May 25, 2024

Obama Says We Can Do With Health Care What We Did With The Post Office – What?

Postal Service Poor Analogy

Now we know why the President usually does not say much without the Teleprompter in front of him; why in the world would you mention the Post Office when trying to convince America that the government should take over the health care system?

The Post Office is a prime example of how a lack of competition leads to high prices.  Without competition, there is no need to worry about raising prices, providing good service or running an efficient organization – higher prices are simply passed on to the consumer.   Productivity has been growing in the private sector for decades, especially with the efficiencies gained through the Internet.  Yet year after year, the Post Office relentlessly raises rates far in excess of the consumer price index.

Cost Of A Stamp

Cost Of A Stamp

Consider some of the other obnoxious results of a government run monopoly as detailed in a recent Wall Street Journal Opinion column:

Whatever possessed President Obama to mention the travails of the post office while discussing health care the other day, his timing was certainly apt. The Postal Service is headed toward a loss of $7 billion this year and another $7 billion in 2010.

Most mail today is delivered electronically via email. Traditional postal mail volume has fallen by nearly 20% since 2000, and the average household gets one-third fewer letters than a decade ago.

No private business in America could continually raise prices, lose billions of dollars and then hope to win back customers by promising poorer service.

Here’s a secret Washington doesn’t want to admit: That 14 cent per letter cost hike after inflation over the past 60 years imposes a $20 billion a year toll on the U.S. economy.

Most employees have no-layoff clauses, the starting salaries are about 25% to 30% higher than for comparably skilled private workers, and the fringe benefits are so expensive that the Government Accountability Office says $500 million a year could be saved merely by bringing health benefits into line with those of other federal workers.

The most overdue reform is to strip away the Post Service’s monopoly on first-class mail and bulk mail. Competition is the key ingredient to innovation, low prices and good service. This was Mr. Obama’s insight at his recent health-care town hall when he noted that “UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? No, they are. It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems.”

The argument has been made for 200 years that the postal monopoly is necessary to “bind the nation together.” Once that was at least plausible. But today the Internet delivers to the most remote corners of Alaska and the Badlands at one-one-hundredth the cost of snail mail. The sooner Congress requires the Postal Service to shrink and adapt to this reality, the smaller will be the losses imposed on taxpayers.

To expect a government health care monopoly to be run efficiently defies common sense and the American public knows it.  The attempt to quickly ramrod massive health care legislation into law before allowing public discussion is an outrage against democracy.

The haste to force health care legislation upon the American public implies that those pushing for  “quick” legislation knew that in the light of day, the American public would reject it or demand further information on the cost/benefits of proposed changes.  Elected representatives are supposed to represent the public view rather than arrogantly assume that they know what is best.  The uncontrollable, unaccountable  and free spending mob now running the country needs a course in basic democracy.

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