Stamps Are Getting 3 Cents More Expensive

2-year price hike could help dig Postal Service out of financial hole

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Andrew Burton / Getty Images

Stamps bought at a United States Post Office (USPS) on Sept. 25, 2013 in New York City.

Postal regulators announced Tuesday they’ve approved a 3 cent price increase for first-class stamps, bringing the cost of sending a typical letter to 49 cents.

Officials attributed the hike to the decline in mail volume since 2008. The new price, effective Jan. 26, should allow the Postal Serivce to replenish $2.8 billion in revenue losses, the AP reports.

The price will stay at 49 cents for only two years. Regulators said it could not be made permanent.

Bulk mail, package service and periodicals will see a 6% price increase.

People critical of the decision say that charities who send out mass mailings and independent bookstores competing with Amazon will suffer from the new prices.

[AP]

7 comments
AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

Regulators are determining what the post office can and cannot do.  This wonderful system is responsible for an annual chronic operating loss.  This year's estimated loss was $3.9 Billion. BILLION!


http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/158868-postal-service-losses-reach-39b-in-2013


According to The Hill there are several ideas circulating in Washington D.C. to fix this chronic problem.  All involve legislative fixes.  All are stupid on a fundamental level.


You cannot legislate a business to profit in a free market system.


Here's my suggestion; transition the Post Office to a privately held concern and let it operate in response to free market influences.  Yes, that would mean they would stand on their own two feet and compete in the market place.  Even the Post Office officials share in this idea.


 "[T]he Postal Service will not return to profitability and long-term financial stability without passage of comprehensive legislation to fix a business model that does not allow it to adapt to changes in the marketplace," the USPS said in a statement.


In an era where spending cutbacks are the hue and cry of many politicians this idea would be beneficial to that end. 

eagle11772
eagle11772

When I was a young kid in the early 60's the first class postage rate was 4 cents, and I remember the purple Lincoln stamps of that time.  And although I've never been a stamp collector, I still have about 100 of those purple Lincoln stamps.  In 2007, the post office issued the "Forever" stamps at 41 cents each.  However, you could buy them on ebay for below cost, and still can.  I bought 5000 Forever stamps at 37 cents each in 2007, figuring that would last me a lifetime.  You can still purchase them on ebay below cost.

oddegg69
oddegg69

Best thing for the postal service, is to get congress out of it.

HallKyle
HallKyle

Well, SOMEBODY'S got to PAY for their lifetime-guaranteed, can't-fire-them, public-sector union employment ... and ... their lifetime-until-they-die retirement pension (after only 20 years of work) ... and ... their lifetime-until-they-die, gold-plated, non-Obamacare medical care.

And don't worry ... anything the 3-cent increase doesn't cover ... the Dems in Congress will back-stop with tax money.

But it's all worth it, right?

After all, just like DMV employees ... postal employees are the very best America has, right ?

nicolem712
nicolem712

@eagle11772 Do these older stamps still have their value? For example, I purchased old 60 cent stamps on ebay. What will they be worth when I send out mail (if anything)? Thanks!

Yoshi
Yoshi

@HallKyleMaybe, if congress didn't require the USPS to fully fund their pension out seventy-five years, they'd be in the black. They do not run on taxpayer money. The ONLY government department that doesn't.

mbcls
mbcls

Just raise the stamp to 99 cents! I still remember a gallon of gas used to cost under 2$. Newspaper costs 25 cents. Donut costs 35 cents. Soda 25 cents a can.

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