Postal Rate Commission member Ruth Goldway tries to convince us that privatizing the U.S. Postal Service would be a boon to the country [op-ed, Jan. 19]. But why fix what isn't broken? When considering the future of service, public officials need to ask a crucial question: Would privatization lead to cheaper rates and quicker delivery for consumers? The answer -- a quite obvious one, I think -- is no.

ROBERT RAIBLE

Silver Spring

Ruth Goldway's proposal to privatize the U.S. Postal Service won't work. She argues that the postal service could capitalize on its ownership of land and buildings in the best parts of every city. How? By selling them?

The postal service, she says, is set "to lose up to 30 percent of its mail revenues," but it will generate $4 billion in federal and state tax revenues. Am I missing something?

And a private postal service will have to abide by local parking laws. Ticket those mail trucks!

A universal mail service has been a hallmark of American democracy for more than 200 years. Private carriers do not deliver mail to everyone everywhere, and in some cases not at any price.

Ms. Goldway asks: "Why would a consumer advocate and liberal Democrat push to privatize the postal service?" Good question.

DWIGHT RETTIE

Morehead City, N.C.