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The Wall Street Journal reports that one of the proposals made by a task force charged by the Trump administration with analyzing the US Postal Service’s economic problems is to sell access to citizens’ mailboxes to private companies.

This actually is a big deal, and technically at odds with current law.

As the Journal explains, “It is illegal for anyone except a Postal Service mail carrier to deliver to a mailbox, a restriction established in 1934 to crack down on attempts to avoid paying postage. Such limited access protects customers from theft and preserves their privacy … Technically, even dropping a card in your neighbor’s mailbox is a federal crime. Commercial shippers instead walk up to a customer’s door, sometimes leaving a package on a porch or outside a locked apartment building.

“The report notes that revenue could be raised by retaining the mailbox monopoly but allowing regulated access, for a fee, to certified private companies. These ‘franchisees’ would be granted access to the mailbox for the delivery of mail and small parcels, according to the report.”
KC's View:
I’ve been pretty skeptical about this task force, largely because I’ve felt that the low-hanging fruit (changing onerous pension reporting requirements unique to the USPS) was pretty obvious and that the motivations behind its creation (Donald Trump’s disenchantment with Jeff Bezos, who owns Amazon, seen as a USPS-abuser, and the Washington Post,m which has been aggressive in its coverage of his administration) was questionable.

But I actually think this is a pretty good idea. It always sort of annoys me that the USPS technically owns my mailbox, even though I paid for it and it sits on my property. But if allowing the USPS to make a little money by leasing out access to FedEx and UPS is what is necessary to sustain a national mail system, then I’m good with that.