Saturday, May 28, 2011

USPS and Consuming

Bloomsburg has an article on the dire financial prospects for the U.S. postal service which compares postal practices in the U.S and elsewhere.

This should be a moment for the country to ask some basic questions about its mail delivery system. Does it make sense for the postal service to charge the same amount to take a letter to Alaska that it does to carry it three city blocks? Should the USPS operate the world's largest network of post offices when 80 percent of them lose money? And is there a way for the country to have a mail system that addresses the needs of consumers who use the Internet to correspond?
My thought on reading this was why the American people are always referred to as "consumers?"  Is shopping all we were born and bred for?  Are there not some services or systems that we relate to as "citizens?"  How would we frame the problem of how the postal system is run differently if we were viewing it as serving the "needs of consumers" or "the needs of citizens?"