The Real Cost of Christmas Cards

Brian Underwood
Dec 16, 2011 at 6:28 PM

Christmas Money

Don't get excited -- I'm not talking about the monetary cost of purchasing colorful Hallmark cards for your third cousin's spouse's aunt, among others, that you met that one time at a family reunion.

Instead, I'm talking about the cost that the government imposes on our liberty through its simultaneous support and regulation of the United States Postal Service -- the government-granted monopoly for mail-carry.

Though for a monopoly, the USPS is not doing so well, deciding to cut around 3000 of its post offices nationwide. Leave it to Congress, however, to jump in the fray and to try and find a solution:

Rather than simply allowing the USPS to make these cuts, Congress asked for time“to complete an overhaul of the cash-strapped agency’s operations.” USPS officials complied, delaying the cuts five more months for a congressional solution that will likely only do one of two things: 1. cost taxpayers more by bailing out the USPS or 2. make things worse (not that the two are mutually exclusive).

Will Congress find a real, free market solution? Probably not, judging by its record, but I suppose Christmas miracles happen every now and then.

In any case, here is my take on the history of the situation itself and my solution to solving the woes of the USPS: Happy Holidays.