There are so many reasons to support the Postal Service.
Many people highlighted the Postal Service’s role as a major employer of veterans and a longtime route to the middle class for Black people in times and places where most such routes were blocked. Others talked about how it serves rural areas that are not profitable enough for the for-profit companies to bother with them. Some celebrated their own mail carriers. And some highlighted the desperate need for vote-by-mail:
Many people tweeted about what stamp designs they were buying in their efforts to send a little money the way of the Postal Service—and that’s great. I bought some stamps, too, so seriously, no shade on that effort. The thing is, individuals buying stamps are not going to be able to fill the multibillion-dollar gap that the federal government should be taking responsibility for. The Postal Service is a public good, and it should be treated as such by our government.
But after the federal government sends billions of dollars the way of the Postal Service to help get it through this crisis—just as the federal government is helping lots of privately owned, for-profit businesses get through this crisis—it should do more.
Critics of the Postal Service say it’s outdated. That it needs to scale back because the mail just isn’t as important. But while it’s true that the physical mail is less important than it once was when it was the only way to communicate with people far away, there’s another reason for keeping the Postal Service as a public good and as a lifeline to underserved people throughout the country: Let it do more. Get Congress out of the Postal Service’s way and provide competition for big banks with postal banking, which would connect people in virtually every community in the country with affordable banking services. Allow it to do online bill-paying—which it started to do decades ago, only to be pressured to drop it by Congress—and ship wine and liquor. In recent decades, Congress has repeatedly prevented the Postal Service from doing anything that makes big business nervous—and then turned around and slammed the Postal Service for not making enough money.
Congress needs to pass—and Donald Trump needs to sign—the funding needed to get the Postal Service through this crisis. And then Congress and the White House need to get out of the Postal Service’s way and let it provide the services Americans need.