Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Postage Stamps to Increase by Two Cents?


The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that Postal Service is requesting a two cent increase in the price of stamps to 46 cents. The request will be considered by the independent Postal Rate Commission.

Yep, nearly half a dollar to send a letter across town. It's time that the Congress consider radical changes to our postal system. First, Congress needs to end the Postal Service's monopoly on First Class mail delivery. If the private sector can deliver a letter cheaper, then it should not be a violation of the law to do so.

Second, it is time for the Postal Service to end six days a week delivery. It's no longer needed and the elimination of a day of delivery would save a bundle...perhaps it would be enough to forgo an increase in the postal rate to 46 cents.

Third, it is time for the business world to embrace the new technology. In my profession, the legal profession, court rules need to be revamped. The state system still has not embraced electronic filing of documents. Further, the rules still don't allow for electronic service of documents...we are left with serving documents by "snail mail." The Supreme Court needs to take a look at revising court rule to bring them into the 21st Century.

The end of an era - the era of regular home mail delivery - is approaching. It's time we accept its demise rather than perpetuate it through continued higher postage rates.

FYI, Here is a table of First Class postage rates.

March 3, 1863.............. 3 cents
October 1, 1986.............4 cents
July 1, 1885.................. 2 cents
November, 3, 1917........ 3 cents
July 1, 1919................... 2 cents
July 6, 1932.................. 3 cents
August 1, 1948............. 4 cents
January 7, 1963............ 5 cents
January 7, 1968............ 6 cents
May 16, 1971................ 8 cents
March 7, 1974............. 10 cents
December 31, 1975...... 13 cents
May 29, 1978............... 15 cents
March 22, 1981............ 18 cents
November 1, 1981........ 20 cents
February 17, 1985........ 22 cents
April 3, 1988................ 25 cents
February 3, 1991.......... 29 cents
January 1, 1995............ 32 cents
January 10, 1999.......... 33 cents
January 7, 2001........... 34 cents
June 30, 2002.............. 37 cents
January 8, 2006........... 39 cents
May 14, 2007............... 41 cents
May 12, 2008.............. 42 cents
May 11, 2009............... 44 cents
January 2, 2011........... 46 cents

You'll notice the sharp decrease in the last few decades. The year I was born a stamp was 4 cents. With inflation over those years it should be 29 cents today. Early next year we're looking at 46 cent stamps.

4 comments:

varangianguard said...

But what about the endangered philatelist?

Does no one care that stamp collecting may soon cease to have reams of new stamps being published annually?

There ought to be an endangered hobbyist law.

lol

Cato said...

Yeah, your real price calculation is pretty close:

http://tinyurl.com/34nzar7

I like Saturday mail. Why not cut out Wednesday mail? I don't believe that we should all be in service to business and industry.

Why should the little old lady living in rural Washington be able to send a letter to New York City for the same price as someone in Yonkers? It costs me more to fly to Seattle than Chicago; why does letter pricing not reflect basic economic realities?

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

Supposedly there are only 5 employees of the U.S. Post Office which include the postmaster general.

The personnel we see are employed by the U.S. Postal Service, which I read is actually a privately owned business.

Paul K. Ogden said...

HFFT, you're right that it's called the Postal Service not the Post Office. But, hey, I"m old, I remember the name they used to go by.

The Postal Service is a government corporation just like Amtrak. It has a lot of independence form government, but it certainly is not a privately owned business.