters!

    But I think you’re going to have to explain how a change from 15 million to 8 million represents a 20% change…

    no hugs for thugs,
    Shirley Knott

  3. Just FYI, But Coburn is also the same rep who attached an amendment to the universal healthcare bill that would require Congressmen to go onto the public option plan if it’s passed.

    Personally, I’m liking this guy from what little I’ve seen or heard about him.

  4. “drop 20 percent from 15 million to 8 million pieces of mail per year”

    huh?

    15 million – 20% of 15 million = 12 million

  5. because of a “mean-spirited” amendment sponsored by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., requiring that arbitrators take the financial situation of the USPS into account in negotiating union contracts.

    It’s an outrage! How can a union survive if it has to worry about the health of its host?

  6. But you can send a letter anywhere for $.49!

    Who cares what it actually *costs* to get it there?

  7. I think the USPS will eventually wither away; thus proving Marx right in a way. 🙂

  8. Seriously: using “Paultards”?

    “Gonna get letters.”

    Yes… you are. Please don’t use the term.

    I am guessing you have a fair number of Paul supporters in your subscribership, and we don’t really like the term.

  9. The Post Office rules. It’s specifically constitutionally authorized. It must offer good services: not only does my business use it about as much as we do UPS but we use it much more than Fed Ex, but I get about 5 second hand trade paperback graphic novels a week through Amazon’s second hand market and about 85% of them come USPS (and I’ve never had one lost or misdelivered).

    Maybe they don’t make a profit, but neither does the police office or the FBI…

  10. “Personally, I’m liking this guy from what little I’ve seen or heard about him.”

    You should read more then.

  11. Paultards??? Are you guys (and you in particular Kate) still on that? You accomplished your mission during the last Presidential go’round – to effectively distinguish yourselves for the hoi polloi – we unsophisticated, tin foil hat wearin’ Ron Paul supporters.

    You brought in the big guns – Kirchick and Dondero – to do your dirty work so you could pretend your hands were clean. I would think you would be satisfied with that, but no, we still have to be Paultards. But I forget, you are the folks who think McCain and Romney and Fred Thompson are libertarians.

  12. We prefer “Racist Newsletter Subscriber.”

    Watch your step, “Katherine.” If that even is your real name.

  13. Hit & Run brought in Dondero to attack Paul? Then they sent him to Mexico when his work was done? Oooh, I like that one.

    I can see casting aspersions on some of Paul’s supporters and on some of Paul’s beliefs; however, it is a little harsh to use the term Paultards on a libertarian site. I voted for Paul in the primaries, and I’ve never shouted anything about the Fed ?

  14. DW, i liked Ron Paul, and i wish his campaign had done better — but if you consider DONDEROOOOOOOOO to be a “big gun,” then it’s just more evidence that the Paul movement was small beer indeed.

  15. The Post Office rules. It’s specifically constitutionally authorized. It must offer good services:

    MNG, the fact that people use the Post Office is not proof of good service when it has a legal monopoly on certain types of mail and an exemption from taxes that the other guys pay.

    You might as well say that it’s that local car dealers “must offer good services” since people buy their cars through them, ignoring the fact that it’s illegal to buy your car directly from the manufacturer.

    Remove the Post Office subsidies and legal monopoly, and I’ll agree that any use reflects good service. Otherwise it’s no proof at all.

  16. “Lesbianism is so rampant in high schools in the Oklahoma City area that some schools will only let girls go to the bathroom one at a time. Think about that as an issue.”

  17. Why not privatize the Post Office? Other than merely being somewhat convenient to some people, its survival is not of utmost importance anymore.

    Oh well…inertia and all that…

  18. John
    I have a letter on my desk right now that someone Fed-Ex’ed me. He could have sent it USPS, but he sent it Fed Ex. Is what he did prohibited by law?

    I guess what I am asking is, what is it illegal for Fed Ex to do that the Post Office is allowed to?

