Arduous financial times and lower mail volumes have triggered intriguing debate about the future of the USPS, but I can save everyone time because there's really only one good solution to what ails this treasured institution. Now I admit this will be difficult for many to grasp, but nevertheless, here goes: Permit the USPS to charge their customers the necessary amount of money required to make a profit. OK, so I know this will require copious amounts of "outside of the box" thinking for the politicians that control an organization that would be ranked 29th if it were in the Fortune 500 (see Businessweek May 26th 2011), but isn't it about time we changed the way we think about government debt and demand our politicians stop requiring the USPS to lose billions of dollars?

There are those repeated calls for endless cutbacks that will only serve to diminish the incredibly dependable service we all take for granted and will only delay the inevitable deterioration of the USPS.

Here are some of the other ideas that will doom the USPS:

1 - Uh, hey Bluto, let's try to convince the American people to send more letter mail (like they did during the last century) and simply get them to use less email. (Hello! Like it or not, letter mail is disappearing at the same rate as honest politicians and lawyers with integrity; it would be easier to kill an elephant with a bb gun or stop an avalanche. This is just dumb).

2 - Convince people to stop receiving their bills electronically. (How would you like to have that job? Why not just encourage us to use pigeon's or pony express? Try again).

3- Promote the benefits of junk mail. (More junk mail, are you kidding? I have four adult kids and they've never read a piece of junk mail and probably never will. Personally, I hate it, and so does practically everyone else I know. If it's not electronic, it has little chance of success. Anyway, aren't we supposed to be helping the environment?)

Furthermore, the BusinessWeek article referenced earlier reported, "For the price of a 44¢ stamp, you can mail a letter anywhere within the nation's borders. The service will carry it by pack mule to the Havasupai Indian reservation at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Mailmen on snowmobiles take it to the wilds of Alaska. If your recipient can no longer be found, the USPS will return it at no extra charge. It may be the greatest bargain on earth."

Isn't that the problem?

UPS will deliver a letter to the Havasupai's in two days from New York for around $30.80 (That includes $4.25 fuel and $3.00 for Delivery Area - Rural Extended); that's 7000% higher! For the record, I tried to get a quote from FedEx but no one could even pronounce Havasupai.

The price of a First class stamp should increase in accordance with decreasing mail volumes and the financial need to keep the service going. Charging only .44 cents to deliver anywhere in the US regardless of mail volume is quite obviously a recipe for failure.

This USPS has an unmatched competitive advantage in the residential parcel delivery space but does not capitalize on it. The US is desperate for a viable third player in the residential parcel market delivery arena and there are billions to be made in that space.

Note to the political leaders; the USPS is not a dinosaur or holy relic, it doesn't have to be preserved in its present state for eternity, it can and must evolve. The answer does not lie in cutbacks, imbecilic marketing or more junk mail; it starts with charging enough to be profitable.

I love the USPS but PLEEEESE no more junk mail!