It may sound odd to talk about the United States Postal Service (USPS) as a “monopoly.” But that’s exactly what it is.
Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 of the U.S. Constitution affirms the ability of the government to “establish Post Offices.” And various laws give the USPS a “statutory monopoly” on non-urgent First Class Mail and the exclusive right to put mail in private mailboxes.
Translation: It’s illegal to deliver most types of mail, including letters, postcards, catalogs, magazines, and bills, if you’re not the USPS. That’s virtually everything any business would mail to customers or prospects. Yes, you can send something via an “urgent” service, such as FedEx, but the law stipulates that what you send must be urgent. Plus the law forces the delivery service to charge at least $3.00 or offer the service for free and place the thing you’re sending on your porch or somewhere other than in your mailbox.
There might be good arguments for such a powerful monopoly in the early days of the U.S., but what about now? Should the USPS continue to hold a monopoly on all “non-urgent” mail? Or should businesses be allowed to compete for whatever sort of delivery service they want to offer?