In case you haven't heard: The United States Postal Service could shut down this winter.

Now for those of you who drag out the usual comments about the USPS being outdated and long past its usefulness, I have a favor to ask of you. If the USPS does shut down, and if major services do get cut, I would like you to watch what the invisible hand of the market, that bastion of fairness and rational thought, does for package delivery rates at FedEx and UPS. I'm willing to bet that without a serious, federally financed competitor, the market will do what it does best: Screw us all over. Anyone want to make a guess as to what UPS and FedEx rates will be this time next year? I'm betting way higher.