According to recent reports, the United States Postal Service is on its way to losing $3 billion in the third quarter of 2011. The loss is being attributed primarily to declining First Class Mail revenue.
Observers say the internet is making First Class mail obsolete. Email and online payments have replaced letters and mailed checks and that diminishes First Class Mail revenue. That makes sense but knowing it doesn't really solve the problem. Until everyone in America has access to reliable high speed internet service, we will need the Post Office. Someone will have to deliver the letters and payments those without broadband will have to send.
It would be nice if we could find a way to make sure every American has access to broadband. Unfortunately, with right wing zealots and ideological extremists in control of so much of the political process, we're unlikely ever to have universal access to reliable high speed internet services. Right wing legislators are little more than stooges for the plutocracy. The plutocracy owns America's internet service providers and they're never going to allow the ISP's revenue to be threatened by the one thing that can solve our communication problem, publicly owned broadband.
Every year we read of a law being rammed through a state legislature somewhere to prohibit a town or county from starting its own broadband service. Most recently it happened in North Carolina. As soon as the ISPs claimed their revenue would be threatened by public internet, the stooges in the NC legislature leapt to the feet, saluted and said they would pass a law to prohibit the protection of the public interest in favor of protecting the profits of the plutocracy. And they did. House Bill 129 prohibits public internet in favor of private profiteering.
So what's the solution? One good way to fill the public's broadband need and to solve the Post Office's revenue problem would be to socialize internet service under the control of the Post Office. No private firm would be allowed to offer broadband. It would become a public utility. That would replace declining First Class Mail revenue with nomial broadband access fees. An added benefit would be ensuring fair prices for every American rather than letting the cyber-pirate ISPs rob them. It would be a win-win.