Any predictions on how this will turn out? All eyes should be watching Japan, whose legislature just approved the privatization of their postal service. (It is important to note that the Japanese postal service is markedly different from ours here in the States.)
It is also a state-owned savings bank with more than $3 trillion (.7 trillion) in assets, making it by some measures the largest financial institution in the world, and the largest provider of life insurance in the country.
Of course, the States have private agencies to compete with the US Postal Service: FedEx and UPS are the two largest (nearly 80% of the express delivery market is held by these two alone–I hesitate to list DHL as a private company; the majority-owner of their parent company, Deutsche Post, is the German government).
Will America ever retire its government post? I think whatever happens in Japan will be an important element in that conversation. But nonetheless, the Japanese move is an important event for all who believe in individual initiative, for more than one reason. But if it does nothing else, the news illustrates why classical liberals ought to be persistent: (now) Prime Minister Koizumi has been calling for this privatization since 1979.
So for all you out there calling for privatization of social security, or education, or __________, buck up; all things come to those who wait–even government-delivered mail.