Post Office Business Trouble - Why We Should Save the Post Office - Esquire
Rohit Khare stashed this in TRAVELMAN
“1958: Harry Winston sends the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution via first-class mail from New York City to Washington, D.C., for $2.44.”
… and $142.85 for $1 million worth of insurance! See http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-history/hope-diamond.pdf
There's a great Economist article on why the Post Office demonstrates that America is "doomed" when it comes to solving our fiscal problems:
The gist of the argument is this:
We are doomed because last year the House and Senate considered separate measures aimed at reforming the Postal Service. Neither of them made it out of Congress. The farther-reaching House bill never came to a vote. The Senate bill passed, but was not taken up by the House. And, really, it wasn't a reform bill at all. Rather, it delayed the reforms sought by the service, and put off a decision on Saturday delivery for two years. Even with the American people pushing at their backs, the senators could not take that baby step. The service had to use some dubious legal reasoning to finally pull off the move.
Consider that for a moment. Most people don't rate mail delivery as one of their top concerns. It isn't the third rail of American politics. Yet Congress could not even pass a reform supported by seven in ten Americans. Now consider America's attitude towardsSocial Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Those programmes, primarily the health-related ones, will bankrupt the country if they're not changed or taxes aren't raised. No workable solution has anywhere near the backing of 70% of Americans. And the debate over what to do about them is highly charged. Does anyone truly believe Congress is up to the challenge?