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Jeffrey B. Perry Blog

Hubert Harrison on the Post Office

Hubert Harrison, in 1911 offered the following:

“[T]he Post Office is the one great example of the public ownership of a gigantic public business. The advantage of this government ownership over private ownership has been overwhelmingly demonstrated since the early days of the Post Office Department, and it has provoked comparisons with such privately controlled public industries as railroads, coal mines, and lighting systems.

As long as the Post Office maintained this advantage its very existence was an argument in favor of government ownership and against the large public utilities corporations. This would never do, of course, and consequently, efforts have been made to have it appear a failure and, at the same time, to prevent the extension of its sphere of operations.”

Harrison was a postal worker – he was fired in 1911 (for letters he wrote to the "New York Sun") -- through the efforts of Booker T. Washington’s “Tuskegee Machine” and New York City postmaster Edward Morgan (the man for whom Morgan Station, the largest postal facility in New York, is named). Read More 
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