Letter to Congressman Ron Paul

Dear Congressman Paul:

I am writing to you because you are the only libertarian member of Congress, and I am a fellow libertarian. As you know, the Post Office has a monopoly of certain classes of mail delivery, thanks to the private letter statutes, which were enacted more than 150 years ago to thwart competition.

I am a New York City resident and can attest to the deterioration in local mail delivery that has occurred since Sept. 11, even compared to the mediocre service before that date. Yesterday, for the second time this month, there was no mail delivery at all in this neighborhood (and of course no delivery on "President's Day"), and today the carrier is running late. Maybe he'll arrive in time for dinner.

The excuse the local manager used when I called is that the regular carrier is on "light duty" because of carpel tunnel syndrome, and that there are not enough experienced people to replace him. He also mentioned the anthrax problem, even though that hasn't been in the news for weeks, except for the chronicle of efforts to catch the perpetrators. This is annoying but I have no recourse because of the postal monopoly. It's not like I can go across the street for better service.

My question is, would it be possible for you to introduce legislation in Congress repealing the private letter statutes and allowing competition in mail delivery? Even if only as a symbolic gesture, this would send a badly needed message not only to our elected public officials, but also to the hapless customers of the Post Office, many of whom are yearning for better service. Thank you for you efforts on behalf of liberty.

Yours in (imperiled) liberty, Bill Stepp

February 21, 2002

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