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Latest Postage Stamp Price Hike Buys The US Postal Service Two Weeks Of Extra Time

Tyler Durden's picture


The US Postal Service may be a woefully overstaffed anachronism of a bygone era, with a painfully mismatched cost and revenue structure, which last year reported a massive, and record, $15.9 billion annual loss for the last Fiscal year, but that doesn't mean it is going away without a fight. As of yesterday, the USPS valiantly hiked the price of first-class mail by another 2.6%, to 46 cents, up from the 45 cents which in turn was hiked a year previously. Alas, somehow we doubt this latest increase in pricing which is supposed to keep up with inflation, will do much for the long-term viability of the government service which employes some 500,000, and which has warned would run out of cash by October 2013 for two simple reasons: the ongoing collapse in mail volume sent via the USPS (with free or more effective alternative widely adopted), and a cost structure that unlike the revenue side, has managed to stay leaps and bound ahead of inflation courtesy of some rather vocal labor unions.

The WSJ reports:

The price of sending a first-class letter in the U.S. rose a penny Sunday to 46 cents as the Postal Service continues to struggle with eroding mail volume due to expanding reliance on email and the Internet to communicate and pay bills.


The increase comes just a year after the cash-strapped Postal Service pushed the stamp price to 45 cents, and follows the November announcement that the agency reported a record $15.9 billion annual loss for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. At that time, the Postal Service said it would run out of cash by October 2013 without congressional intervention.


There are several proposals before Congress to help keep the Postal Service financially viable, but no action has yet been taken. Agency officials couldn't be reached Sunday, but a statement on its website said the increase was prompted by the "urgency of our current financial challenges."

The fallback plan instituted some time ago has been the USPS' "Forever" model, which includes the forever stamp for domestic and international deliveries:

The Postal Service also has added a new global Forever stamp that allows customers to send letters anywhere in the world for $1.10.


Prices will increase by an average of 2.57% across each class of mail, according to the Postal Service. For a first-class postcard mailed in the U.S., the price is rising a penny to 33 cents. Fees on other services, such as post-office box rentals, also went up.

Alas, not even a far greater increase in prices will do much to dent a far more insurmountable issue: the relentless grind lower in USPS volumes by both first-class mail, as well as regular.

In the past decade, the volume of first-class mail has plummeted to about 73.5 billion pieces of mail in 2011 from some 102 billion in 2002. The drop-off in the volume of first-class stamped mail has been even sharper, to about 25.8 billion pieces in 2011 from roughly 51.9 billion in 2002.

And in chart format:

In other words, the price of first-class postage would need to be surging to keep up with declining volumes to keep revenues constant. Alas, it can't: "First-class mail is the agency's main revenue source and it is prohibited from raising stamp prices beyond inflation."

Maybe the USPS would be in a far better shape if the BLS-reported inflation was more in tune with if not reality, than at least the expense side of the USPS ledger, which courtesy of the record loss we know is far greater than 2% per year.

Luckily, there is a Plan Z:

"Options that Congress is considering to find a path to financial stability for the Postal Service include allowing it to sell ads, ship beer and wine and, possibly, end Saturday mail delivery."

Sell ads? Because the return on making people aware of this "great unknown" that is the US postal service will surely be effective. Well, maybe not, but it certainly will be in line with every other government "investment" proposal so far attempted.

As for the "Forever" stamps, Forever may just last for another 10 months, at least for the USPS: let's do the math here:

$16 billion annual loss offset by a 1 cent increase to 73.5 billion pieces of mail, that amounts to... $735 million. This plan should buy the USPS... two weeks.

In other words instead of running out of cash by September 30, 2013, the USPS will be money free on October 15.

But don't worry: there is a Fed for that, and if not for that, then certainly to keep Treasury issuance costs so low that Congress will have no problems in appropriating another $20 or so billion to fund the worst run government agency for one more year.

After all: will someone please think of the labor votes unions?


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Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:37 | 3191816 Lost Wages
Lost Wages's picture

Forever Stamps, bitchez. 

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:41 | 3191832 I think I need ...
I think I need to buy a gun's picture

how is illinois california post office still going?????? its like magic, someone please explain saw something on pa teachers pension and governor in a few weeks what is going on??????

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:47 | 3191862 ZippyBananaPants
ZippyBananaPants's picture

Maybe can buy them!


Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:51 | 3191878 brewing
brewing's picture

i check my mail box once a week and that's too often.  technology rears it's ugly side more and more each day...

