The Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 created the modern U.S. Postal Service from the Post Office in perhaps the most extensive reorganization of a federal agency. Although the act had several goals; its main focus was independence for the new postal entity, both financially and managerially. Despite the importance of the Postal Service to U.S. governmental structure and to the economy, almost no rigorous empirical assessment of the act's effects has been made. In Saving the Mail, Rick Geddes attempts to fill that void and to propose further reform. He examines the impact of technological changes that make postal reform inevitable and considers the experiences of reform in other countries and other similar industries as well as the evidence from the growing literature on corporate governance. Geddes concludes that the act made the USPS less dependent on politics but failed to replace political control with effective market control. Reorganization could and should have been more ambitious, he argues.
He proposes a two-step reform process, including a public offering of shares featuring employee stock ownership, with concurrent regulatory reform, and then the introduction of competition. He makes the case for private ownership transfer, showing that it is feasible and in the interest of both postal employees and the general public.