A Modest Proposal To Save The Postal Service: Hyperinflation
"The financial problems of the Postal Service are getting bigger every year," is how US Postmaster General Donahoe tried to convinced Congress not to block the bill the end Saturday delivery of mail. Raising the specter of mutually assured destructive bailouts in the future, the CEO rattle lawmakers (and other stakeholders) as NBC News reports, Representative Darrell Issa noting "It's very clear that ultimately, either the rate payer or the taxpayer will have to pay the $20 billion in debt of the Postal Service."
Indeed Mr. Issa - so by our reckoning the plan to tax emails was a non-starter and so we compare the 73.5 billion pieces of mail handled by the USPS and the $20bn budgetary gap, it would appear the answer is simple - the current 46c stamp will have to rise in value by 27c or 60% in order to meet the shortfall.
The problem of course is the legal limit on increasing stamp prices is bounded by what the BLS' official annual inflation report is, and which as the Fed is happy to reminds us, is at best 2% per year. Luckily, every problem, in this case too little inflation, has a solution: in this case hyperinflation.
The simple money creation by increasing the nominal value of the stamp is by now a well-trodden path of inflating away your problems that our central bankers have taught us - or else the 10s of billion forced into pension funds might just have to be tempered. So much for Valentine's Day at a cost of 72c per stamp.
Of course, absent hyperinflation and the needed 60% price inflator to avoid a taxpayer funded bailout, all we may need are some hedonic adjustments for the utility of stamp to justify the cost...