  19. As long as we’re throwing “Paultards” around, can MNG and the like be “Postards?”

  20. Lost
    Part of the thing about the Post Office is it is supposed to provide a service for all citizens, like the police. Our nation is founded on the idea that some states and areas may not be conviently located, but certain basic things and rights will be available to the citizens in those areas, same as in the other spots.

  21. Xeones
    I wouldn’t wipe my butt with the New York Post, whatever you may have heard.

  22. Don’t really get the Paul dig…

  23. Lesbianism is so rampant in high schools in the Oklahoma City area that some schools will only let girls go to the bathroom one at a time. Think about that as an issue.

    Don’t mind if I do, Tom.

  24. I’d prefer it if, say, Sen. Coburn were to demand specific reasons from the USPS as to how it determined some of its official abbreviations (e.g., “Ave” instead of “Av” for “Avenue”, or “Fl” instead of “Flr” for “Floor”)–or even why it insists on official abbreviations in the first place.

  25. MNG,

    One aspect of the monopoly is that only the USPS has access to your mailbox. I think the other big one is first class mail. There’s some sort of dollar floor that a private carrier can’t go below for letters, which is many multiples of what the USPS charges.

    I think the way this works more generally is that the USPS has a total monopoly on mail delivery but has carved out exceptions for overnight service and maybe in some other areas.

    Universal service, incidentally, is a bit of a canard. Research what was happening prior to the Bell monopoly, which was granted primarily on the false assumption that only a monopoly could get phone service to remote locations (it’s false because farmer and rural cooperatives were getting phone service faster than Bell rolled it out after getting the monopoly). Little different than mail, but I bet the same would hold true.

  26. If there were no USPS, millions of citizens would be completely cut off from civilization, and would have no way to communicate with others, or to inform themselves of the important issues of the day!

  27. Part of the thing about the Post Office is it is supposed to provide a service for all citizens, like the police.Our nation is founded on the idea that some states and areas may not be conviently located, but certain basic things and rights will be available to the citizens in those areas, same as in the other spots.

    Local communities pay for police, not the federal government…and there is debate as to how antiquated that system is.

    And our nation wasn’t founded on subsidizing farmers I’m fairly certain, though it didn’t take long to correct that.

  28. P Brooks,

    Or worse, they might have to pay more as a result of choosing to live in the middle of nowhere.

    Gasp!

  29. MNG said: I guess what I am asking is, what is it illegal for Fed Ex to do that the Post Office is allowed to?

    Use mailboxes.

  30. If there were no USPS, millions of citizens would be completely cut off from civilization, and would have no way to communicate with others, or to inform themselves of the important issues of the day!

    That was so dry, I’m going to have to dunk my head in a bucket of water to rehydrolize.

  31. Yeah, those silly Paultards! “Abolish the Fed”? Why, if there’s one thing Americans love, it’s watching trillions of federal dollars get handed out with no transparency. And that Paul jackass is just making it worse, trying to impugn the sacred American tradition of killing oversight bills in committee via the stupid cheap trick of obtaining overwhelming bipartisan support.

  32. Wow. More Ron Paul hate from the pseudo-libs at [T]reason. I should know not to expect anything less.

    I guess what I am asking is, what is it illegal for Fed Ex to do that the Post Office is allowed to?

    No carrier is allowed to go under the USPS price floor for letters, ensuring that no private company can ever compete, as the gov’t will just change the price floor.

  33. Shore is nice of you city-fellas to help pay for me to git titty-mags and gun catalogs brung to me.

    Iffa I had to go to town, I might end up havin’ to see one of dem Negroes I’ve heard so much about.

  34. Sometimes, I feel like I post an answer to a question but my answer somehow becomes transparent and is ignored. Perhaps it’s a Firefox thing?

    I have a cunning plan: Combine the Federal Reserve, the Post Office, FNMA, and FHLMC.

  35. Paultards… Really?

  36. By the way, access to television is pretty much universal, and no national monopoly accomplished that.

  37. [T]reason

    Everyone take 2 drinks for that one.

  38. I have a sudden urge to read The Crying of Lot 49 again.

  39. I am guessing you have a fair number of Paul supporters in your subscribership, and we don’t really like the term.

    I concur. Katherine, that was rather snotty of you. if you meant it in jest, you should make that clear.

