800px-United_States_Postal_Service_TruckThirty-four billion dollars. That’s the amount of taxpayer money proposed in a Senate-approved bailout of the US Postal Service. Senator Susan Collins of Maine, a Republican, lauds this bailout as “saving an American institution.”

Why do Collins and company presume that we should save a government-run business that can’t compete in the marketplace even with massive taxpayer subsidies and gun-wielding guards keeping competitors at bay?

In addition to—and because of—the fact that the existence of the Postal Service violates the rights of Americans by forbidding them to act and contract in accordance with their judgment, the service provided by the Postal Service is pathetic. When private businesses such as UPS and FedEx have been permitted to compete with the monopoly for just a portion of services (package delivery), they have profitably provided more guaranteed delivery options and much better service at comparable rates.

Privatizing the US Postal Service would be good on multiple counts and bad on none. It would put an end to rights violations is this area of Americans’ lives; it would unleash a flood of entrepreneurs eager to bring innovative and cost-effective improvements to mail delivery; and it would not cost taxpayers a dollar, never mind thirty-four billion.

What’s not to like?

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Image: Creative Commons by Los Angeles

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