I am no learned professor or expert or guru of any kind. But I can read. The several issues with the banking crisis and recession and stock market correction(s) are not really all that troubling to me.

I am no learned professor or expert or guru of any kind. But I can read. The several issues with the banking crisis and recession and stock market correction(s) are not really all that troubling to me. We have seen cycles, and despite the occasional twinge of pain, we will get through them all and we will be just fine.

Now raise up to 100,000 feet and what I see is troubling. It appears that nations like China are becoming us and we are becoming them. No, they are not becoming “free” like us and we are not headed toward a totalitarian communist form of government. But we continue down a path away from personal and economic freedom and more toward a socialist-leaning society. And they are allowing their citizens to breathe the air of economic opportunity, entrepreneurship, and private property ownership. And they are prevailing.

One example of things bugging hell out of me in this regard include the inertia that will not allow us to change failed or failing institutions in this country. I could rail on about a wide variety of labor unions or other associations more focused on perpetuating their own existence than that of their own constituencies. I could bitch about the recent “bailout” that “…does not mean the banking industry has been nationalized…” (but now we the taxpayers suddenly own a pantload of bank stock). I could go crazy even thinking about the nationalization of our health care system… pulleez, do not get me started on that.

My chief complaint for this week is the U.S. Postal Service. While I am not an expert on anything, I do know a little about logistics. Our system of running letters and a tsunami of catalogs around six days a week to every home and business in the nation has got to change. For clarity, you may not receive as many catalogs as we do at my house, but a bunch of companies think my wife is an “A” prospect and we get tons, especially this time of year.

With diesel fuel stinking up the air and costing a bloody fortune, why is the Postal Service not scrambling to change their equipment and eliminate superfluous services? Inertia. So many people are sucking off the teat(s) of the U.S. Postal Service that they are willing to fight to the death to protect their right to take our money and keep doing stupid things with it. If it were not for inertia, it would be simple. For instance, check out this simple plan:

1. Phase out all diesel and gasoline burning equipment in favor of a combination of hydrogen fuel cell/battery electric/CNG vehicles. Create the infrastructure to service the vehicles (one of each per strategic location). Convert all vehicles within five years and begin conversion to the system that is the most efficient overall within ten. This would seem to cost a fortune, but read on…

2. Convert the delivery system to a two-shift operation utilizing half as many vehicles twice as much of the time.

3. Eliminate Saturday delivery of mail. Now.

4. Mandate a reduction in tonnage of mail to further reduce infrastructure. Focus the Postal Service on first-class mail, periodicals, and special services such as certified and registered mail. Allow the catalog business to go to the private carriers.

5. Use “smart” systems (on the private side) to reduce stops while perfecting delivery of catalog and other bulk mail type products.

6. Mandate a specific reduction in the fleet, force, and scope of the U.S. Postal Service within ten years.

So, what gets me started on this? An ad in Fast Company that asked consumers to challenge their (private package) carrier’s rates. The Postal Service does not charge fuel surcharges - should you pay them? Well, U.S. Postal Service, those other companies are paying taxes to the same government that is subsidizing your existence. How crazy is this? With technology today the case for a national postal service is greatly diminished. Why do we allow it to continue? Inertia. Many of the dollars your taxes and postal expenses go into the pockets of unions and politicians that will fight like hell to keep them, no matter how insane the activity they defend. In other words, we are all paying to keep the madness going.

If we do not stand up and start to call out some of the government’s atrocious handling of things, we may wake up one day working for the United States of America National Federal Roofing Company. After all, doesn’t every American deserve a roof over their head? I happen to agree that they do … if they are willing to earn it.

The “Great Experiment” that began over 230 years ago is at risk of reaching what I would consider a premature death. What is really tragic is it will be dead for years before anyone realizes it.