You really want the US Postal Service to go away?


I received this letter in the mail yesterday. I noticed the return address had two things; a PO Box and the ZIP Code.* That’s it.

A few days ago, I read some tweets in my stream where a few people were cheering on the demise of the US Postal Service. My gut reaction was “not so fast, everyone. The USPS — with all its faults — is still a pretty vital spine in our democracy.”

The letter I received underscored how sophisticated the USPS really is. With no more information than a PO Box and a ZIP Code, it can get a letter to the right person from anywhere in the world.

That is something that just didn’t happen by accident.

*Altered for some privacy

4 Replies to “You really want the US Postal Service to go away?”

  1. I COMPLETELY agree with you and have said as much many times. I think it’s a miracle that you can scribble some combination of letters and numbers on piece of paper, slap a sticker on, and drop it in a box, and with few exceptions that paper’ll get delivered — perhaps halfway around the world! This is incredible. I have my beefs sometimes with the P.O. but most of the time I think it’s pretty great.

  2. The USPS has built a distribution network that any private enterprise would be envious of. I wish they would try and stop competing against private enterprise and Congress would see the USPS as a serious public trust that they should be protecting as a vital part of our democracy. UPS, FedEx all those other delivery services can refuse to deliver to an address because there is no profit in it. When we start limiting who is and who ain’t a valuable citizen based simply on their geography in this country, we’ve got bigger problems than the profitability of the USPS.

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