Monday, April 20, 2009

I loathe the USPS

Like any job, there are tedious tasks I have to endure, but at a small nonprofit everyone gets more than their usual fair share. For instance, I am the main point of contact for the United States Postal Service as well as for Charitable Solicitation Registration (which is a whole another can o'worms). The silver lining to my interactions with these bureaucracies is that it reminds me of why I hate regulation - or rather why I love limited government.

In my ideal world, the federal government would stick to what it was ordained to do in the Constitution, but this is the real world. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 7 of the U.S. Constitution empowers Congress to "establish post offices and post roads." This, however, does not imply that the federal government does or should have a monopoly on mail which is why I hope the FedExs of the world figure out how to make inroads in delivering standard mail soon. In my reading of the postal clause, I see a well-intentioned government trying to promote commerce and society and convenience by creating post offices not undue burdens on businesses or stressful delays in correspondence and package delivery! Why are there copious amounts of paperwork and unreliable delivery times?

It is because of the U.S. Civil Service and the bloated fat, cud-chewing cows that makeup the U.S.P.S. specifically. Whew that felt good. See yesterday, the post office sent business reply envelopes addressed to my nonprofit to a LIBERAL MAGAZINE. They could have just as easily shredded the donations than forwarded them! Thankfully, they have more integrity than that - plus they had a monetary incentive to correct the problem (the post office charged their business reply account instead of ours). Regardless, I am peeved, but whenever I talk to someone at the post office it's like talking in a foreign language. They don't care about serving you or making you happy because their job isn't on the line. They have ridonkulous job security that is immune to the effects of the market.

So yeah, that silver lining? It's how fired up I am to "stick it to the man" and raise money for our partners who fight such bureaucratic/regulatory nonsense!

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