Sunday, October 2, 2011

Privatized Postal Disservice

This article, “Privatised mail: a second-class delivery” in The Guardian sheds light on some of the chaos and hardship resulting from privatized postal service. Undelivered mail stacks up in the apartments of privatized carriers in Holland, who are paid piece rates amounting to far less than the minimum wage.

The longer version of the same article, “In the Sorting Office,” in the London Review of Books, includes some of the political history in the Reagan-Thatcher era that brought the privatization about.
The winners from Holland’s liberalization of the postal market were the big organizations who bulk mailed. The losers? Almost everybody else.
The author, James Meek, wrongly accepts that the Internet necessarily means less demand for postal service. The opposite is true. Customers e-mailing documents to USPS to be printed at and delivered from the destination post office could be the biggest boon to mail since paper.

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