Dear Crabby, Why is the U.S. Postal Service the only ones allowed to use our Mailbox?

Dear Crabby, If we have to Buy and Install a Mailbox, why is the U.S. Postal Service the only ones allowed to use it?

Sincerely, Mark Ed Tier


Dear Mark,

I love this question. I’ve wondered the same thing. After all, you’re right, we do all the hard work putting a mailbox up – we buy it – yet they own it. It’s because our wonderful government loves the free market, except when it affects their profit margin. Only the U.S. Post Office should be allowed to send junk mail and make money doing so, right?

Dear Crabby sits infront of his laptop

Dear Crabby Gives Advice

Well, it doesn’t matter what is right and wrong. They’ll tell you it’s in your best interest. They’ll tell you it’s to protect their workers. And they’ll tell you what to do, and that’s that.

A hundred years ago or so, before smart meters took jobs away from meter readers, those utility companies came by once a month to read your meter – gas, electric, water, telephone. Since they were already there, they also dropped off your bill … in your mailbox. No, No, No said the Post Office.

Send the bills first class mail please (they didn’t say “please”). Private carriers who delivered your utility bills, newspapers, and advertisements did so because it was cheaper than buying first class stamps. But it was the time of big government – Democrats and the New Deal – and in 1934 congress gave us the “Mailbox Restriction” law. Since then, only U.S. Mail could go into your mailbox – nothing else could go in, on, or attached to it the mailbox that you bought and installed. It’s like a $5000 fine if your kid puts a flier about babysitting in someone’s mailbox.

For years and years the U.S. Postal Service has been top notch, dependable, and on time. One of the best worldwide. But greed catches up to everyone. The internet, email, and online banking is slowly eating away at their profits. One day soon, we won’t know what a mailman … oops, mail carrier (see last weeks column) is.

There are days I wonder why I even still have a mailbox.

Now go send a link to this column to everyone you know in an email. But fear not, if you want to support the U.S. Mail, you can still print and mail copies out.

Thanks for writing in,

Dear Crabby

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About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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