"There are some obvious targets. We can start by applying what I call 'The Google Test.' If you can find a good or service on the Internet, then the federal government probably doesn't need to be doing it. The post office, the government printing office, Amtrak, Fannie and Freddie, were all built for a time in our country when the private sector did not adequately provide those products. That's no longer the case."
Just for the fun of it, what could be eliminated according to the Google test:
- The Postal Service should no longer handle transaction mail since on-line alternatives exist.
- The Postal Service should get out of the business of delivering periodicals as private sector firms do that in many urban areas.
- The Postal Service should no longer deliver parcels including nearly 30% of FedEx Ground shipments and most shipments under 2 pounds as FedEx and UPS deliver parcels.
- The Postal Service should not deliver saturation mail as private sector firms do this now in many metropolitan area and could do the same in more.
- The Postal Service should no onger offer retail parcel, money order or mailbox services since they are offered by the private sector.
- The Postal Service should no longer deliver advertising as there are numerous other modes for advertising advertised on Google including Google.
Privatization is a legitimate option. However, the Google test illustrates ignorance about the mail market, the customers that it serves and the economic impact of the Postal Service. The net result is that the Google test deligitimizes the privatization option, and reduces the credibility of Governor Pawlenty's economic plan..