United States Postal Service

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The United States Postal Service (USPS), also known as the Post Office, U.S. Mail, or Postal Service, is an independent agency of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States that is responsible for providing postal service in the United States, including its insular areas and the states that are associated with it. Other names for the USPS include the Post Office, the Postal Service, and the Postal Service. It is one of the few federal agencies that the Constitution of the United States of America gives express permission to operate. As of the year 2021, the United States Postal Service has a total of 516,636 career workers and 136,531 non-career employees.

In 1775, at the Second Continental Congress, Benjamin Franklin was named the first postmaster general; he also served in a similar role for the colonies of the Kingdom of Great Britain. This event is considered to be the beginning of the United States Postal Service (USPS). The Postal Service Act of 1792 led to the establishment of the Post Office Department of the United States government. In 1872, it was promoted to the rank of a cabinet department, and in 1970, the Postal Reorganization Act converted it into the United States Postal Service, an autonomous agency. Since the early 1980s, many direct tax subsidies to the United States Postal Service (USPS) have been decreased or removed, with the exception of payments for expenses related with handicapped voters and voters who live abroad.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has a monopoly on "letter" delivery within the United States and operates under a universal service obligation (USO), both of which are defined across a broad set of legal mandates that require it to provide the same price and quality of service throughout the entirety of its service area. The USPS is required to meet these mandates because it is required to comply with the universal service obligation (USO). Even though it has exclusive access to letter boxes labelled "U.S. Mail" and personal mailboxes in the United States, the Post Office still needs to compete with other private package delivery providers, including such United Parcel Service, FedEx, and Amazon.