March 19, 2009

Stamp Prices

Did you know that the U.S. Postal Service is raising the price of stamps AGAIN?! On May 11, 2009, the cost of one first-class stamp will increase from $0.42 to $0.44. I'm not against increasing the cost to mail a letter, but what I object to is these guys constantly bothering us with these stupid little changes to the price of one lousy stamp. Did you know they have increased the price of a stamp SEVEN times in the past ten years? And it's always in those annoying little one or two penny increments. Can't they just increase it by ten cents and leave us the hell alone for a decade?

Thank goodness they came up with those "forever" stamps where you no longer have to buy those ridiculous $0.01 or $0.02 stamps when they increase of price of postage. It probably cost the post office more than a penny just to make and print those stupid $0.01 stamps in the first place, so they likely lost money on the increase in postage rates. It was such a major hassle buying those $0.01 stamps - going to the post office and waiting in line just to buy a hundred one-penny stamps stamps. I wouldn't do it... I would just overkill it by slapping two of the old stamps on an envelope and just be done with the whole thing.
I hate you, one-cent stamp

It amazes me that, even with the upcoming increase in postage in May, it's still only costs FORTY-FOUR cents to mail a letter! Doesn't that seem preposterously low? You couldn't get me to lick an envelope for forty-four cents, let alone trek across the country and deliver a letter. Just think about how cheap that is - and they get it across the country and to your doorstep in about 3 days. How do they sort it all and get it to the millions of different addresses every day? How to they individually read everyone's horrible handwriting?? To me, that seems like a miracle. And a miracle shouldn't cost forty-four cents. Do you know that UPS charges about $20.45 to send a letter from New York to Los Angeles using 2-day mail? So why is the U.S. government charging us 98% LESS than that? I think mailing a letter should cost about $15 - that seems to make more sense - and it sure would cut down on junk mail.

If you think I'm crazy for suggesting that they should raise the postal rates, you have to consider the economics and realize you are probably already paying for it. The U.S. Post Office lost $2.8 billion last year, and they are budgeted to lose $6 billion this year! So, we are already effectively paying for higher postage by subsidizing their loss via our taxes. So, either way, you're paying for it. I could make postage free... but then the post office would lose like $30 billion dollars, and you'd up effectively paying for postage through higher taxes in order to counterbalance that loss.

And have you noticed that it's $0.44 for a FIRST-CLASS stamp? What is "first-class" mail anyway? Is there a "second class" or "third class"? What does a third-class stamp cost?... $0.00325?? What do they do with a letter that is not first class? Does it take weeks to get it delivered, or do they spit on it or something? I might go to the post office and try to end myself something using "second-class" mail, just to see what happens. And if there isn't anything lower than first-class mail, then I want to lobby to have that term removed and just call it "mail".

So please join me in writing an open letter to the U.S. Postal Service and suggest that they stop the inconvenient and stupid one-penny increases in postage (when what they really need is like a ten-dollar increase in postage). Make sure you send it to them via e-mail (which is the REAL "first-class" mail!).


  1. It does seem like they are increasing stamp prices all of the time! Who uses stamps now anyway? Doesn't everyone use email and online bill-pay???

  2. It is kinda shocking how cheap it is to send a letter. Obviously, it's too cheap if they are losing so much money! But I don't think we should encourage them to charge us more!

  3. With all the complaining we do, it is pretty surprising that they can deliver a letter in just 2-3 days (in most cases)... in rain, sleet and snow!

  4. This post is hilarious!

    I'm glad you mentioned how incredibly freaking cheap it is to mail a letter...I mean, 42 or 44 cents is still amazing considering I can drop a letter in the mail and have it to my mom in a different city the next day...I always see that postman walking around with his pile of mail and think, how does he not so completely hate himself and his job?

    I love the postal service, I love that it's a huge convenience that I take advantage of in a not-so-good-way. I once saw a pile of red envelopes at the post office and asked the clerk what that was all about. Did you know they have to individually sort out the Netflix envelopes?? I don't know, something to do with how Netflix guarantees your movies in less than 2 days. Apparently, and justifiably, the post office hates it with a passion.

    I recently moved to a small town from a very big city, and have embraced the art of online shopping. I love that I can order something and have it in my hands 2-3 days later for a mere 6 bucks. Saves me sooo much time and gas that it's just not even funny.

    I agree, though, that the price should just double and they should just leave it alone for the next 15 years. I wonder why they do it that way? I usually just throw out my old stamps, I can't stand to bother myself with those 1 cent stamps.

    Anyway, I love your I said previously, I just discovered it, and i'm in love already.