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banks going postal

The federal monopoly on physical personal mail delivery is sinking. The top-heavy, overpaid, uncompetitive process was doomed by design. While parcel delivery was allowed the challenge of a competitive market along with the innovation and evolution that brings, USPS first class mail has wallowed in its exclusive rut.

The bloated beast is beset with a barrage of bad news. The federal reserve’s monopoly on printing money out of thin air has walked through the hyperinflation entry doors, which hurts the USPS as much as anybody. Cultural shifts, e-mail, texting, tweeting and myriad other technologies have reduced first class mail to a trickle. Of course the postal service union isn’t interested in cost cutting as part of the answer.

Before they send the victim to the gallows or retraining camps, Dianne Frankenstein gets to quietly pick up a cool billion or so selling off postal real estate to her co-conspirators at giveaway prices. Postal workers may have noticed the pillaging and seen a grim future painted in the bargain-basement asset liquidation.
going postal protest
So what is the answer?

Well, their answer is to open up money-changing tables in the lobby. While full-service, regionally-owned brick banks have been reduced from 12,000 in ’92 to 6,000 in 2013, and are currently being closed by the feds at a rate of 20 a month, the Postal Workers are protesting to be allowed into the banking business.

Payday-Loans Heck yeah … and a hop, skip and jump away from accelerating local bank closures is loan sharking on a national basis with federal law enforcement as the knee-cappers and leg-breakers. Payday loans, ATM, title loans, pawn shop and, oh yeah, we’ll deliver your first class letters too.

Of course going the other direction never occurs to them. Allowing a free market on delivering private mail is simply not on the table for discussion. (Does all of the substantive discussion always have to happen under the table?) Who knows but that with Fed Ex, UPS, Dominoes and the Culligan Man all competing and cooperating in first class mail delivery, efficiency could rise while prices fall. That IS the legacy of open competition.

Sigh – Sadly that just won’t be permitted.

gambling01_1331739001I do have a suggestion they might embrace, however.

In their lobbies, next to the forever stamp machines they could tuck in a few slot machines. Heck, they could place rows of them separating the lines of people waiting for window service. Adjust postal service worker breaks to keep the lines as long as the rows of slot machines are and they should have no problem at all keeping the money flowing in.

Once they have broken the gaming barrier, their route carriers could expand into numbers running. Home delivery of drugs, pimping, money laundering … related opportunities abound. This path could provide some interesting friction between organized crime in the private sector and that of the government sector.