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Postage Increase

Original post made by Dave on Jan 23, 2013

With the upcoming increase in postal rates effective 1/27/13 (were you aware of this increase?), why aren't all rates increasing?
Is it surprising that the postal service continues to lose money? First-class postage is currently 45 cents and will rise to 46 cents on Sunday. However, the rates for non-profit postage, and the pre-sorted postage rates for businesses, were apparently not increased at all. This in spite of the fact the postal service is expecting a $15 billion deficit this year. The 1-cent increase is expected to generate an additional $888 million, which will only make a small dent in the revenue shortfall.
We all receive junk mail, classified as pre-sorted and nonprofit mail, most of which we discard. Why aren't all of these organizations paying the same price as the individual is for mail service?
The big question is, if pre-sorted and non-profit mailings constitute the bulk of mail, why weren't these rates raised at all

Comments (26)

Posted by Doug Miller, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 23, 2013 at 5:36 pm

It's an outrage and affront to all decent, liberty-loving citizens that we were not informed of this in a timely manner. I demand that the Pleasanton City Council and the School Board delay the stamp price increase until we, the people, have had our say. Ever heard of sunshine laws? Ever heard of democracy? Ever heard of the Boston Tea Party? I'm taxed enough already, and I'm not gonna take it any more!


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 23, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Communicate online. Otherwise pay through the nose! tee hee...


Posted by Brock, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jan 23, 2013 at 5:59 pm

I'm with Doug Miller. Is there somewhere we could all march downtown or something to protest this hienious affront against the American citizenry? No coincidence that this is occurring right after Obama gets "elected" to a second term. I'm being taxed to death already. This should be a wake-up call to all Ptown citizens. Perhaps we might all meet in front of the main post office?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 23, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Here are all the rate changes:


USPS Announces New Prices for 2013
The U.S. Postal Service has proposed a price increase on Mailing Services products. If approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, these new prices will take effect January 27, 2013. Highlights of the new single-piece First-Class Mail pricing include:

Letters (1oz.) — 1-cent increase to 46 cents
Letters additional ounces — unchanged at 20 cents
Postcards — 1-cent increase to 33 cents

Mail Class Average Price Change
First-Class Mail 2.57%
Standard Mail 2.57%
Periodicals 2.56%
Package Services 2.57%

Commercial mailers will see an increase in First Class rates as well, averaging 2.7% on letters, 2.6% on flats and 3.0% on parcels. Similar increases are proposed for other mail classes as well.

Several new Shipping Services products will be available in January. Free tracking will be offered to all competitive packages, including retail Priority Mail and Parcel Post (recently renamed Standard Post). Also new, customers shipping Critical Mail letters and flats will now have the option of receiving a signature upon delivery as part of the service offering.

A large variety of flat-rate boxes and envelopes for Express Mail® and Priority Mail®, including the padded and legal-sized flat rate envelopes will continue to be offered by the Postal Service. New domestic retail pricing for Priority Mail Flat Rate products include:

Small box — $5.80
Medium box — $12.35
Large box — $16.85
Large APO/FPO box — $14.85
Regular envelope — $5.60
Legal envelope — $5.75
Padded envelope — $5.95

Complete prices can be found at the USPS website (select January 2013 price info). Web Link.


Posted by John Hamish, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jan 23, 2013 at 7:47 pm

This is absolutely outrageous. How do they expect us to pay for these increases? And it all goes to entitlement groups. Color me RED as in VERY angry.


Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 24, 2013 at 10:02 am

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

"Why are there so many African-Americans in the Post Office? Because historically it was less prone to racial discrimination than other employers and offered a way out of poverty, says Rubio, a former postal worker and author of the book "There's Always Work at the Post Office: African American Postal Workers and the Fight for Jobs, Justice and Equality."
See the Yahoo news story at this link: Web Link

The net of it is, you're paying for another social welfare program and the price of those feel good projects never goes down, only up. Cholo is right that electronic communication has cut into the USPS's service, but so has much more efficient private businesses like UPS and Fedex. The private companies not only have better business models, they also don't have the burden of employee welfare mandates.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 24, 2013 at 10:21 am

"liberalism" wrote: "The net of it is, you're paying for another social welfare program and the price of those feel good projects never goes down, only up. Cholo is right that electronic communication has cut into the USPS's service, but so has much more efficient private businesses like UPS and Fedex. The private companies not only have better business models, they also don't have the burden of employee welfare mandates."