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:56 | 3191898 Enslavethechild...
EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

One day's worth of that fake election funding would pay for ten years worth of Postal Sevice funding

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:05 | 3191926 Zer0head
Zer0head's picture

Naples, FL is one of the most affluent communities in the US.

from the local rag:

Headline #1

Junk in the Trunk: Criminals targeting cardboard, dirt

"Dirt, on the other hand, is harder to steal since it requires equipment necessary to load it and haul enough off to be profitable. A ton of fill dirt sells anywhere from $2 to $5"

Headline #2

Ferrari F12 berlinetta, the smokin' hot car sold (for $750,000)

"Outside the tent, while the Scotts celebrated, auction patrons and automobile aficionados swooned over the vehicle and the missed opportunity."

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:07 | 3191935 TerminalDebt
TerminalDebt's picture

USPS - we'll deliver it today when you absolutely, positively needed it delivered a month ago.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:32 | 3191988 redpill
redpill's picture

I think they mean sell ads for private companies on USPS envelopes and such.  They might as well.  Can't get any worse than LA Galaxy "Herbalife" jerseys.


Mon, 01/28/2013 - 19:22 | 3192992 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

have they heard of the internets?



USPS and lawyers/politicians hate innovation efficiency.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:25 | 3192002 trav777
trav777's picture

if the USPS goes TU, how we will possibly be able to sustain the artificial middle class of diversity?

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:52 | 3191880 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

No need for stamps when you can't pay the bills.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:09 | 3191946 forwardho
forwardho's picture

its like magic

I think, look around you. the whole damn system is running on "majic"

Thats right the economy just pulled a rabbit out of it's ass.

And you saw it!

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 17:46 | 3192708 neidermeyer
neidermeyer's picture

"Magic" , That's the answer we used to give back in the good old days when we had a question about how the computer would do something ,, "PFM" pure fucking magic ... That was back in the days of mainframes that barely had 1mb of memory and hard drives were measured in megabytes and cost about $1000/mb

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:59 | 3191913 TheCanadianAustrian
TheCanadianAustrian's picture

They'll just discontinue the forever stamp program at some point. You can still use the stamps, but only for "second class" mail.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:01 | 3191919 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Oh no!!! That will cost me like .06 cents per year

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:49 | 3192090 Midas
Midas's picture

At the end of the month 5% of the USPS is retiring.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 16:16 | 3192411 pursueliberty
pursueliberty's picture

It'll cost my employer  around $2k this year.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 16:02 | 3192361 Larry Dallas
Larry Dallas's picture

...increase was prompted by the "urgency of our current financial challenges."

How is this different than any other situation today? Stop passing the cost of your bad decisions onto us.

Cut the life-support on your pension plans and let the market adjust it.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 22:42 | 3193577 LongBalls
LongBalls's picture

Another step toward a cashless society. Try paying by check with this goes down. You will have to drop your mail off at UPS?

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:45 | 3191823 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I posted this on a previous thread. Sorry for the repeat but I thought it was important.

The military is taking things to the next level getting the sheep used to their presence in the skies. Now they are using blank machine gun fire. Listen to the reporter explain things away like it's no big deal.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:48 | 3191857 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

I'll only start getting nervous when they start pumping out 'Flight of the Valkyries' over loudspeakers & the choppers are Hueys with surfboards attached...

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:50 | 3191871 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

Place your speaker facing up with tiny Tim's "Tiptoe through the tulips" blaring full blast.  You'll be okay.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:00 | 3191905 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

That would scare the shit out of people so bad you'd have no need for the machine guns... Actually ~ all I think you'd need to do would be to paint a Star of David on your roof... It's probably written somewhere by now that those houses are not to be touched...

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:14 | 3191965 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

"Hi I'm Francis Sawyer, it's been 3 days 6 hours and 23 minutes since my last JOOOOO! comment."

"Hi, Francis!"


Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:18 | 3191981 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

All I said was 'Star of David' (on a house roof)


From: Omens and Superstitions of Southern India by Edgar Thurston, 1912 p. 185:

"Subramaniya yantram, if regularly worshipped, will expel devils from those attacked by them, and from houses"


I also typed 'Cheeburger Cheeburger' in a previous thread... Nobody seemed to be bothered by that very much...

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:44 | 3192076 WillyGroper
Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:53 | 3192099 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Perhaps having Rob Reiner [MEATHEAD] as a son-in-law, made Archie Bunker the way he was... Then again, probably not...


Reiner playef 'Mike Stivich' [A POLLOCK]... Nobody seemed too bothered to have a few yuks at their expense either...

