7 Replies to “How long before these are stolen?”

  1. While my inner geek thinks this is cool, my outer citizen has a real problem with turning government property into advertising for a major industry. Does the government get a cut of future profits? Will this keep postage rates down? If a person defaces this covered boxes, do they face federal prosecution for vandalizing government property? And of course the real question is “What’s next?” Most folks I’ve shown this to don’t have a real problem, since most folks like Star Wars and think R2D2 is cute. But what about the next one? How soon before we hear “It was fine with Star Wars” as justification of future government supported product promotion?

  2. Wayan – a light saber would make short work of those bolts. (Thanks for the photo link!)

    DB – The USPS is “an independent establishment of the Executive Branch of the United States Government.” So it’s not quite government, not quite business. It’s expected to operate at a profit (or at least not in the red). They’ve been running tie-ins for decades, most notably with commemorative stamps, but also stationery with Warner Bros. characters on it and other merchandise. Maybe someone else can chime in about their special standing as a part of the government.

  3. I hear DB’s concern, but Cybele is on the money. The USPS is probably the most efficient part of our entire government. Scary, huh?

    Considering that less and less people are using the mail, this is a great way for them to prove they’re not just for old fuddy duddies.

  4. The USPS still has a monopoly on first class mail, and a mandate for universal service. That makes them different from private companies. They also operate in government-owned buildings.

    They shouldn’t get involved in promoting other companies. So far, I’ve seen them partner with Pitney Bowes, Home Depot, Warner Brothers, Hershey (the Kiss stamp), eBay, AOL, and a whole line of postal products sold at K-Mart (but, oddly enough, not sold at the post offices… where they have inferior products).

    The rule seems to be, if you want to advertise or partner with USPS at their post offices, you have to be a global corporation. If you’re a small business, forget it, unless you want to sell stamps. They don’t even have a community bulletin board for little business-card ads. The USPS is corporate space.

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