Hey Mr. Postman, check and see...

We just learned that the U.S. Post Office wants a postage stamp increase to 55 cents.  It is a big increase, according to news reports:

The U.S. Postal Service wants to up the price of its first-class stamp in its ongoing battle against declining revenue.

The agency announced Wednesday it's looking to raise the cost of its first-class mail Forever stamp from 50 cents to 55 cents, among other price changes.

If the proposed increase is approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, it will be the biggest since 1991.  The new numbers have already been approved by the Governors of the Postal Service.

Wow – 1991?  I remember standing in line in 1993 and paying 29 cents to get the new Elvis first class stamp.  In fact, I used the Elvis stamp for overseas letters (2 per envelope) for friends who wanted to see it.  It was apparently the talk of the world back then.

So I asked a couple of people about the increase, and the answers were interesting:

"I don't mail letters anymore," said the guy next door when I walked out to get the paper this morning.  "I just get bills and political ads in my mailbox."

A few hours later, my favorite doughnut shop-owner said it's cheaper to make a phone call than to mail a postcard.

My mother said on the phone: "¡Diós mío [my God]!  I remember when it was like 4 cents when we came here from Cuba."

The Post Office will probably get its increase, but most Americans will probably write fewer letters and complain more about all the unsolicited stuff in their box.

Maybe it will occur to someone to privatize the service and stick to registered letters.  Who knows?  Paying 55 cents is not going to get a lot of people to buy postage, no matter what rocker or athlete is on the stamp image.

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