Two scholars disagree about the future of the USPS, but both think its 31,000 outlets should be for more than mail delivery.
Monique Morrissey is an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning economic think tank. She says the postal service is important because leaving it to the private sector would mean many rural residents are left out of critical public services.
“When it comes to basic utilities, networks, then it’s never going to be competitive,” says Morrissey. “There’s always going to be an advantage to the big player who delivers every day,” says Morrissey.
Ian Lee is an associate professor at the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. While Lee believes post offices should not be used for banking, he thinks they should provide more services for community residents.
“Driver’s licenses, hunting licenses, fishing licenses, government checks — a government resource center for all things government,” says Lee. “For the interface, for the face to face, instead of every government department having its own department, you use the post office as the community hub.”