Saturday, February 9, 2013

John in the NYT: "How the Post Office Made America"

In response to the U.S. Post Office's plans to end Saturday mail service, historian Richard R. John (Columbia University) has written an op-ed in the New York Times. John is the author of Spreading the News: The American Postal System from Franklin to Morse (Harvard University Press, 1995). Here's a taste of the op-ed:
In 1899, Postmaster General Charles Emory Smith called the post office the “greatest business concern in the world.” He had it wrong. The post office is a public service with a civic mandate central to American business, society and civic culture — not a business. But if it is to survive, Congress must allow it to start acting like one. 
The rest is here.

1 comment:

Shag from Brookline said...

Let's give a nod to Lysander Spooner whose short-lived privatization of the mails brought postal rates down back in the 1830s (or '40s?). Now in reverse it is the Post Office that keeps privatizers Fed-Ex and UPS prices in check. Here's a future headline that hopefully will be avoided:

'GOING POSTAL OVER THE POSTAL CLAUSE!"