USPS: 3-Cent Postage Hike Please

stampAnother week, another proposed postage increase by the USPS, which hopes to turn around its spectacular financial woes before the government privatizes it completely. This week, it urged the Postal Regulatory Commission to increase first-class letter rates from 46 cents to 49 cents starting Jan. 26, 2014.

Frankly, we’ve long since gotten over being flustered by postal-rate increase talk. Everything else is going up, and postal rates, too, will have to go up at some point. (Not that the reason being given for the hike – shoring up pensions – particularly sits well with a majority of postal customers who now view pensions as something quaint, like spats.)

What grabbed us in this particular piece was the following lines:

…the USPS is studying whether stamps have any future at all. It has hired a futurist, Faith Popcorn’s BrainReserve, and is paying the group $565,769 to examine ways to stem the decline in stamp use…

Now $565,769 is under-the-couch-cushion money in terms of the $15.9 billion the USPS lost last year, but still. If something called “Faith Popcorn’s BrainReserve” shows up on your monthly bank statement, chances are good that there are still expenses in your budget that can be cut. Really.

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