Stamp price increase
The Hiller Instinct: Stamp price increase
It's a little late, but just like the hot weather, we could have seen it coming.
This year, the post office waited until July to ask for an increase. In each of the past three years (2007, 2008 and 2009), the price was raised in May.
So, thank you, Postal Service, for giving us a few more months to mail letters for only 44 cents, and save a couple of pennies before stamps cost 46 cents.
The two cents, of course, is not the issue.
It's the $4.7 billion the post office expects to be short next year, even with the rate increase and no mail deliveries on Saturdays.
The truth is, the post office has been beaten by technology and by its competitors, but it acts as if no one else even knows what a zip code is.
The Postal Service has more than 800,000 employees, including more than 340,000 mail carriers.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics helps explain why the post office has such a big problem. In 2008, the median wage for a mail carrier was just under $50,000.
Carriers also "enjoy a variety of employer provided benefits similar to those enjoyed by other federal government workers."
I'm sure they're enjoyable...and expensive.
We need a post office -- the Constitution requires it. So, we should cut it down to size, or let it go the way of the three-cent stamp.
My guess is Congress will do neither and instead just raise prices, which means for us, the next increase is in the mail.
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