The Founders never intended the U.S. Postal Service to be managed like a business

John, Richard R.

From the 1850s until the 1960s, Congress routinely covered whatever deficits the Postal Service incurred — no matter how large — and with little controversy, partisanship or debate. Why? Because the Postal Service was a public service, whose rationale was civic rather than commercial. As a New York journalist put it in 1854: The Postal Service’s “benefit to mankind” far outweighed the “pecuniary consideration” of any financial shortfall. In 1958, a federal law made this even clearer: The Postal Service was “clearly not a business enterprise conducted for profit.”

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August 31, 2020