    -jcr

  40. 1) For those of you struggling with the math, it’s pretty obvious you also struggle with reading comprehension. The author wrote, “Mail volume will continue to fall by about 8 billion to 15 billion pieces a year in 2010, with a 20 percent decline since 2008.”

    In other words, the size of the decrease is somewhere in the range of 8 to 15 billion fewer pieces of mail each year, which represents a cumulative total of a 20 percent decline. Author could have made that clearer, but a close read would still reward the reader with a fairly accurate account of what’s going on.

    2) The Post Office has done a great deal to get more efficient over the years. The fundamental problem is that they’re delivering a whole lot fewer first-class letters because people pay bills online and communicate electronically with friends and family. The pension issue is a sidelight, but the Post Office is essentially complaining that they have to pre-pay pension obligatons in a way that neither other government agencies nor private businesses are required to. I’m not commenting on the merits of that, but if y’all are going to b*tch and moan about things, I thought you might benefit from comprehending what you were reading.

    Continue with your unhinged rants…

  41. This puts a bit of a damper on my nascent KMW crush…

  42. The pension issue is a sidelight, but the Post Office is essentially complaining that they have to pre-pay pension obligatons in a way that neither other government agencies nor private businesses are required to.

    I’m not an ERISA lawyer, but I’m pretty sure private businesses with defined benefit plans have to keep them fully funded (actuarially speaking).

  43. Also… To “Steve” from the fourth comment:

    It was billion with a “b” not million with an “m”.

    And I don’t understand why you put quote marks around something that is not, in fact, a quotation from the article. What you did was paraphrase, not quote, and you did so rather inaccurately. Putting quote marks around it doesn’t make it a quote.

  44. “Local communities pay for police, not the federal government”

    Yeah, but the whole nature of mail is that it is mailed some distance, often interstate, so it makes sense it has to be provided federally. I imagine thats why our Founder’s explicitly granted the power at the federal level.

    “There’s some sort of dollar floor that a private carrier can’t go below for letters, which is many multiples of what the USPS charges.”

    I had always understood that the private carriers were in no hurry to enter the market of that kind of mail. In fact, the reason why the USPS loses so much money, in part, is that they have to take that market, and even with subsidization it sucks.

    “millions of citizens would be completely cut off from civilization”

    Well, I’m not claiming that. Look, I don’t think being kissed by a man is the same as being fucked in the ass by one, but I can think the former is a bad thing without being accused of being overly fearful of butt rape, OK?

  45. The monopoly on using the mailbox is pretty thin guys. First, it certainly doesn’t hamper UPS to have leave things on my porch. And the feds provide federal protection for the mailbox, the private companies don’t.

  46. I think the Post Office rocks. I sent a letter to a friend on monday to Texas from Arizona. A week later I was reading a reply. For 44 cents, that wasn’t a bad deal.

    My armchair constitutional analysis tells me that if we wanted to privatize the post office, we’d have to have a constitutional amendment providing such. I am for that.

    a privatized post office might have more flexibility in raising revenue, eg, postage based on distance and charging a monthly fee for saturday delivery.

  47. @Scotsw

    It says that NOW because she corrected it after the comments were made.

  48. BTW
    If you have never read Bukowski’s novel Post Office, you should.

  49. Combine the Federal Reserve, the Post Office, FNMA, and FHLMC.

    And then tie a bag of anvils around their necks, and dump them into the Marianas Trench.

  50. R.C. Dean:

    Yeah, it’s really getting into the arcana there. I don’t know all the legalistic issues. I know the nub of the P.O.’s argument is that they’re being held to a standard that nobody else is being held to. I don’t know if they’re right or wrong — but that’s their argument.

