The right analogy is key to a decision to subsidize. When the main thing USPS does is distribute coupons, what rationale is there for subsidy?
The Internet can’t be used to tele-transport packages, of course, and our use of package delivery services, including the Postal Service’s, has grown with e-commerce. But the Postal Service is running large deficits, bumping up against the $15 billion limit it is permitted to borrow, and is on the brink of default unless Congress comes to the rescue.
Is this where the Postal Service wants to make its stand, as a package delivery service, one among several providers? Does anyone really care whether the Postal Service or U.P.S. drops the package at the doorstep?
A. Lee Fritschler, a professor of public policy at George Mason University and a former chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission, says our Postal Service should be viewed not as a communications medium but as a broadcasting medium, spraying identical messages, in the form of “standard” mail, far and wide. If Congress had to bail out the Postal Service, it would effectively be subsidizing the private interests that use the service to distribute advertising cheaply. “Why on earth should our government be subsidizing a broadcast medium?” Professor Fritschler asks.