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The proposed stamp increase

July 8, 2010 - Frank Robinson

This just in: The U.S. Postal Service wants more money.

Wow, what a surprise.

Saying it is "fighting to survive," the postal service says it needs to increase the price of first-class stamps by 2 cents, from 44 cents, beginning in January. It also wants to increase other fees, such as the cost for each additional ounce would go up a penny to 18 cents. The cost to mail a postcard would go up too, 2 cents to 30 cents, according to a story by the Associated Press. The price to send periodicals would go up about 8 percent, and other rates for advertising mail, parcels and services would rise by varying amounts.

If you are wondering when the last increase was approved, it was May 11 of last year when the current 44-cent first-class rate took effect. I thought it was longer than that.

The agency says mail volume is down and that's the main prooblem. Mail volume has been sliding for years. Throw in a weak economy and a bad situation is magnified.

I would suggest the post office stop delivering on Saturday. From a management standpoint, working off a five-day workweek simply would make more sense and save a lot of money. Also, as mobile as people are nowadays, do we really need so many post offices? I know they have closed a lot of them, but more cuts could be made.

Apparently the post office lost alomst $4 billion last year. It also cut 40,000 jobs. It's looking at a $7 billion loss this year.

According to the AP story, the proposed now goes to the independent Postal Regulatory Commission, which has 90 days to decide.

I say scrap Saturday delivery and approve the the increase. Care to venture a guess on what the outcome will be?


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