I read this morning that the Postmaster General blamed the massive and growing deficits of the U.S. Postal Service on a business model mandated by law. Postmaster General Megan Brennan said. “The flawed business model imposed by law continues to be the root cause of our financial instability.” I think she has a very good point. She runs an organization that is restricted by law from adjusting to a rapidly changing business environment. Railroads suffered from operating as though their environment did not matter when, in fact, it did. They almost died as a result. Passenger rail, as much as I hate to say it, effectively did die in most places in the U.S.
I wonder what other institutions might be at risk of becoming archaic in the absence of change? I wonder whether, for example, the structure of our “democracy” in the U.S. might be at risk of succumbing to its own obsolescence if we, collectively, don’t make some hard decisions about its structure and operation? We treat the Constitution as if it is inviolable, a sacred text that is not subject to significant change. We’ve amended it, but we’ve never considered replacing it. Admittedly, the risks of replacing it or, even, subjecting it to massive revisions are great. Recent calls (that grow louder with every year) for a constitutional convention are based on making changes that would force the country on a radical shift to the right, removing many of the protections now in place. That’s dangerous. But is it possible that, even in the face of that risk, we need to consider looking at the rules that govern our country with a new set of eyes?
Do we want to be in the position of looking back at our missed opportunities and saying, “The flawed business model imposed by our Constitution was the root cause of our instability and ultimate demise.”?
Just asking the question.