    The P.O. is in something of an unenviable position: People keep demanding they run like a private enterprise on the one hand, but they have to run everything through Congress. And when they try to close a branch in Podunk, some Senator raises a stink. And you can undestand why: Podunk may depend heavily on that branch. Lose the P.O. branch, and risk losing businesses which use that branch. And so on…

  51. MNG,

    I’m not sure what the market price for a first-class letter would be. Maybe not $0.42 or whatever it is now, but probably not $3.00, either. It’s a moot point, because that monopoly still exists as long as the floor is insisted upon by USPS.

  52. Pro
    My point is that the subsidization and the mandate of the Post Office makes the monopoly grant kind of moot. The market price would, as you say, be over the subsidized USPS price for such letters, and so pretty much nobody would want to buy, and no company would want to supply, such services.

  53. The monopoly on using the mailbox is pretty thin guys. First, it certainly doesn’t hamper UPS to have leave things on my porch.

    And I’m certain that UPS is looking forward to trillions in lawsuits when someone steals your mail-in rebate or grandma’s social security check blows away. Some people actually live in those bad neighborhoods you see on TV. Sorry to have to break that to you. Besides, the mailboxes aren’t the problem. The monopoly on all first class mail delivery is the real issue.

  54. I had always understood that the private carriers were in no hurry to enter the market of that kind of mail.

    Fine, great. Then there’s no problem in legalizing other carriers delivering first class mail.

    Besides, you should realize that FedEx has been acting as a contractor to carry some first class mail for the USPS since at least 2001. Kind of strange for a company that doesn’t want to enter the market. (Though perhaps they’d rather have a subsidized government contract than bear the risks themselves.)

    It’s exactly the same argument as car dealers proclaiming that most people don’t want to buy their cars over the Internet, so there’s no point in legalizing such.

    The real argument lies elsewhere; probably having to do with cross-subsidization. The USPS fears that private carriers would happily deliver local and urban mail for cheaper, leaving the rural and long distance mail for them.

    The monopoly on using the mailbox is pretty thin guys.

    Yeah, but the exemption from all sorts of taxes is fairly significant.

  55. troy
    As you can tell, I like the PO too, but I don’t think we would need an amendment to privatize it or just end it. The constitution just says the federal government can have a federal post office, not that it does have to as far as I can tell.

  56. With all due respect, Katherine—which is none—eat a dick, you ignorant twat. “Paultards” indeed. Those of us who supported Ron Paul’s candidacy in the hope that it would bring heretofore largely unnoticed issues to the attention of more of the public don’t deserve your snide reprobation.

    Ron Paul has done more to advance the cause of liberty than you will ever do.

  57. My point is that the subsidization and the mandate of the Post Office makes the monopoly grant kind of moot. The market price would, as you say, be over the subsidized USPS price for such letters, and so pretty much nobody would want to buy, and no company would want to supply, such services.

    So why do they oppose legalization? The only rational explanation is that they fear that private carriers would compete in the lower cost markets and leave the USPS to handle rural areas and cross-country first class mail.

  58. Frankly, if people really think that global warming and CO2 emissions are a bad thing, then they should be against the Post Office subsidy. It encourages people to live far away from each other and from civilization and to send mail long distance when they could use electronic communication instead.

  59. According to Wikipedia:

    The USPS is often mistaken for a government-owned corporation (e.g., Amtrak). Indeed in 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court heard a case that hinged on whether the USPS was a corporation or not.

    But the USPS is not a corporation. It is legally defined as an “independent establishment of the executive branch of the Government of the United States,” (39 U.S.C. ? 201) and is wholly owned by the government and controlled by the Presidential appointees and the Postmaster General. As a quasi-governmental agency, it has many special privileges, including sovereign immunity, eminent domain powers, powers to negotiate postal treaties with foreign nations, and an exclusive legal right to deliver first-class and third-class mail.

    So, it’s insulated from public scrutiny and oversight more so than a normal executive-branch agency (ie, Dept. of Ag), yet has police powers(*), sovereign immunity and the whole panoply of federal government power.

    * USPS Inspectors general have federal law enforcement powers.

  60. My point is that the subsidization and the mandate of the Post Office makes the monopoly grant kind of moot. The market price would, as you say, be over the subsidized USPS price for such letters, and so pretty much nobody would want to buy, and no company would want to supply, such services.

