Page One

No money, no mail

Richard Thompson
Monday August 13, 2001


Take a number. One clerk. The line is forty deep. 

The 1 pound limit on mailing packages in mailboxes (if you can find one) is designed to benefit the competition and/or scare customers away from the long lines at the post office. 

Certainly, there are those of us who notice the similarity of the United States Postal Service and the post office of third world countries, e.g. India. I moved to Berkeley from San Diego to audit classes during the summer session at Cal. I filed a temporary address change, yet it took three weeks before my mail was forwarded. The substation at Telegraph and Durant near the campus had no M-bags (for mailing books overseas). The address tag from the domestic bag was sent back to me, together with a notice that if the bag didn't turn up in a search, that I would again hear from them (to get my postage back). The toll-free number has scores of offerings, including the direct line for your local substation, but they leave the telephone in its cradle.  

Dick Cheney’s friends pay the postage on throwaway advertisements that clutter our mailboxes, and drain the coffers of the United States Postal Service. Checks from the federal government assuage both deep cuts – that resulting from the difference between the popular and the electoral vote – and that of the direct-mail advertising that accompanies the checks. Cheney’s friends not only have reduced progressive taxes on income, they also skim the cream from the increased flat taxes on services to the public, e.g. the cost of postage.  


Richard Thompson