GOVERNMENT EFFICIENCY: Post Office has never “come anywhere near paying its expenses”

Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Ry Edward P. Ripley

The Los Angeles Times reports on a statement issued by the talented Mr. Ripley, president of the Santa Fe Railroad, regarding the U.S. Post Office’s recent launch of a parcel post service, and related matters. Ripley is strongly of the view that government postal service is inherently less efficient than private industry:

[T]he management of the Postoffice Department by “Uncle Sam” has little to recommend it. Such efficiency as it possesses is derived entirely from the services performed for it by the railroads, for which they are very badly paid.

There is no question that a private corporation could handle the mails more efficiently and at less cost than under present conditions, so that there is certainly no warrant for the taking over of the telegraph lines by the government in expectation of the improvement or the cheapening of the service.

One suspects Mr. Ripley’s focus on limiting the expansion of inefficient government is something that will win the approbation of his contemporaries.

One hopes that eventually, perhaps a century hence, the Post Office will come close to paying its expenses.

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