    The market price would be over the price floor in rural areas, but would be less in major metros. Private carriers would then be free to charge more than the USPS in the rural areas and prohibited everywhere else. Not exactly a recipe for success. You need a remedial course in Lysander Spooner.

  61. +4 on the Paultards comment.

    If someone has to use a collective term, i prefer Paulista.
    As for the PO, it’s small change compared to lets say … (wait for it) … the Fed or the Military Industrial Complex.

    Oh yeah .. cancel my (nonexistant) subscription you fauxtarians.

  62. Seriously…as bad as the Paultard dig *might* have been, I don’t think calling her a twat is really necessary.

    Also, second on the preferring Paulista comment.

  63. Seriously…as bad as the Paultard dig *might* have been, I don’t think calling her a twat is really necessary.

    If she can dish it out, she should be able to take it.

  64. Paulas
    Paulstafarians
    Pauliannas
    Paulettes
    Paulines
    Paulites
    Paulints
    Paulians
    Paulogians
    Paulents
    Paultonians
    Pauloids
    Paulectics
    Paulogists
    Paulotoligists

  65. I’m cancelling my twitter subscription to KMW.

  66. Paultards apparently got no sense of humor, thin skins, or both.
    (And I’d contributed to the guy.)

  67. Come to think of it, I also VOTED for the guy in 88.
    I hate the humorless almost as much as the scum who think orange juice is just for breakfast.


  68. squarootucis wrote:
    If she can dish it out, she should be able to take it.

    True, but it still seems overly … something.
    I think “you ignorant slut” has a certain old skool panache.

  69. I vote for Paulstafarians.

  70. *sigh*
    Citizen N, it got old … like last year.

  71. “you ignorant slut” is ALWAYS appropriate.

  72. Considering i came to libertarianism via a desire to freely smoke a joint and do a couple of lines off the small of a hooker’s back … Paulstafarians is VERY appropriate.
    Bonus points if she’s Bi and is NOT working the gig solo. Shots or sushi?

    Of course these days i’m desperately trying to find a place in Chicago where i can enjoy some tobacco, even OUTDOORS, without having my alcohol confiscated.
    Add alderprick Waguespack to my shit list.

    Kudos to dave b for mentioning Spooner.

  73. I vote for Paulstafarians also.

  74. I understood it this way: A reduction of mail by 8 million from X to 15 million… But perhaps I am wrong 🙂

    @MNG:
    You like the post office? What the hell, when we in Germany privatized the post office, the radical changes have brought about a level of service unheared before. They still have the monopoly on letters, but for everything else FedEX, DHL etc. are at least in as high demand and often a bit better.

    So, I can’t even understand why you Americans (the so-seen land of free markets – at least in comparison to Europe) haven’t followed up…
    Well, guess it was about time that some country would surpass the USA in privatizing stuff 😉

  75. MNG: I know this is a shocking idea, but not all of us HAVE a porch for FedEx, UPS, etc to leave stuff on. The USPS can get into my building to deliver mail and packages. No other company can do that. UPS has to leave notes on the outside of the building (which, not surprisingly, tend not to be there by the time I get home). So yeah, they have a distinct advantage there. Also, I believe the USPS is also the only one allowed to deliver to some government facilities, although ICBW.

    Oh, and not surprisingly, the USPS is arguing that the mailbox monopoly is a good thing that must be preserved, because TERRORISM! http://www.hsdl.org/hslog/?q=node/4430

  76. 1) KMW was probably using the term in jest
    2) She’s not going to read these comments anyways
    3) It is her real name.
    4) She’s not that pretty, I’ve stalked her facebook page.

  77. “Don’t mind if I do, Tom.”

    Agreed. High school lesbians rule!

  78. “By the way, access to television is pretty much universal, and no national monopoly accomplished that.”

    And even so, the bastards muscled their way in and made everyone change over to digital. It’s surprising they wasn’t a cash for analogs program. Smashing TV’s is good fun.