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 15:31 | 3192259 Overfed
Overfed's picture

And they have the nerve to ask why we think we need rifles chambered in .50 BMG.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:40 | 3191824 Zymurguy
Zymurguy's picture

$0.46 stamp just to mail a letter?

Shit, maybe I should look into that email fad thing everyone's talking about.

Honey, whats that number to America On Line?

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:52 | 3191885 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Lycos is all the rage, I hear.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:59 | 3191909 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

If you don't like the post office, you can always send it via FEDEX for $13 instead.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:01 | 3191923 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Git you one of them puters

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:56 | 3192114 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

Just walk over to Jethro and hand the letter to him...he's still liv'n in that thar shed a yonder.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:41 | 3191826 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture



Why don't they just borrow from their pension fund?  Work(ed) for Timmay.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 15:03 | 3192149 RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

They can't.  The Postal Retirement money goes into the "general fund" and gets spent.  The Post Office is the only entity that has to fund lifetime future retirement benefits for all their employees, to the tune of billions of dollars, and the government just steals the money.  Kind of like they do with Social Security....

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 19:43 | 3193052 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

That's not even the half of it. Congress requires the Post Office to fully fund its pension fund decades ahead (it's something crazy like 75 years or so). Congress then promptly loots this fund, leaving behind IOUs.

The Post Office would actually be turning a profit if not for the onerous pension funding rules imposed upon it.

The Wall Street Journal article is a smear job. Tarring the subject with the brush of government waste and ineptitude allows the WSJ to give the story a strong slant while maintaining a faux posture of journalistic "integrity".

This whole Post Office thing is a stalking horse, one which can only be recognized when placed in proper context. The excessively burdensome pension funding requirement was created for one purpose: to kill the Post Office. The postal system is one of the federal government's legitimate responsibilities, as enumerated in the constitution. If the Post Office can somehow be killed off without a constitutional amendment, it will set a precedent for dismantling the constitution piecemeal.

Post Office hit pieces like this are well designed propaganda. That one of the Tylers fell for it just illustrates the effectiveness of the smear.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:40 | 3191829 L_Conquistador
L_Conquistador's picture

The USPS is damned near just another federal entitlement program, for its "workers".  According to the postal employee I know, it's common for workers to sabatoge the sorting systems, in order to slow down the process and earn that overtime pay.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:46 | 3191853 wisefool
wisefool's picture

The US postal service is the only current agency still named in the constitution. I have no idea what documents the porn mongers at the SEC. Perhaps Elliot Spitzer should get to the bottom of it or the 200+ other "Agencies"

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:58 | 3191903 SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

You do know that not one penny of taxpayer money goes to running the Post Office.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:09 | 3191948 Midas
Midas's picture


Don't waste your time.  I have learned there is a certain segment of people who go into a subroutine about the Post Office when it is brought up.  When postage rates go up, not even ZeroHedgers blame the Ben Bernank.  Why is that?  At least the last article on the Post Office had a hot chick.  I'm all for privatization/elimination, but lets start with the TSA, CIA, FBI, Dept of Energy, Dept of Eduacation, Homeland Security, Pentagon, etc etc.  You know, the outfits that bill the taxpayer for thier "services."

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:24 | 3192000 SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

Good tip Midas.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 16:12 | 3192392 Titus
Titus's picture

Ditto, well put Midas.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 16:40 | 3192506 RKDS
RKDS's picture

Amen.  They don't like facts getting in the way of their delusions.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 18:06 | 3192735 neidermeyer
neidermeyer's picture

What do the Post Office and Thom McCan have in common?


50,000 black loafers.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:09 | 3191950 TerminalDebt
TerminalDebt's picture

yeah not one penny, many pennies, in fact 15B dollars worth of pennies

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:11 | 3191951 TerminalDebt
TerminalDebt's picture

double post**

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 15:26 | 3192245 Jeepers Creepers
Jeepers Creepers's picture

Uh, actually a whole lot of taxpayer pennies goes torunning the Post Office, that's why they're having issues, they blew through their $12 billion dollar loan:

Let's just put these people on welfare, it's a lot more honest. 


Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:25 | 3192010 Midas
Midas's picture

If your "friend" knows that is happening why doesn't he not be part of the problem and tell a postal inspector about it?  1-877-876-2455

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:50 | 3192101 pods
pods's picture

See something, say something only works applies to fellow proles.


Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:43 | 3191838 cxl9
cxl9's picture

The Postal Service is a vast, ridiculously inefficient welfare project for otherwise unemployable people. A vast fleet of trucks burns millions of gallons of fuel to deliver dead trees to nearly every home and business in the country, which are then promptly thrown into recycling bins and hauled away by another fleet of trucks. Stop the madness already. Shut it down, sell off the assets, liquidate the pensions, and send all those little worker drones home to watch TV and collect food stamps.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:48 | 3191860 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

well said....

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:51 | 3191877 blindfaith
blindfaith's picture

let me guess, you have a big position in UPS, FEDEX, and DHL in your 401K

EBat and Amazon should buy the PO...afterall, they are the biggest customers since the banks aren'tsending credit card applications to my cat and dog anymore.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:53 | 3191889 SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

Yeah, and a Xmas card from Boston to LA will cost $5 via UPS or Fed Ex.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:12 | 3191959 TerminalDebt
TerminalDebt's picture

maybe without USPS people would stop sending that shit and make a phone call instead. Its the 21st century after all.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:55 | 3191896 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Please, the postal service is one of many.  Speaking of drones, don't look up.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 16:57 | 3192563 Kickaha
Kickaha's picture

Hey, I worked at the post office summers while going to college.  What a great gig!  It paid $6.05/hr. in 1970.  I graduated with zero student loan debt and money in the bank. 

I've worked a lot of different jobs in my life, and the brief stint at the USPS was the finest combination of nice pay and low responsibility that I ever enjoyed.  It did tug on the nerves a little bit the summer this white boy spent at one of the poorest inner-city ZIP codes in Detroit, with 70 unemployed young black youths following me down the street inquiring as to how I had obtained the position.  At least back then people did not kill postal employees.  We were greeted at the door like long-lost friends, bearing the gift of a welfare check (except for the dogs, who always wanted to eat you alive for invading their territory Mon-Sat).

The only time I got physically assaulted was when I substitued for an ex-Marine and finished his route at 11:00 a.m.  I should have known better and gone home and mowed the lawn, washed the car, cleaned up the garage, and reported back to the post office at 3:00 p.m.  The guy cornered me in the bathroom a week later, picked me up by the neck, and informed me I was dead meat if  I ever "killed his route" again.  There were a lot of ex-military working at the USPS after qualifying for their military pensions, which they could draw while working for the USPS, and build up enough credit years of service to get a postal pension, too, when they eventually "retired" to go somewhere and stack a third pension on top of the other two.

I also have some relatives working for the USPS right now.  They both tell me that the place has never been busier, and that they now actually have to work hard.  Doing what?  Sorting and delivering parcels.  It turns out you cannot get all of your purchases delivered as email attachments or downloads.  The explosion in parcel post is a fairly recent phenomenon and the USPS is still trying to figure out how to squeeze the maximum profit from it, and they have some real competition from the FedEX, UPS, and the other private package delivery companies.

Your feeble effort to dictate how businesses should advertise is a massive fail.  If businesses want to advertise via print circulars delivered by the USPS, they should be free to do so.  I, for one, enjoy looking for coupons while sitting on the shitter, and it is only after that ritual that the dead tree material finds the circular open-top file.  I suppose I could peruse the same ads on a tablet, but one large, tumultuous fart and maybe the tablet slips into the blackwater and malfunctions fabulously.

Yes, the USPS could consolidate about 20 of those shitty-ass tiny rural post offices into one big, centrally located one, and then repeat that process about a bazillion times all around the country, lay off a lot of people, and save a lot of operating costs as a result, but Congress probably won't let them shut so many of those little post offices due to the opinions of the voters who live there and write their congressmen, so they muddle through despite those political constraints.

Oddly enough, when you look at history, the first thing just about every government does after consolidating its power is to set up a government-run postal system, which must mean something in the way of legitimacy for having one in the USA, despite the thorny problem posed by rising stamp prices causing greater use of email and drops in the volume of first class mail.  My relatives assure me that it will be parcel post which will keep them employed into the foreseeable future. 

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 17:04 | 3192592 in-Credible Banker
in-Credible Banker's picture

"slips into the blackwater"......too funny!!!

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:45 | 3191852 Big Corked Boots
Big Corked Boots's picture

Forever Stamps - they're even better than "I" Bonds!

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:49 | 3191866 Toolshed
Toolshed's picture



Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:49 | 3191870 Rustysilver
Rustysilver's picture

Two weeks is a very long time.

I complained to my mailman to stop delivering all the newspaper inserts and junk mail. He said that they have to do it.

