It appears that the United States post office will be issuing “forever” first class postage stamps exclusively beginning this spring. The forever concept is simple- buy a stamp now and it will always entitle you to one first class postage rate. Essentially it is a small scale savings certificate. With postage rates rising at roughly twice the rate of inflation over the past thirty years, a forever stamp locks in at today’s prices a service whose price keeps going up. Suppose supermarkets issued forever certificates. People would line up to purchase at today’s prices a market basket of goods at any time down the road. The rationale behind the post office’s plan probably relates to two things. First, there is a desire to see more stamps in philatelic hands-revenue without service is the holy grail of any business. If postal patrons know that their “investment” in modern post office stamps is inflation proof they will be much more likely to commit large sums to modern postage than if the traditional system prevailed. Second, the change probably presages a post office policy of rapid smaller postal increases, say one or two cents a year. Without the nuisance resistance of postal consumers, the post office will be freer to raise prices more incrementally and since the vast majority of post office revenues is metered and bulk mail, eliminating grass roots complaints about postal increases will ease the way for higher rates.

Share on:
Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top