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It's 1981 All Over Again (Rate Changes)

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Posted 01/17/2022   10:52 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Perf10 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
From stamps.com: "NEW: Starting in July 2022, First Class Mail will have scheduled postage rate increases occurring two times per year - in January and in July."

That makes it sound like some First Class rate is already anticipated to increase every six months. Is that the case? I'd expect instead that rates MIGHT change in July either instead of or addition to January.

(About the 1981 reference in the title, during that year the First Class, first ounce rate went from 15c to 18c to 20c.)
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Posted 01/17/2022   11:48 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, the rates will increase twice a year indefinitely because:


Quote:
With full implementation, the Postal Service's 10-year Delivering For America plan is designed to reverse a projected $160 billion in operating losses over the next 10 years. The Plan's growth and efficiency initiatives, including the proposed pricing changes, together with necessary legislation, should allow the Postal Service to make investments totaling approximately $40 billion over the next 10 years to modernize and improve infrastructure to become more efficient and service responsive.


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Posted 01/17/2022   12:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Perf10 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting, thanks. Sounds like pre-July is a good time to stock up on Forever issues. Of course, twice-annual does not mean it'll always be the ordinary first ounce rate that increased, sometimes it might be the additional ounce, or metered mail, etc.
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Posted 01/17/2022   4:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Cephus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It makes me happy that we virtually never send mail these days. We might get a book of stamps once a year and then... it just sits there.
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Posted 01/17/2022   4:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add BobInRye to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Wonder if the folks doing the revenue modeling accounted for decreasing volume due to price rises. Seems to me they may have forgotten how the postal service originally drove huge mailing volume increases.
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Posted 01/17/2022   4:45 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Stick a fork in First Class mail, postal officials have understood their future relies upon parcel services and 'priority' mail services for at least a decade. Email is virtually free, virtually instant, and ubiquitous.
Don
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Posted 01/18/2022   06:09 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Torin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It will be interesting to discover how much % wise the increases will be every 6 months. With present inflation rates, I think the increases will be pretty steep.

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Posted 01/18/2022   3:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Cephus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Seems to me they may have forgotten how the postal service originally drove huge mailing volume increases.


I think the post office has forgotten how to deliver mail at all. It's been close to a week since we've gotten anything, junk mail or otherwise. And yes, it's a locked mailbox so nobody is stealing it. The only reason I'm even bothering to look is because I'm expecting a philatelic package that's supposed to be here by Friday, if not before.

Is there a point to the postal service anymore? I'm just not seeing it.
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Posted 01/18/2022   5:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Perf10 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Historically, the First Class first ounce rate has generally tracked inflation. I use it as a way to estimate the change in value of the dollar, for example, that rate is about 3x what it was in 1981, so the dollar has lost roughly 66% of its value during the 40 years since. Looking into the future, as First Class mail volume declines, its rate might increase more than inflation.

I remember during the 1980s USPS wanted to be the deliverer of email. Maybe USPS can still perform a useful email service in the form of "certified email" in which they act as a government-trusted third party to confirm an email was sent and received.
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Posted 01/18/2022   5:11 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

In my opinion, the US First Class postage should be closer to the world average (around $1.00 per ounce)
Don
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Posted 01/18/2022   7:26 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If the implied loss per piece is only 3c, why should rates go up by 42c?? Perhaps a bit more than 3c to pay for the new vehicles they want to buy, but not 42c.
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Posted 01/18/2022   7:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Maybe USPS can still perform a useful email service in the form of "certified email" in which they act as a government-trusted third party to confirm an email was sent and received.
+

Huh?
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Posted 01/18/2022   8:17 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
...why should rates go up by 42c??...

USPS
2015 - $5.1 billion loss
2016 - $5.6 billion loss
2017 - $2.7 billion loss
2018 - $3.9 billion loss
2019 - $8.8 billion loss
2020 - $9.2 billion loss
2021 - $9.7 billion loss

From my chair the two biggest issues are; 'last mile' costs and the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006. I guess folks can sit around and hope/wait for Congress to reverse the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act but in my opinion this will never happen. So if you cannot decrease the costs, you have to increase the income.
Don
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Posted 01/18/2022   11:16 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Perf10 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Re government-trusted third party, courts generally want delivery documentation from a legally-tested source. Judges will laugh at someone who relies on the email program on their laptop as evidence of sending/receipt of an email. However they'd pay attention if USPS were to back that claim. Such a service could be a new source of income for USPS, assuming some law does not prohibit them from offering it, of course.
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Posted 01/21/2022   6:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Letterpress to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I had no idea they were going to raise rates twice a year. That's insane. It's embarrassing that we put up with a coercive monopoly on letter mail. Their service is so bad that you can't even reach anyone using their 800 number. There's never been a good argument for their monopoly status, and there's even less of an argument for it in the 21st century. Nothing about delivering physical objects, or any other kind of object, implies a need for a coercive monopoly. (I'm not sure what context or service would imply a need or ethical justification for a coercive monopoly the closest would be natural monopolies like a metro sewer or water system, but there it's more that they're natural monopolies such that it wouldn't be profitable to build a second sewer system serving the same homes and buildings.)

The USPS is never going to be an efficient organization with excellent or even consistently good service as long as it is a monopoly. That's pure fantasy. Humans don't know how to make coercive monopolies efficient and accountable. Large coercive monopolies like the USPS are even more difficult. It would be a major breakthrough in organizational psychology and operations management to be able to do that. The 2006 pension law is just an excuse. People shouldn't fall for such transparent excuses. There is no chance of an efficient and responsive organization if they're a legal monopoly and as huge as they are. We have plenty of collective experience with monopoly dynamics across cultures there's no point pretending that efficient monopolies are possible.
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Edited by Letterpress - 01/21/2022 6:40 pm
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Posted 01/21/2022   11:09 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It only takes less than 2% inflation to cause a 1c increase on a 58c item.
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