BTW, you don't own the mail box (even thou you bought it), the government does. Isn't that nice.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:34 | 3192036 wee-weed up
wee-weed up's picture

I've noticed one of the new ways the USPS is trying to deal with the low volumes (low revenues) is a gimmick that enables junk mailers to cheaply send crap to EVERYONE who lives in a particular zip code. This crap isn't even addressed to you, but to "Resident of Postal Zip Code XXXXX." We've always had mail that could be addressed to "Occupant" but it had to have a specific address on it. Of course, the junk mailers love not having to specifically address every piece they send. They can significantly increase the volume sent out. The residents hate it - their mailboxes are always crammed full of useless shit that immediately gets thrown away. Great for the landfills. I wonder if USPS will ever offer a "Do Not Mail" list that would apply to this new avalanche of junk mail? Ha! I'm not going to hold my breath on that one.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:52 | 3191875 SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

I love how Republicans defend the Constitution at any and all costs............  except for the Post Office.  What hypocrits.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:03 | 3191930 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

The sooner you realize that there is only one party, the sooner things will make sense.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:15 | 3191968 thedrickster
thedrickster's picture

So nationalize it then, bring the USPS fully back into government where it is constitutionally provisioned and it can in theory be held "accountable" to voters. 

In actuality however those that benefit from the massive AA fiefdom that is the USPS don't want to be re-integrated into FedGov, they would have to trim fat.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:22 | 3191992 SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

That's the problem with the PO.  It's quasi-private.  Republicans in Congress have placed extrordiary pension constraints on the PO.  THose are the PO's biggest problem.  

I sat let it go private and stand or fall on it's own merits. 

BTW...not a single Fed tax dollar goes to the PO.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 15:46 | 3192318 EmmittFitzhume
EmmittFitzhume's picture

You still think its Dem against Repub?  I don't think you are smart enough to post here.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:52 | 3191882 Mad Mohel
Mad Mohel's picture

You know the term "going postal", that's said for a reason. Now imagine and army of pant shorts wearing federal workers all going postal at once. It has to be avoided at all costs. Stamps!

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:53 | 3191883 jumbo maverick
jumbo maverick's picture

Congressman Dbag proposes a new post office bill. Postal carriers will strap their mailbags to push mowers. Postal carriers, through wind, sleet, rain or snow will then mow old lady lawns while delivering letters.
Postal carriers will charge $30 for lawn mowing weather needed or not.

Postal fiscal cliff averted. So says Congress person Dbag.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:57 | 3191890 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Still getting mail on Saturdays. Nothing has changed.

They can't even deliver the mail to the correct addresses at times.

Simple, cut expenses, cut days and workers. It works for private businesses.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:13 | 3191963 optimator
optimator's picture

DHS will save them and give them sidearms and money (to further protect us).

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:57 | 3191902 cbxer55
cbxer55's picture

Have not bought or used a stamp in so long, most times I do not remember how much they cost. Also, I feel that every time they raise the price of a stamp, they alienate and piss off even more people, who then go looking for alternatives to the USPS. I did that a long time ago. No credit cards, no need to send payments via mail. One vehicle payment which I pay in person while on the way to work. Internet, phone, electric and water paid via alternative method. Voila, no need for the USPS.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:02 | 3191918 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

The USPS is the only agency, public or private that is forced by law to hold capital in reserve to fund future pensions, up to 75 years out.  The only rational explanation for this law is an intent to kill the postal service in order to privatize it. 

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 15:09 | 3192169 RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

No, the rational explanation is that it is an incredible multi-billion dollar "cash cow" source of money for the government that they can spend now (they dump the money in the general fund) and worry about the retirement payments later.   This is the one retirement fund that the government can steal directly, and I feel sorry for those postal workers that are expecting to collect their retirement benefits in the future.   It's kind of like Social Security - the government has already stolen and spent the money.   But, hey - they'll owe it to you.  I'm sure they'll be good for it 10 or 15 years down the road, right?  What could possibly go wrong??

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:01 | 3191922 TideFighter
TideFighter's picture

Postage up .01, landfill, where most of it ends up, YOY 23%. 

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:05 | 3191933 optimator
optimator's picture

I hate to date myself, but I remember the biggest increase of all, 50%.   When it went from two cents to three cents.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:12 | 3191958 Midas
Midas's picture

Those Ponies had to eat....

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:15 | 3191972 TerminalDebt
TerminalDebt's picture

Based on how long they take to deliver stuff I am guessing they are still using the same ponies today

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:13 | 3191961 Movermike
Movermike's picture

Do you suppose there's any relationship between rising prices for first class postage and falling demand for same? I wonder if this works for taxes; the more income tax rates go up the more income tax revenues decline. Naaaah!

