Last night I was talking to a more Liberal friend of mine. Both lovers of things political and dedicated to the “Ought”, we often discuss the on goings of the world, the nation and all things political. During our discussion the topic of privatization came up. Typical “battle lines” were drawn. Me with my, “There is precious little the government can do well” and his “It is the role of the government”.
Well, he asked me to demonstrate one thing that the private sector does better than the government. My answer, deliver packages, things like the mail. Companies like FedEx and UPS do it better and they do it while making a profit. Further, to make my point, I claimed that there is nothing that says these things have to be done by the government. They are not specifically called out in the Constitution.
He said, “Ahhh, yes. The Post Office IS called for specifically in the Constitution”.
He was right. I was wrong.
Clause 1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
Clause 2: To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
Clause 3: To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
Clause 4: To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
Clause 5: To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
Clause 6: To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
Clause 7: To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
The Constitution DOES call for the Government to establish a Post Office.
However, even as I’m writing this, it occurs to me that the requirement is that the government establishes these post offices. I wonder if people think that the government must actually RUN them with government employees?
For example, the same clause calls for the government to post roads. But not all roads are government run, owned or managed. We have roads that are in private hands.
Anyway, the point is I didn’t know that Article 1, Section 8, Clause 7 called out the Post Office.