Category talk:Public services

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Copied the below from my user page:



This category regards any postal systems and related things, not only a specific postal organization controlled by a government. Therefore, the categorization of Post of COUNTRY categories as “public services” is wrong. --Juiced lemon 11:34, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

From Wikipedia:
"Public services is a term usually used to mean services provided by government to its citizens, either directly (through the public sector) or by financing private provision of services. The term is associated with a social consensus (usually expressed through democratic elections) that certain services should be available to all, regardless of income. Even where public services are neither publicly provided nor publicly financed, for social and political reasons they are usually subject to regulation going beyond that applying to most economic sectors. Public services is also a course that can be studied at college and/or university. These courses can lead entry in to the: police, ambulance and fire services."
This therefore can certainly be said to apply to postal services. Until very recently in history, most (in some countries all) mail/post was government-controlled. It was certainly regulated strongly. Also note the description given in Category:Public services to explain the distinction. I feel you are trying to narrow things down too much. Ingolfson 06:21, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Copied section ends. Ingolfson 06:24, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Further references, whether or not they include postal services:

S: (n) community service, public service (a service that is performed for the benefit of the public or its institutions)
en:WordNet, en:Princeton university, found here
This report also mentions (search for "postal" and read the surrounding paragraphs) that public services are getting increasingly privatised, due to globalisation and (for example) WTO regulations forcing nations to open the public services sector (including postal services) to private competition. That commercial shift does not, by itself, change them from being public services. From the en:Transnational Institute. Beyond the Market: The Future of Public Services Ingolfson 06:35, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

There is a strong liberalisation process going on, but the result is that many private companies, especially in the sectors that used to be dominated by a single (state) organisation, have to provide now public or minimal services. Examples in Belgium are: post, telephone companys, water and energy suppliers, radio and television channels, insurance companies, health services, new papers, public transport, ... To me, post is the most purest public service by now, but that might be seen as one of the last "state owned" bastions. --Foroa 07:20, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Category:Post matches Category:Postal system. In a given country, there are often several companies or organizations which offer postal services, and all of them don't provide public services. “Public service” generally regards only one postal organization, but not postcards or private mailboxes. --Juiced lemon 10:36, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
This hinges on your definition of what postal services are. I disagree with your assessment - postal services, even if they cover only part of the spectrum (ie for example only carry packages like UPS, and don't provide mailboxes), still are a public service. UPS, to stay with the example, is regulated heavily in regards to such matters like what is called "Mail secrecy" in Germany (and exists with different names pretty much elsewhere), meaning that the packages they carry are a form of protected communicaton, and it's a breach of the law for them to open the packages (whereas your furniture delivery people could peek inside the flatpack for the dining table they deliver for you without breaching said law). Examples such as this show that postal systems are still, in practice, considered a public service with the attendant regulation defining them, even when private. Ingolfson 23:20, 31 August 2007 (UTC)