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:14 | 3191964 TonyCoitus
TonyCoitus's picture

Damned, these stamps are becoming counterfeit worthy!

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:21 | 3191978 Artful Dodger
Artful Dodger's picture

If this were a private entity, it would be a penny stock. Ok, just bankrupt. But the wonders of government misallocation of public resources combined with public union strength and endless political pandering are such that an organization that a 10 year old could observe should have been drastically restructured a decade ago is costing taxpayers a fucking fortune, but "what can be done?" Your government misallocates your money. I am not from the US; increasingly I find myself thinking that I would not travel to the States for a "vacation" just on principal. (Despite having relatives who wish I would come with them for a change.) It's not a blanket indictment of citizens, obviously, but the government is so actively centralist and so actively puppeted and so ignorant of human rights now that I am afraid, very afraid, of the United States. The suicide of Swartz stemming from government legal bullying while people who commit the real white collar crimes that are, without exaggeration, a million times more serious, go free ... that cemented it. There is nothing the US monoculture can offer; casinos in Vegas where I'm watched by a million cameras? Fuck it all. A corporate-fascist police state in the making. Residents are doing the only intelligent thing they can, as ZH has pointed out, by trying to get on the government dole. It's a form of strike, Rand-style, but without an ethical notion behind it (just a money grab). But dependent citizens only makes the problem worse.



Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:26 | 3192011 SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

"is costing taxpayers a fucking fortune."

Fed tax dollars the PO gets.......... ZERO.  Why don't you rant about something you know at least the most basic fatct about.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 15:46 | 3192317 Jeepers Creepers
Jeepers Creepers's picture

How many times are people going to LIE about the Post Ofiice not getting taxpayer funds:

What do you call a $15 billion dollar loan that is never paid back?  And they have the nerve to ask for more.

Every time there's an article about the USPS, the paid postal trolls come out and say it's not costing taxpayers a penny.

If the USPS had to "stand on it's own two feet" it would be out of business in one business day, which I guess to the Post Office would be about two weeks.


Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:23 | 3191998 All Out Of Bubblegum
All Out Of Bubblegum's picture

It's Lysander Spooner's fault.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 19:13 | 3192971 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

We Await Silent Trystero's Empire

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:26 | 3192008 monopoly
monopoly's picture

Except for a few Christmas cards and such, we Never use the mail anymore. Every bill is paid online. We do not allow catalogues, advise any company that sends one to stop immediately. Between Internet, Email, Imessage or just text, why do we need such a large useless PS> And Saturday delivery should have been stopped years ago. I think those that get prescriptions in the mail can cope with that and business mostly closed on Sat. Common sense in govt. Forget about it.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:28 | 3192019 walküre
walküre's picture

Since we have no aggressive unions left, I wish the postal workers union went postal on the Bernank and his ilk.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:33 | 3192032 SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

Some facts about the PO for the obviously uninformed majority on the article's response thread.  Slightly dated (Sept 2011) but all still relevant.


Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:37 | 3192045 silverserfer
silverserfer's picture

many overlook the fact that the postal service subsidises commerce with its artificaly low rates. They are  food stamps for businesses large and small

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 15:00 | 3192088 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

JCPennys, Sears, Ebay, Amazon, etc ...all these sellers who rely on physical mail are going to take a massive hit to the gut and many will go bankrupt. The USPS itself said they could close 20% of their locations with minimal effect but nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo...they raise rates instead to keep these quiet places open. First class international mail (small packages for example) soared over 6% I think.


Add in the internet sales tax and increased cost of supplies and "handling" (aka, labor) and Bingo! Oh yeah, I almost forgot the credit card "swipe fee" retailers are now allow to charge you....3%.


Dead man Walking.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 14:56 | 3192119 yogibear
yogibear's picture

This Graph reveals the UPS is not controlling their costs. It's out of control. The Fed is sick, the government spending is insane as well as the USPS.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 15:06 | 3192167 Midas
Midas's picture

So you don't believe in inflation?

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 15:29 | 3192257 i8emallup
i8emallup's picture

In other news, the US military declared a loss of 1 Trillion, and the Entire US school system had a loss of 500 billion.

They will now be sold to the highest bidder.

