There’s no such thing as a free lunch, especially in the postal world. Someone has to pay for mail to come to your door 6 days a week and for post offices to be open and accessible throughout the country.
What a difference a decade makes. The U.S. Census Bureau is planning to use technology in a big way for the upcoming 2020 census, relying on digital surveys rather than the traditional mailed-back paper surveys. Citizens will receive a letter in the mail directing them to fill out their survey online.
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.