The U.S. Postal Service lost $2.8 billion last year. It seems obvious that the escalation of email and overnight delivery will continue to cut into the USPS’s revenue stream. So, here’s one idea I came up with.

Imagine a two-tiered postage system. You could mail a letter for the usual rate — say $0.45. But here’s the catch. That letter may sit at the recipient’s post office, at least for a while.

Now consider a premium postage rate, say, $2.00. If you pay that rate, the letter will be delivered as soon as it arrives, along with any other accumulated regular-rate mail for that address. If no premium-rate mail comes along, any regular-rate mail will be delivered once a week.

This system has two advantages. One, it greatly reduces the number of stops each letter carrier needs to make each day. Instead of stopping at eight houses down the east side of the block, maybe he stops at five. Routes are cleared faster, and fewer letter carriers are needed. Two, it increases revenue by earning a premium on more important mail. And ultimately, the sender controls the delivery priority.

I don’t know, I’m no expert. I’m just here thinking.

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