It’s no secret that the US Postal Service is in dismal financial shape. Last week the Senate passed a bill to take steps to right the sinking ship. One of the unusual steps in the bill is good news: allowing the USPS to ship beer and wine.
This is a great idea for several reasons. First, as more bills and checks get sent electronically, you still can’t download wine and beer through your computer (despite some attempts) so it is a defensible category for the USPS. Second, it will provide more competition to UPS and FedEx, which may bring prices down. Although wine is unavoidably heavy, the USPS is already working on 2-, 4- and 6-bottle flat rate shippers. Third, it gets the discussion of wine shipments in the news so that more people can realize how silly it is that retailers can only ship to 14 states legally. Fourth, if the USPS revenue stream gets hooked on booze, then the liberalization of wine shipments will have gained a powerful ally in Washington–and in every state. Fifth, it would demonstrate what a red herring the underage issue is. Sixth, wine in the mail–how fun is that?