The law of unintended consequences tells us that actions, especially on a large scale, may have surprisingly unexpected results. Take the eCommerce boom. The $350 billion eCommerce industry (in the United States) has transformed the retail and delivery business and given the customer greater control of the buying experience.
Imagine this: your cousin lends you $1,200 to start a little business and you have 42 years to pay him back, interest free, at $29 a year. No penalties kick in if you don’t pay him each year and there’s no interest on the debt.
In the 1990s, Congress arranged that type of deal with the U.S. Postal Service.
It’s hard to know whether the U.S. Postal Service should have as its theme song “We’re in the Money” or “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” Its just-released financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2016 suggest both are accurate – depending on how you read the statements.