The service starts this holiday season in New York and California. It's due to expand into other markets next year.
But wait, you say. Isn't the Postal Service killing Saturday delivery? They planned to do that starting last August. Congress stopped them. Yet now they're adding Sunday operations, for Amazon packages. Something doesn't add up.
What mostly doesn't add up is the U.S. Congress, which requires that the Postal Service pre-pay retiree health care costs. This is where most of its losses come from.
The Congress also refuses to let the Postal Service close unprofitable branches, and it spends a lot of time re-naming post offices for folks. They're also accused of selling out the nicer branches, through a company controlled by a U.S. Senator's spouse.
They're micro-managing, in other words.
But what if the Postal Service were private? They do file a 10-Q report each quarter, just like a real business. This is used, in part, to justify rate increases, which again can't be done unilaterally.
The National Academy of Public Administration suggested earlier this year that the postal service should be "partly privatized," keeping its delivery service but outsourcing the rest. That study was partly financed by Pitney-Bowes (PBI).
But what if Amazon.Com were to just, you know, buy the U.S. Postal Service?
At its current price Amazon.Com is worth $162 billion. United Parcel Service (UPS), which competes with the U.S. Postal Service in some areas, has a valuation of $43 billion on 2012 revenue of $54 billion, meaning the equity value is is 80% of sales.