Is Amazon really ripping off the US Postal Service?

Donald Trump went after the US Postal Service on Friday, claiming that the mail carrier is “losing many billions a year” charging low package rates, “making Amazon richer” and the Postal Service “dumber and poorer.”

It is not clear, exactly, what prompted Trump‘s tirade Friday morning. It might be the general package-heavy Christmas season, or it might have to do with detailing the White House‘s worries for 2018. Amazon‘s Jeff Bezos owns the Post, and its critical coverage of the president has inspired his ire before.

Amazon‘s stock took a slight dip after Trump‘s tweet, which also suggested the Postal Service should be charging “MUCH MORE.”

But is Trump right that Amazon is ripping off the Postal Service? The question of whether it should or could charge more is complicated. The Postal Service does lose billions each year, and has for the past decade. And it‘s likely that Amazon gets a good deal, given that it ships millions of boxes a year.

But the Postal Service‘s problems are deeper than just delivering packages. Larger institutional problems in the age of email and two-hour delivery are really to blame — but also much, much harder to fix.

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