"liberalism", have you considered the possibility that conservatism (at least your brand) is a "disease"? You've allowed your ideology to completely shape your thinking, ignoring and throwing out facts that don't support your pre-conceived conclusions.

Unlike the USPS, private businesses like UPS and Fedex are not required to service virtually all communities throughout the US. They can pick and choose where to open and where to close there shipping centers depending on how profitable it is to do so. The USPS has much less flexibility there and as I understand it they have an obligation (requirement?) to service and set up post offices in even very small rural towns that UPS and Fedex probably ignore because there's no profit there.

Additionally, UPS and Fedex have the option of adjusting their business to serve only the most profitable types of mailings such as overnight shipping. Try sending a standard 45-cent letter to your grandma through Fedex. They won't accept it. Now try sending an expensive express overnight letter to your grandma or, even better, a big, heavy fruitcake in an express overnight package to your grandma. Fedex will happily accept it - and all your money too.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2013 at 11:57 am

Increasing rates, and yet USPS sponsored the USA team for the tour de France (with Lance A who by now has confessed he used drugs).

Why is a government agency, financed by taxpayer funds, allowed to spend money sponsoring athletes? Leave that to big corporations who actually MAKE money!


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 24, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Resident wrote: "Why is a government agency, financed by taxpayer funds, allowed to spend money sponsoring athletes? Leave that to big corporations who actually MAKE money!"

I don't know about the specifics of the tour de France deal, but I have to remind you that companies don't publicly sponsor tour de France teams or Olympics teams just out of the goodness of their hearts. They expect a return on investment in the form of good, high-profile advertising which, in turn, leads to greater revenues and profits.

But you unwittingly illustrated the basic problem that the USPS has in competing with others such as UPS or Fedex. They are expected to make a profit, but at the same time they are hamstrung by requirements imposed on them such as the requirement to service virtually all communities no matter how small, the requirement to provide inexpensive regular mail service, and now - if you have your way - the requirement to refrain from certain forms of advertising regardless of whether or not whether spending on those forms of advertising are expected to result in a net increase in revenue and profit.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

And, even at 46 cents, we pay far less than other countries: Web Link

History of USPS rates: Web Link


Posted by Brock, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jan 24, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Yes, as the Web Link clearly shows, it's far cheaper to send a DOMESTIC letter in the United States than it is to post an AIRMAIL letter in many other countries. Which is to say: Statistics may be used by liars, but Web Links may be used by idiots.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 24, 2013 at 1:42 pm

if you don't want to pay your bills then don't...it's none of my business...if you wanna pay your bill then stick the proper postage on the envelope and mail it...what's the problem?

i think that there are tons of causoids that don't want to pay their fair share...i rest my case...


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 24, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Sorry it wasn't apples to apples. Here's a couple of in-country examples.

France: A standard first-class letter (20g or less, Lettre Verte) or postcard sent within France costs €0.58.

England first-class within the country:
Letter - Max. 240mm (L) x 165mm (W) x 5mm (D):
0-100g 60p
Large Letter - Max. 353mm (L) x 250mm (W) x 25mm (D):
0–100g 90p
101–250g £1.20
251–500g £1.60
501–750g £2.30

Those who use USPS are covering all operating costs, so I don't think we are paying too much for postage (Sam made a good point about being required to deliver to everyone).


Posted by Brock, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jan 24, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Oh my, did someone pass gas? Yes, we shouldn't expect apples to apples. Nor should we expect a reasoned interpretation of a specific someone's voluteered Web Link. Showing again how the dumb monkeys are running the zoo.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 24, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

"Brock," I apologized. Then I provided apples.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 24, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Here's a link to a Wall Street Journal page listing the "US First-Class Stamp Equivalent" rates of a number of countries.

Wall Street Journal, World Postage Rates: Web Link


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Sam, thank you for the clearer comparison.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2013 at 5:07 pm

"- the requirement to refrain from certain forms of advertising regardless of whether or not whether spending on those forms of advertising are expected to result in a net increase in revenue and profit."

