Conventional wisdom seems to be that the financial difficulties of the Post Office are due to the rise of email. The Postmaster General noted this himself as he announced the end of Saturday delivery. But to only look at competition from email is to miss the larger ideological picture -- namely, that privatizing USPS has been a goal of market absolutists for decades. The real "crisis" faced by the PO is the absurd requirement, set by Republicans in Congress, that the agency fund retiree benefits for the next 75 years -- paying for future employees who haven't even been born yet! This article on Alternet provides an overview of how the service is under attack. Never mind that the Postal Service isn't taxpayer-funded; privatizing it is still part of the Cato Institute's agenda. It seems obvious to me that replacing USPS with a patchwork of private mail delivery companies would be an unmitigated clusterf#ck. Believe it or not, the private sector is not always the most efficient (see: health insurance).