The PSRA has a major flaw: a wholly unnecessary provision that will degrade if not eliminate sound accounting and cost management practices.
Section 202 of the PSRA calls for USPS to “maintain an integrated network for the delivery of market-dominant and competitive products.” That sounds harmless enough, as USPS is already delivering both mail and packages.
The practical effect of the legislation is that it eviscerates attempts to price mail products based on mail costs and package products based on package costs. It eliminates cost and pricing distinctions between mail – a public service which only the USPS can provide – and packages, a service that is competitive and for which consumers have many different options.
First-class mail has long been USPS’s most profitable product. As such, the winners from the obscure language will be package companies and large retailers. The losers will be those who prefer to use USPS for personal correspondence, and those dependent on it, particularly the elderly, those in rural America, and the disabled.