Law Quadrangle (formerly Law Quad Notes)


Adapted from an address before the Economics Society of Michigan on March 29, 1969.

In 1967, the American public contributed nearly $6 per capita to the deficit of the United States Post Office, a total of almost 91.2 billion. In 1968, after massive rate increases, the deficit will still approach 3600 million. Despite the rising cost of service, its quality has declined. For example, as many of us are painfully aware, where once the American household received mail deliveries twice daily, the single delivery of today doesn't assure even overnight transmission of nearly one-third of first class mail. This combination of increasing cost and declining service bears striking contrast to the improved efficiency of both private enterprise and other government operations. What is wrong with the postal system? The answer, at least for the government overseers of the postal system, is uncomfortable: the mechanisms of government control are totally unsuited to the running of a business enterprise.