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August 5, 2012

The Catastrophe of Second Class Mail

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The byzantine complexity of the second-class mail rate structure led, in the case of larger businesses at least,
to the hiring of specialists just to deal with the post office. Smaller businesses sometimes had to hire consultants to do the work of keeping up with the glass bead game artists at the USPS. So gratuitous complexity sired more gratuitous complexity, more transactional costs, and the creation of vested interests on the part of those whose jobs depended on all this. Guess who ultimately has been paying the tab? We have. If we have a cousin or a friend whose business depends on printing this junk, we may note the economic value of the arrangement. But it’s still junk. If you’re looking for a below-the-radar example of the logic of collective interests at work, it would be harder to find a more pristine example.... And, although it is uncomfortable to have to say this, a rather large percentage of these employees in urban areas were minority hires, as the growth of post office complexity dovetailed with affirmative action programs inside the federal government. -- How to Fix the U.S. Postal Service

Posted by gerardvanderleun at August 5, 2012 10:37 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

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