First class postage is still under $1 for a letter picked up and delivered door to door, usually in a few days. It's a huge bargain if you ask me.
Of course it is. And it's a huge bargain because the USPS is operating at enormous losses, losing ~$8B per year.
What's UPS going to charge you for a letter? $10? $5?
We don't know because they're not allowed to, unless the letter is "urgent" (overnight or 2-day). I suspect that their prices wouldn't be much higher (if any) than USPS, at least for urban areas. They might even be lower. People who live in more rural areas (like me) would likely pay a bit more, but that seems fair, just part of the cost of rural living.
And then they just drop the letter off at the local post office for delivery to your door usually. Same with FedEx.
That's because it's illegal for them to use mailboxes or to deliver first-class residential mail, thanks to the government-guaranteed USPS monopoly on mail delivery.
Perhaps we could scale back delivery days and save labor costs. Say three days a week to the door and only weekday delivery to P.O. boxes? That would drop about half their labor costs, keep service levels high for those who need it, and perhaps allow the USPS to get back to even instead of loosing money all the time.
That might work. While we're at it we should eliminate the monopoly and allow UPS and FedEx to compete with the USPS on all sorts of shipping, and remove all of the remaining subsidies. Let them all compete head to head on price and convenience, on a level playing field.