Postal creep

No, my title does not refer to David Berkowitz, a.k.a. the Son of Sam, who has to be one of the all-time classic postal creeps. I refer instead to how over the years the cost of mailing a letter has ever so gradually increased — here a penny, there a penny, everywhere a penny, penny. Now it costs 2 cents more than it did yesterday.

Mailing a letter for less than 40 cents this day and age does not seem unreasonable. I used to be a prodigious letter writer but like so many others who discovered e-mail, not so much anymore. So sending the odd letter or three out a month for 37 cents or 39 cents or even having to mail out a story pitch to a publication for a couple of bucks a whack doesn’t really bother me that much.

I am not saying the U.S. Postal Service is perfect. It’s not. It could really do a whole lot better. I’m just saying the price of mailing a letter still is not really unreasonable.

But the whole creep phenomenon is kind of puzzling and somewhat annoying. For years the postal poobahs have raised the price of a stamp by a cent or two. You always have to buy another smaller denomination stamp to have proper postage when the increase takes place. And since the price of postage has remained generally low while other prices have risen over the years such as gasoline or attending college, I’ve never understood why the price couldn’t be hiked substantially enough that they wouldn’t have to come back every couple of years and raise the rates again. Maybe I’ve read the reason somewhere and forgotten it. I don’t know, it seems like stamp prices are always going up.

A price increase also inevitably ends up with some odd-number for a price — 33 cents, 37 cents, 39 cents. Why didn’t they just raise the price from 37 cents to 40 cents and we would be done with raising prices for a little longer? I’m sure there is a good reason. I’m sure I’ve heard it. I just don’t remember it. And I have nothing better to write about at the moment, so there! How pathetic is that?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *