Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/141

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

widest range of variation in point of excellence. This was the case in the competition between Wells, Fargo & Co. and the government. The territory covered was so ill-adapted to postal facilities that it afforded a wide margin for the display of superiority, and Wells, Fargo & Co. took advantage of this to such an extent that they beat the government in spite of their handicap. But in the territory covered by Adams Express it is essentially different. There the postal service is so simple a matter that the possible margin of superiority would not warrant an extra charge of even one cent a letter. But I am told that Adams Express would be only too glad of the chance to carry letters at one cent each, if there were no tax to be paid on the business. If the governmentalists think that the United States can beat Adams Express, why do they not dare to place the two on equal terms? That is a fair question. But when a man's hands are tied, to ask him why he doesn't fight is a coward's question.




[Liberty, August 4, 1888.]

Uncle Sam carries one hundred pounds of newspapers two thousand miles for two dollars, and still pays the railroad three times too much for mail service. An express company would charge twenty dollars for the same service; yet some people don't know why all express stockholders are millionaires and the people getting poorer. In fact, some people don't know anything at all and don't want to. It is very unfortunate that such people have votes.—The Anti-Monopolist.

Yes, Uncle Sam carries one hundred pounds of newspapers two thousand miles, not for two dollars, but for one dollar, pays the railroad more than its services are worth, and loses about five dollars a trip.

Yes, an express company would charge twenty dollars for the same service, because it knows it would be folly to attempt to compete with the one-dollar rate, and therefore charges for its necessarily limited business such rates as those who desire a guarantee of promptness and security are willing to pay.

Uncle Sam nevertheless continues to carry at the one-dollar rate, knowing that this is a good way to induce the newspapers to wink at his villainies, and that he can and does make up in two ways his loss of five dollars a trip,—1, by carrying one

hundred pounds of letters two thousand miles for thirty-two