Postage rates are actually going down

Prices for a first-class stamp will drop from 49 cents back down to 46 cents after a federal court ruled that the latest postage increase could not be permanent.  The cost of the switch will be minimal, due to the US Postal Service reliance on “forever stamps” (though woe to the speculators who bough them as investments).

In the age of e-mail and UPS delivery, do we really need the U. S. mail anymore? [Read more…]

The case of the Harry Potter stamp

The U. S. Postal Service is coming out with a Harry Potter stamp.  Never mind that there is nothing American about Harry Potter.  And never mind that the stamp is just a shot from the movie, with no particular artistic design.  And that the committee whose job it is to recommend subjects for stamps and to approve designs rejected it.

The postmaster wants stamps to be “more commercial” and less grounded in American history, culture, and landscape.  The goal that is to trump everything else is to make money for the deficit-plagued national monopoly.  Here is another idea:  Instead of tinkering with stamps, offer better service!

An account of the controversy, a picture of the stamp, and some additional thoughts after the jump. [Read more…]