Last week Newsweek ran an opinion piece entitled “Do We Need a Postal Service?” It originally appeared on the website of the Brookings Institute with the title, “The U.S. Postal Service’s existential problem.”
“The U.S. Postal Service has an existential problem,” begins the op-ed, and twice more in the space of just 840 words it refers to the “existential crisis” and “existential question” facing the postal system.
The essay is about how the Postal Service is becoming obsolete and pointless, and the answer to the question of whether it should be abolished comes in the middle: “To be clear, the Postal Service cannot be abolished; at least, not immediately.”
Some readers thought that the essay was looking forward to the day when we would be rid of the Postal Service, but then in response to a reader’s comment, the author backs off and says, “Just to be clear, nothing in my op-ed advocated abolishing USPS.”
To abolish or not to abolish, that is the question…
The Postal Service may be facing an “existential crisis,” but the problem is not the deficit and it’s not the Internet.
The existential threat to the Postal Service comes from those who don’t want it to exist — conservatives who don’t want anyone to see a successful government-run entity, anti-union politicians and business interests who think paying workers a decent salary is “inefficient,” and corporations in the mailing industry who want to skim the cream off the postal business.
Now we can add Newsweek to the list of threats.