-Hannah Mead, MCPP intern, 2008
One day earlier this summer, I went to the post office to buy 1¢ stamps to augment my 41¢ snowman stamps. (I don’t send a lot of mail.) I good-naturedly joked about how I could hardly afford to send a letter these days with stamp prices rising so often. The postal worker would have none of this humor and archly informed me: “Actually, we have the lowest rates around.”
I was so stunned at this statement I could make no response. Of course the U.S.P.S. has the lowest prices! They also have the highest prices — in fact, they have the only prices, because they’re a legal monopoly!
(Granted, maybe she meant that U.S.P.S. rates for packages were competitive with UPS and FedEx, but, as I was buying stamps for first-class mail, that point wouldn’t have applied.)