In the Postal Points newsletter for the Association of Marketing Service Providers, Raymond recently wrote about "an ongoing oxymoron that Congress, in its meddling ineptitude, continues to perpetuate: the Postal Service cannot be cast as a public service, with a 'universal service obligation,' while concurrently being told to be businesslike in its operations."
The universal service obligation means USPS has to provide roughly the same level of service to everyone at the same price, regardless of the agency's costs to serve a particular customer. That's contrary to sensible, business-like behavior: What enterprise in its right mind would charge 49 cents to send an un-presorted letter from Hawaii to a Maine island accessible only by boat?
"Fortunately for Congress, it only has to give orders, not figure out how to implement them," Raymond noted.
Raymond was commenting on my recent article Nine Ways the Postal Service Is Not Like a Real Business, which he said "gets to the heart" of the oxymoron.
Getting praise like that from someone who's a rock star among postal geeks -- and an almost simultaneous Twitter follow from the equally prestigious "Mr. Magazine" (Dr. Samir Husni) -- almost lends an air of respectability to this blog.
Hmm, I'll have to do something about that.
- 17 More Ways USPS Is Not Like a Real Business
- Layers of Redundant Management Have Been Eliminated, USPS Says: Note the 35 comments, most from postal employees who disagree vociferously with the Postal Service's statement.
- Wanted: New Postmaster General; Must Be Able To Kiss 535 Backsides Simultaneously