Jason Cochran

Stuff you never knew you never knew

Mailboxes on Eighth Avenue, Manhattan, 2002

Is delivery a fantasy? (Eighth Avenue, Manhattan, 2002)

The United States Postal Service lost $3 billion last quarter, and now its masters intend to cut overnight delivery, slow down mail, and close facilities (particularly in poor neighborhoods).

Government-hating Teabaggers whinge, but the fact is that while the Postal Service is federally mandated, it does not receive taxpayer money. So if we’re going to save it — and if we don’t, we’d be the only country in the world without one — we have to reinvent the way it works. Although we are increasingly digital as a society and writing fewer letters, the Post Office still handles plenty of mail, and it’s a standard piece of any country’s infrastructure.

But as with most of America’s infrastructure, we’ve ignored it, and refused to update it, for generations. It’s limping along on an outdated financial model at the very moment anti-government candidates are being elected to the government they hate, and they’re bearing hatchets.

On a recent trip to London, I looked to the British Post Office, which may hold the secret to returning the United States Postal Service to solvency. Watch my short video:

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