Meet the new commander in chief, steve swartzman from blackstone,

and secretary of education, carl icahn.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 15:40 | 3192295 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

they could get into the landfill and recycle business and juice their supply -  win win



anyway, raise the stamps to $1

everyone says they dont need mail but how do you get your credit cards??  you think FedEx will send that out for 46 cents?

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 15:52 | 3192338 Midas
Midas's picture

It is possible most people on the web don't need mail, but there is a significant chunk of people who aren't online.  If I were the Postmaster General I would base my decisions on the wants and needs of my customers (both mailers and recipients) and ignore the ipod zombies who think their way is the only way things should be done.  I don't use the USPS as much as I used to, but I send in my cc bill every month and get loads of stuff online delivered by the USPS and I hope they keep Saturday delivery.  It is ridiculous to complain about the USPS raising rates as if UPS and FEDEX haven't done the exact same thing.  It's called inflation, and ZeroHedgers shouldn't need that pointed out to them.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 16:42 | 3192520 RKDS
RKDS's picture

If more anti-government types were half as smart as they think they are, there wouldn't be any "government" problems for them to whine about.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 18:47 | 3192901 KingTut
KingTut's picture

How stupid is the Government??? (don't answer that).  

Make First class $1.00 and get over it.

reduce the idiotic bulk mail by charging 0.50 per oz

And overseas charge $2.00

This might even make a profit.  But FedEx & UPS, don't  want the competition, and all the mail order houses and junk mail services would scream bloody murder, and put a stop to that nonsense.  God we're F'd.


Mon, 01/28/2013 - 15:50 | 3192333 Frank N. Beans
Frank N. Beans's picture

smart people started buying Forever stamps years ago on speculation.  They now sell the "old" ones on e-bay for just under today's prices.  

arbitrage bitchez oo

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 16:50 | 3192543 fuu
fuu's picture

Ponzi would be proud.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 16:02 | 3192364 Magnum
Magnum's picture

Misleading chart because "first class mail" has been outpaced by the much more expensive Priority Mail, an excellent service that everyone is using now.  So what if First Class has gone down in volume, why don't you provide stats on PRIORITY MAIL.

Look, any decent country with a sense of dignity maintains a POSTAL SYSTEM for cryin out loud.  So what should we do, continue to foot the bill keeping US military in Japan and Germany, endless $$ sent to Israel (I'd like to see these countries kill their postal service or refund us first before we cancel our postal system).  Let's not be quick to axe the one decent service we Americans at home can still have?  The mailman.  Sheesh.  I cringe every time some idiot says the post office loses money and we shoud all use UPS instead.  You know how expensive that is?

I've read that the USPS actually makes a good profit but due to the US congress manipulating the retirement budget, this causes losses.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 16:32 | 3192475 JR
JR's picture

The story of the post office is salaries for public service employees who have become a political group to support leftist politicians such as Barack Obama. It is a government protected monopoly.

One of the many great pro-Obama inauguration stories was an interview with a retired postal employee from Georgia happy to be attending the inauguration. As a boy he had lived near the Ebenezer Baptist Church where Martin Luther King was pastor and had the young man who had a shoe shine business shine his shoes: 35 cents for the shine but Dr. King tipped a dollar.

The essence of the story was that he could never have imagined a black president even in the life of his grandchildren, let alone in his own life.

An interesting story, but is a memory of Dr. Martin Luther King and the pride of having a black president a reason to elect a socialist puppet of the banking cartel intent on initiating a far left agenda even more radical than most of the members of his party?

Such are the constituencies of the Democrats: race, gender, and all the rest are more important than liberty, free enterprise and, least of all, representative government.

He’s not getting a president, he’s getting a lost country. His grandchildren can look back at the pictures of the first black president as they suffer the serfdom that his policies will bring.

The rapid decline can be seen in the rising cost of a stamp. The cost of a first class postage stamp was 3 cents from 1866 to 1882; dropped to 2 cents from 1883 to 1917, rose to 3 cents in 1918, back to 2 cents from 1919 to 1932, up again to 3 cents in 1933 to 1958…

...going to 4 cents in 1959, to 5 cents in 1963, to 6 cents in 1968, 8 cents in 1971,  10 cents in 1974, 13 cents in 1976, 15 cents in 1978, 18 cents in 1981, 20 cents in 1982, 22 cents in 1985, 25 cents in 1988, 29 cents in 1991, 32 cents in 1995, 33 in 1999, 34 in 2001, 37 in 2002, 39 in 2006, 41 in 2007, 42 in 2008, 44 in 2009, and 45 cents in 2012.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 16:33 | 3192483 Remington IV
Remington IV's picture

what's a "post office " ???