No amount of advertising will increase the use of USPS vs others (like FedEx). I personally use FedEx because the mail (USPS) is not reliable. The mail delivery person has in the past (and continues as of today), delivered my mail to my neighbors and viceversa. We have complained to the post office, spoken directly with the mail delivery person but no change.

USPS does not need advertising, it needs to be able to fire incompetent people - how hard can it be to read the address properly and deliver the the right address? We have been told the mail person cannot be fired! (even when he/she makes mistakes that result in bills being delivered late)

And personally, I never noticed the USPS sponsorship of Lance and team until now that the cheating was exposed! So it was a waste of OUR taxpayer funds, which I hope are recovered now that Lance lost all his tour de France titles


Posted by Lib was right, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2013 at 7:29 pm

"USPS does not need advertising, it needs to be able to fire incompetent people - how hard can it be to read the address properly and deliver the the right address? We have been told the mail person cannot be fired! (even when he/she makes mistakes that result in bills being delivered late)"

And so the discussion has come full circle. Quit social engineering on our dime and hire competent people.

Sam, you chose to focus solely on delivery routes, but that narrow focus ignores that FedEx and UPS deliver everywhere. Without the welfare component, the USPS could have a better chance of competing with efficient private businesses.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 24, 2013 at 10:37 pm

I don't know why I bother with some of you here. A lot of your "thinking" simply consists of parroting fixed slogans. It doesn't matter what the actual circumstances are. You just have your ready-made slogans which you mechanically repeat without even checking to see if they actually apply or not. I've said all I need to say here.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 25, 2013 at 8:33 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Here are some facts from the USPS web site:

SIZE AND SCOPE
The United States Postal Service delivers more mail to more addresses in a larger geographical area than any other post in the world. The Postal Service delivers to more than 151 million homes, businesses and Post Office boxes in every state, city, town and borough in this country. Everyone living in the U.S. and its territories has access to postal products and services and pays the same postage regardless of their location.

By the Numbers
66 billion — revenue in 2011, in dollars
167.9 billion — number of mail pieces processed in 2011
554 million — average number of mail pieces processed each day
23 million — average number of mail pieces processed each hour
384,000 — average number of mail pieces processed each minute
6,400 — average number of mail pieces processed each second
40 — percent of the world's mail volume handled by the Postal Service
1.9 billion — dollar amount paid every two weeks in salaries and benefits
546,000 — number of career employees
31,509 — number of Postal Service-managed retail offices
34 million — number of work hours reduced equals 19,000 full-time employees
213,881 — number of vehicles — the largest civilian fleet in the world
1.2 billion — number of miles driven each year by letter carriers and truck drivers
39.9 million — number of address changes processed in 2011
35.5 — percent of retail revenue from alternative access channels in 2011
1.2 million — number of people who visited usps.com each day
62 million — number of inquiries handled by Postal Service Contact Center in 2011
236 million — dollar amount of online stamp and retail sales at usps.com in 2011
467 million — total revenue, in dollars, from Click-N-Ship label purchases in 2011
5.6 million — number of passport applications accepted in 2011
116 million — number of money orders issued in 2011
543 million — amount in revenue from 2,500 Automated Postal Centers
71,000 — number of stores, banks and ATMs that sell postage stamps
636,530 — number of new delivery points added to the network in 2011
0 — tax dollars received for operating the Postal Service

The last line is worded carefully; tax dollars are provided for areas other than operations. You can find financial reports and more on their site.


Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 25, 2013 at 10:03 am

I started this discussion only to point out that I didn't understand why rates for all types of mail weren't going up. It just seemed to me that when I get junk mail, and we all get a lot of it, the postage rate is less, in some cases much less, than what I pay to mail a letter. Perhaps the postal service would be financially stable if all rates were balanced. I'm not about to bash the postal service or their employees as I think overall they do a great job. How this discussion degenerated into accusations, etc. is beyond me.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 28, 2013 at 4:05 pm

hasn't anyone considered that everything made of paper doesn't have to be mailed? duh...


Posted by Dave, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 29, 2013 at 9:55 am

Cholo,
Perhaps you should get acquainted with the business world before being flippant with remarks like "duh". There are still companies that require the actual paperwork which then necessities using the USPS. Just asking, have you ever actually worked in a business?


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 29, 2013 at 10:45 am

No. duh...


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 29, 2013 at 10:46 am

i have such a strong need to say that all paper does not require mailing...duh


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