Episode 93: The Post Office: Explained
I am. So I asked my friend Brian McNicoll, who has written about the post office for many years and has a real feel for its economics and the politics, to clarify what’s going on.
In our conversation he tells me, “the Post Office has a monopoly on two things. Only the post office can put something in your mailbox and only the post office can handle first class mail. But the number of first class letters have dropped by almost 40% in the last decade. And in the last 15 years, the U.S. Postal Service has lost some $60 billion and is expected to lose some $10 billion this year.”
But its package delivery business is growing like gangbusters, and it it also losing money on that. Why? Turns out U.S. Taxpayers are subsidizing Jeff Bezos’s Amazon and other package delivery companies, big time.
So we dig into post office economics 101. I think it could break even, especially with its new Postmaster in charge.
But it isn’t just its bad business model that has it in the news. The presidential election has made it into yet another partisan political football.
We dig into the differences between mail-in and absentee voting, bundling ballots, ballot harvesting, election fraud (e.g. last election they found 120 000 ballots in trash cans in a dumpster in Nevada), why mailboxes are being taken off the streets, post office closings, whether the Post Office could handle mail-in ballots, and much more.