Thursday, August 20, 2009

Quote of the day

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. on why a public option in health care is needed:
"Look at it this way: There's Federal Express, there's UPS, and there's DHL. The public option is a stamp; it's email. And because of the email system, because of the post office, it keeps DHL from charging $100 for an overnight letter, or UPS from charging $100 for an overnight letter."
Astonishing stuff. A few points:
  • Talk of stamps is misplaced given that the USPS has a monopoly on non-urgent first class mail.
  • Fedex and UPS were established to compete with the USPS in package delivery, not the other way around.


Ben said...

But the point remains that FedEx and UPS have been able to compete - and do well - against the USPS in package delivery.

Colin said...

But isn't the point of the public option that it is needed to keep the private sector honest? It's UPS, not the USPS, that keeps FedEx from charging $100 for an overnight letter. Hell, UPS and Fedex are what keep USPS honest!

I have no doubt that private insurance could do well against a public option. On an even playing field I have every reason to believe that a public option would be destroyed, which is why a level playing field won't exist as it would be a huge embarrassment.

We shouldn't be celebrating that UPS and Fedex survive against the USPS, we should be saddened that we throw away billions of dollars every year to support an inefficient entity like the USPS.