The USPS is mandated by law under the executive branch of the government to deliver the mail. That is the only purpose that the agency was designed to carry out. And, they have managed to create a 16 Billion dollar loss so far and the red ink is just getting started. Congress is in control of the stamp prices and every service that the USPS offers. And, although the Post Office does not use taxpayer money for operation, the Congress mandated that they pre-fund healthcare for future retirees. The USPS did not have the money to do that and they have had to borrow 15 Billion dollars from the Treasury, (taxpayer money). And, we have been down this road before.
In the 1980’s, the PO had a line of branded goods, from neckties, coffee mugs, posters, to T shirts. And, at least, they didn’t lose money on the enterprise. But, lobbyists from competing products went to Congress and pressured them to stop selling these items.
It seems that whenever politicians get involved, things go wrong! Which bring up the question; will Congress put a halt to this venture as well? It seems to me that the overall problem is in the relationship between politicians and management skills at the USPS. Fifteen years ago when the fact that email was going to be the primary method of communication, the PO should have been cutting back on its “modernization” efforts by not spending more money on new sorting equipment and data handling tasks. They should have begun closing some of the far-flung outposts that support postmasters/postmistresses making $60 and 70K a year, rather than stopping Saturday deliveries. And despite the fact that it is a Civil Service, employees that are making twice and three times the federal minimum wage is wrong. And, I am not saying that being a mail carrier is easy, but there are a lot of people working as hard or harder for a lot less.
So, here are the red flags that I alluded to:
Will there really be an upscale market for shorts with a pin stripe and pith helmets? Will the Wahconah group, (described as a global fabric entity importing fabrics from around the world), produce products here or will they outsource? Will this simply be another Lance Armstrong moment where the money goes to a drugged horse?
Although I would like to see a trend to privatization, I suspect that it will continue to be a mess of management problems, political meddling, and continued losses, eventually to the loss of tax dollars.
I suspect that if the Post Office wants to send something important across the country, they will use UPS or FedEx. Just a thought…