The USPS has been making headlines lately, floating new delivery schedules and rate hikes designed to stem the flow of billions in operating losses. Time and again their “reforms” go untried, and they continue to bleed red ink.
Politicians spout that the USPS needs to operate more like a business and less like a government agency. But can they? Dead Tree Edition thinks not, and nails the reasons in “Nine Ways the Postal Service Is Not Like a Real Business.”
From a board of directors with no incentive to raise profits to being one of the only monopolies that is inherently unprofitable, the USPS faces a losing battle.
Smart business people look at the waste, the mismanagement and some of their recent decisions and cringe. “If only…” we think, seeing how we might fix it if this was indeed a real business in the real world. Sadly, not only do they not operate like a real business, they aren’t allowed to do so. Among the issues:
- An overfunded (ridiculously by any business standard) employee pension that would bankrupt most companies
- A Postmaster General who makes a tiny fractions of what a CEO of a comparably-sized organization would make
- A business model that punishes customers with higher prices, forcing those customers to mail less.
These issues are huge, and they are inherent in the set-up and governance of this organization. Let’s stop wasting our time wishing the USPS was run like a real business. It’s not, and will not be as long as it’s governed by politics.