Cory Doctorow Thinks the USPS Is “Fully Self-Supporting”

Was browsing Cory Doctorow’s blog Pluralistic.Net which I highly recommend. While I think Doctorow is wrong about a lot of things, there is no denying his skill at curating Internet contact.

Alas, he also tends to write things like this,

The USPS is amazing. A fully self-supporting federal agency that provides universal service as well as good, well-paid jobs with benefits and pensions. It’s also a vital lifeline during crises.

The US Postal Service hasn’t been “self-supporting” in more than a decade. Between 2007 and 2016 it lost $62.4 billion.

There are a lot of reasons for that: the rise of email, increasing competition from private firms, and the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (which requires the USPS to set aside billions of dollars each year to pre-fund its retirement health care benefit obligations).

But the fact remains that the USPS is not self-supporting and is unlikely to be anytime soon without the sort of changes that folks like Doctorow would likely complain about (significant increases and rates, reduced service to rural areas, etc.)

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