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 17:08 | 3192600 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture

The article falsely blames greedy employees and their union.

  Postal worker wages have NOT kept up with inflation either.

The real gripe is that all worker wages have stagnated

 and pension funds/Social Security have been poached

in order to finance

multi-trillion dollar warfare and multi-trillion dollar bankster graft.


In March 1970, full-time USPO employees with 21 years of service averaged $8,440 — 

Using the low-ball official rate, that is equal to $50000 today.   

Average postal worker makes less than that, and has not kept up with inflation.   



Mon, 01/28/2013 - 18:54 | 3192926 JR
JR's picture

It was a very good year: The salaries of USPS executives |

March 17, 2012

The Gannett 2012 salary finder for USPS employees came out this week, and it contains a wealth of information.  You can find the salary, job title, workplace, and year of hire for any postal employee.   That includes all the executives in L’Enfant Plaza. 

Unfortunately, the salary finder doesn’t contain information about bonuses and compensation packages, which for upper echelon executives can add up to almost as much as the base salary.  For example, according to the USPS Form 10-K for 2011 (p. 54), Chief Operating Officer Megan Brennan earned $225,308 in 2011, but brought in a total of 358,996, and Chief Information Officer Ellis Burgoyne earned $220,846 but brought in $508,688.

Even though the salary finder does not provide this kind of information about total compensation, it is still a useful tool and lots of fun.  For instance, here’s one use for the salary finder. 

Back in November, the Federal Times  revealed that "as the U.S. Postal Service was careening toward a record $8.5 billion loss in 2010, it was paying more than three dozen top executives and officers salaries and bonuses exceeding that of Cabinet secretaries."  A list was not available at that time, but using the salary finder, we’ve produced a list of the 38 postal executives earning the highest (base) salary as of February 2012.  You can see the list here.

Searching the salary finder for zip code 20260, the zip for postal headquarters at L'Enfant Plaza, and then sorting by salary, we’ve learned that there are over one thousand employees in HQ who earn $100,000 a year or more.  

We've also analyzed the data for the top 300 salaries in HQ, the 28 Vice Presidents (not all are in HQ), the 49 District Managers, and 57 plant managers.   (There are over a hundred job titles listed on the website, so we probably missed a few other high-paying jobs.) 

There are 415 employees who fall into one of these categories.  You can see a list of their salaries here…. The salaries of these 415 employees range from $103,480 to $276,840, and the average is about $152,500 (average 22 years of service).  Here’s the breakdown:

Position - Top 300 salaries in HQ; Number in group - 300; Average Salary - $151,210; Average years of service – 22; Vice Presidents – 28 - $189.000 – 25 years; District Managers – 49 - $163,135 – 32 years; Plant Managers – 57 - $143,101 – 29;  Combined list – 415 - $152,428 – 25 years…

…The bottom 90% of American households average $31,244 a year, while the top 0.1% average $3.2 million a year and the top 0.01% average $27 million a year.  (See this article in Mother Jones for more data on income inequality.)

As for postal salaries overall, the average USPS employee — this includes the entire workforce, from non-career casuals to the Postmaster General — earns $57,000 a year, not counting benefits.  The following numbers come from the Form 10-K for FY 2011, and the averages use 645,950 as the total workforce, as indicated in the 10-K. (Totaling Average Compensation of $57,003, plus Retirement at $9,101, plus Health benefits at $8,084, plus Other at $601, Average Total is $74,789.)

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 18:57 | 3192937 Siniverisyys
Siniverisyys's picture

Canada Post undercuts all courier companirs for landed cost, pays their employees comfortable living wagrs, and is profitable. It's pretty f*cking absurd to blamr employees for the demise of a company, when the fault should be squarely placed on the shoulders of management.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 19:16 | 3192982 toomanyfakecons...
toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

A little more polish for the brass on the Titanic.

Tue, 01/29/2013 - 01:11 | 3194030 MadMatt
MadMatt's picture

I've been a letter carrier for 7 years now.  The true problem is the 12 BILLION a year prefunding obligation congress imposed on the post office.  They are prefunding healthcare benifts 75 years into the future. So were paying for health benefits for employees that aren't even born yet!  The PO is a self funding government organization. Government gives us no money but all profits go to them.  Hense the 23% pay cut i just got to become a regular carrier. Oh but i get heath benifits and a shitty retirement plan so it all good.  Its also interesting that jp mogan chase has a logo on my check. Word on the street is were jumping into the parcel delivery service hard. As well as products like beer.

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