  79. “And when they try to close a branch in Podunk, some Senator raises a stink. And you can undestand why: Podunk may depend heavily on that branch. Lose the P.O. branch, and risk losing businesses which use that branch”

    Not to mention the negative impact that would have on Sen. Podunk’s franking privileges.

  80. [standard libertarian disclaimer]

    If the problem is that some areas are likely to be underserved, the most sensible solution is a modest subsidy. If it’s good that mail be delivered to the middle of nowhere for a sub-market price, the USPS kills a fly with a sledgehammer.

  81. Not to mention the negative impact that would have on Sen. Podunk’s franking privileges.

    I love it when you talk dirty.

  82. And even so, the bastards muscled their way in and made everyone change over to digital. It’s surprising they wasn’t a cash for analogs program.

    But there was a Coupons for Converter Boxes program.

  83. The Post Office is just a nuisance. The Fed will wreck our economy (a few more times) if we don’t abolish it.

  84. I must admit I was somewhat surprised to see Ron Paul supporters bashed on Reason. Don’t you know the man, and being wary of the Fed, is mainstream, now that the majority of the House of Representatives (including every Republican) have cosponsored his bill to audit the Fed? Even Reason’s man McCain is co-sponsoring the Senate version.

  85. Even Reason’s man McCain

    Whoa man. Now that’s nuts. It’s a bit unfair to say that Reason contributors were all for Obama, but there were a lot more for Obama or Paul or Barr than there were for McCain. Reason rather hated McCain apparently mostly for having poor philosophical grounding, regardless of his voting history, or perhaps for personality and background reasons.

  86. Wow, I heard Katherine speak a few days ago and she was making jokes about autism. Next, she’s calling people Paultards. She has a right to say what she wishes, but it really makes Reason look bad to have employed such unprofessional people.

  87. No wonder we can’t move forward after 30 years… we have retarded Katherine Man-Ward trying to drop the “hot phrase” from two years ago attempting to score some non-existent brownie points with god knows who, attacking this magazine’s very real philosophical allies in a topic that is completely irrelevant to Ron Paul.

    You guys throw some mean happy hours and have a fun TV show but this is just unoriginal and dumb. Are you trying to splinter the libertarian movement further or are you just pissy there is a movement outside the beltway?

  88. UM, are you people Paultarded?

    It sure as hell seemed to me to be an ironic use of the term.

    As in, “Ha, those dumb libtardians. They believe in freedumb and other dumb stuff like that.”

    \voted for Paul in the primaries
    \\1 of 500 in DC

  89. As someone who donated to the Paul campaign, I take no offense to the term “Paultard”. Not even if she meant it insultingly, which I doubt.

  90. Another vote for Paulstafarians, from a Pastafarian.

    “Carry on, unflappable Paultards.” In speaking of the legendary Libertarian internecine wars of his era, the late Harry Browne once said he would not stick his foot out to trip someone who was running in the same direction. Good advice. I’m just sayin’.

  91. To clarify – by “big guns” I meant people who have dedicated their careers to and made an art of smearing Ron Paul and his supporters and not that these people are particularly accomplished or are “stars” of any sort.

  92. I especially want to say thanks for the paragraph “In the era of FedEx, email, texting, and free long distance calling, the privatization issue seems rather less pressing. And the Post Office has gotten much, much better, simply by offering cheaper, less reliable, subsidized knock-offs of the same services as their private competitors

  93. Perhaps I’m not so original… but still: http://shatnershall.blogspot.c…..rvice.html

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  97. I especially want to say thanks for the paragraph “In the era of FedEx, email, texting, and free long distance calling, the privatization issue seems rather less pressing. And the Post Office has gotten much, much better, simply by offering cheaper, less reliable, subsidized knock-offs of the same services as their private competitors.

    David Mayer
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  98. No wonder we can’t move forward after 30 years… we have retarded Katherine Man-Ward trying to drop the “hot phrase” from two years ago attempting to score some non-existent brownie points with god knows who, attacking this magazine’s very real philosophical allies in a topic that is completely irrelevant to Ron Paul.

    David Mayer
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