On the Monday before Christmas, my husband and I sent a 4 pound gift box to our niece living in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Mailed through our local postal service, we felt, that with luck, the package might get there before New Year’s. To our surprise, this package arrived on December 26th, less than 4 days later. Why is this scenario important?
Some months earlier, I overheard a conversation during a visit to a local hair salon. Often these conversations take on a small town hall meeting type of atmosphere. That day a patron-I will call Beverly – was lamenting, in a not so quiet voice, how the USPS should be closed and all mail service should be turned over to private businesses.
Although accustomed to hearing conversations bashing tax supported agencies, services or programs, “Beverly” stated that the bottom line was the postal service, a socialist outfit, should be kicked to the wayside. Privatize, privatize!
This got me thinking, which is sometimes a dangerous thing but in this case illuminating as I researched the cost of a one ounce letter sent to California through USPS and two private mail services: UPS and Fed Ex. How does USPS compare to these giants of privatization? Well, a one ounce letter sent Fed Ex costs $8.61 and ground delivered by 3 business days. The same letter sent via UPS costs approximately $10 and takes 3 to 5 days. A letter sent USPS costs .46 cents and takes approximately 3 days. Plus, you can mail this letter via your own box. No need to call for a special pickup, just pop that letter in your box and it will go! Using these comparisons you might say that USPS is a consistent and exemplary affordable mail delivery service.
Well Beverly, do you still want to kick USPS to the way side? I don’t. And Beverly, next time you are in our local post office, maybe you should show your appreciation and say a big “thanks” to our underappreciated clerks and carriers. Remember their service is priceless!
– Peggy Brown