General Question

john65pennington's avatar

Are you ready for the new postal rate increases?

Asked by john65pennington (29192points) July 6th, 2010

The United States Postal Service states it lost $3.8 billion dollars last fiscal year due to rising costs and less mail being delivered because of the internet. a first-class stamp now costs .44 cents. this is still a real bargain to mail a letter, no matter how you cut it. could you deliver a letter from Florida to Seattle for .44 cents? neither could i. if a first-class postage stamp reached $1.00, it would still be a bargain. people are paying their bills and communicating more on the internet. this is the main underlying problem. Question: since the U.S. Postal Service receives no funds from taxes for its operation, do you feel the postage stamp increase is justified?

Source: AP

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14 Answers

knitfroggy's avatar

It doesn’t bother me at all. I can’t even recall the last time I bought a stamp and mailed a bill. I do all that via phone and internet. The only time I really mail anything is at Christmas time when I send out cards. And the occasional birthday card.

Austinlad's avatar

Ditto for me. But businesses will be affected, and guess who’ll wind up paying THOSE extra costs?

john65pennington's avatar

Since we are on the question of postage stamps, here is another related question: which U.S. Postage Stamp was the most popular and purchased the most?

JLeslie's avatar

What are they going to raise the price to? I do agree with that it won’t bother me at all, it is a bargain. Overall, our mail service is so good. Except for my current mailman who gives me my neighbors mail constantly, and mine does not always make it to my door.

Austinlad's avatar

@JLeslie, I totally agree with you. We tend to take the the the USPS for granted, especially in the Internet age, but it’s an amazing service at an amazingly low price. You can’t even buy a pack of gum for for 44 cents!!!

JLeslie's avatar

@Austinlad Yeah, and if you have experience with postal service in other countries, you see how good ours is.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’d pay it easily. How high would I go? $0.50: Fine, $0.60: OK , $0.70 meh OK, $0.80 Now I’m getting a little mad.

tedd's avatar

The thing to keep in mind here is that the USPS is charging .44 for something UPS or Fed Ex will charge you upwards of 3 dollars to deliver (pending how far from you the destination is).

They’re able to do it because they’re non-profit, and despite popular belief they are a stand alone government entity (they receive no regular federal funding, though they did receive a “bail-out” last year).

I would pay more. Obviously I’d rather pay the same or less, but as long as its still a good deal, I’d pay more.

Skippy's avatar

I currently pay all my bills the old fashioned way, by check and by mail. However, I am seriously considering setting all of my accounts up to pay via my banks online system.
It’s getting more and more difficult to write the checks, and seems easier to type in the account number once, then monthly schedule to pay the current amount.

It’s getting so that the only mail I get is junk or medical bills…Everything else is almost requires online receipt of the monthly statement.

I do feel for, however, those on fixed incomes or the Senior Citizen population that are not able to access the internet, or don’t understand it to do it.

dalepetrie's avatar

I was just discussing this with a co-worker today, and I occurred to me, why do all delivery services either have to operate at a profit or a loss? Why can’t the postal service charge what it needs to charge to break even and re-balance it every year or as necessary? If you come to my house, take something out of my hand, and bring it several thousand miles for 44 cents, when it costs $2.50 in delivery charges to get a pizza delivered from a block and a half away, I don’t care if a first class stamp has to cost $1.50 for them to break even, still costs less than pizza delivery (and in some cases is almost quicker…yeah, I’m looking at you, Pizza Hut).

tedd's avatar

@dalepetrie Actually thats exactly what the post office does. Its a non-profit government organization, which means that it aims to break even annually. All of its salaries, utilities, new buildings, renovations, gas, etc, etc, are set up by some calculation to equal the profit they expect to make (though I believe they probably factor in some wiggle room and set it to make a bit more than they spend just in case).

The problem is this, mail usage has gone down in recent years, thanks to things like e-pay. This causes a lot of problems. They have to find a balance between being big enough that their mail delivery is still effective, and small enough that they’re not wasting money on buildings/staff/etc they don’t need. And there’s really no formula that tells you how to determine that. Another problem is all of the retiring workers. Years ago they forecast that they could afford to give these workers X money in retirement packages (much of this pre-dating the internet, or the emergence of e-pay). Now the time to pay up is here, but they don’t have the money because they didn’t anticipate the internet being there. You still have to contractually pay those people what you told them they would when they signed up to work 20, 30, and 40 years ago…. but now you don’t have the money… So what do you do? You raise the cost of stamps to a still incredibly low amount.

dalepetrie's avatar

@tedd – Sounds quite reasonable to me, if they need to keep tweaking it until they find the right price, fine with me, thought from what I heard, they have projected that even if they went for the 2 cent raise, they would still be running a deficit. I’d say raise it by 3 or 4 or 5 (or 20) cents, or whatever their best projection might be for break even, then tweak it, instead of every year or two making this minimal incremental increase. That just leads to people feeling like they’re being nickeled and dimed to death, Seems they’re more concerned with PR than with doing what they need to do, just like all political bodies I guess.

tedd's avatar

@dalepetrie You’re right they are afraid of the PR issue. But its reasonably based because en-mass, people think that the two cent raise is outrageous. Go look at the yahoo news page about this and read the comments. You’d think this two cent increase was a plot to turn our country into NAZI germany, and its Obama/Bush’s fault, and whats wrong with the country, government is wasteful, etc, etc. No one actually sits down to look at the facts. They just jump to conclusions and let talk radio people rile them up.

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