Stamp of Disapproval

-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.)


2 thoughts on “Stamp of Disapproval

  1. Email or hand delivery. That is the way to go. If You need to send a letter, it is best to send dozens at once, in a box, to the same person. That saves You some money, and overwhelms the person with Your thoughtfulness…

    (On a related note, when the idea of email was just starting to come together in someone’s mind, way back before Al Gore invented the internet, the fastest way to send lots of data (think Your great American novel.txt) was by car. In terms of the distance a piece of data traveled per second, that was, without a doubt, the fastest method.)

  2. Where’s Lysander Spooner when you need him?

    I’ve mentioned before that I sell a lot on eBay, and USPS rates are competitive only to a certain point. After you get over a few pounds (or if your package is strangely shaped or unwieldy) UPS has the advantage.

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