Stuck with snail mail
How the Post Office Killed an Innovation Everyone Wanted
show comments
  • Corlyss

    Their excuse was positively priceless for blowing up the Statples deal – they worried about inadequate training. As if postal clerking were brain surgery.

  • Stakeholders in the current system. I wonder how many of those over the last half-century have squished new innovations in automobiles, airplanes, alternative energy sources including nuclear, and other sorts of technology integral to the Blue Model system. When you consider that the federal government’s policy towards those blue industries has ben subsidize-subsidize-subsidize, as opposed to the policies towards the vast, innovative proliferators that grew quickly like communication technology and information technology (invest-advance- let fail) it really makes you pause and consider what we’ve done to our own ingenuity over the years.

  • Bruce

    It is common knowledge that empires crumble when the bureaucracies stop working for the people and become completely self-serving. This postal service situation exemplifies this perfectly. You could find thousands more. Anyone who has observed government over any period of time knows that this had little to no chance of being adopted. It was good for the people but not the bureaucracy. We know who wins under those circumstances. It is becoming apparent that the power of the self-serving bureaucracies will be looked back on as contributing greatly to our decline.

    • Andrew Allison

      It is true that the USPS is a bloated, sclerotic bureaucracy interested only in self-preservation, but it is also true that junk mail represents most of the volume and pays the bills. When has a bureaucracy ever put itself out of business? USPS has to be killed.

  • mike

    Sounds like the episode of Seinfeld, when Kramer decides that he doesn’t actually need to receive mail anymore, and the postmaster general calls him into his office and explains to him otherwise.

  • Boritz

    Donahoe has to be credited for his market analysis. If most of his variable revenue comes from the junk mailers that issue has to be taken into account. This reminds me of the time Howard Cosell was interrupted in mid-sentence by the director cutting away for a commercial. When Cosell protested that he had been in the middle of his monologue the director explained that the sponsor was paying more for them to run the commercial than the network was paying Cosell to shut up on time.

  • Jim__L

    “You mentioned making the service better for our customers; but the
    American citizens aren’t our customers—about 400 junk mailers are our
    customers.”

    Has this gone viral?

  • billyjoerob

    This is the equivalent of a button for fastforwarding through all the commercials. It woudn’t save the postal service, it would kill it, that is so screamingly obvious. The USPS absolutely has the right to kill “innovations” that would destroy their business. What the USPS should do is rent out the retail space to venidng companies like Redbox and Coinstar and generate extra revenue.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2017 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.