Fixing a sabotaged institution is not always easy. In the case of the US Postal Service (USPS), relief is imminent. The Postal Services Reform Act of 2022 passed in the House and Senate with bipartisan support. President Biden is expected to sign the bill into law in the next few days. All the major stakeholders — labor, retirees, and management — were on board.
To set the scene, the USPS was originally the Post Office Department (POD) — a regular department of the federal government, funded by regular budget appropriations. The focus was on service to all residents of the US on an equal, affordable, and timely basis. Erosion of this commitment began in 1970.
The hackneyed cry of “running government like a business” provoked the separation of the POD into a separate, public corporation, the US Postal Service (USPS). The intent was to create a free-standing, business-like entity that would finance its own operations.