I have no problem with the new cost of a first-class stamp. The extra penny is obviously trivial, and even 33 cents is a bargain compared with, say, FedEx. It’s the extra time that gets me-having to buy all those sheets of one-cent stamps (lick-on, only; adhesives not available). All that little folding and tearing and licking and sticking. And the idiotic idea of someone returning your letter because you forgot the extra penny.


All they had to say was:

1. From now on, no new 32-cent stamps will be produced.

2. But all existing 32-cent stamps will be accepted for mailing a letter.

The result? Just much easier for everybody.

I can think of only two conceivable objections:

1. It would give some people with lots of stamps an unfair advantage.

Oh, please. A few lucky souls with rolls of 32-cent stamps would save a little money. But even this wouldn’t be unfair. Sure, I, with my 10 rolls of stamps, would ultimately save $10, while you with your four stamps in the top right-hand drawer of your desk and that other now-somewhat-wrinkly-one next to the paperclips would save only 5 cents. But (apart from a rousing who cares!) it actually evens out. Because by buying my 10 rolls of stamps a few months in advance, I was in effect giving the USPS a $320 interest-free loan. So this $10 can be thought of as just a little interest.

2. It would cut into the projected revenue from the rate hike.

Oh, please again. If this were a concern, and it’s hard to imagine it really could be (bear in mind, this little convenience wouldn’t affect metered mail or all the other classes of postage), the USPS could just have moved up the “effective date” of the price-hike by a week or two. (Starting sooner would have meant more extra pennies sooner, thus balancing out the pennies “lost” by accepting 32-cent stamps for first-class mail.)

The Post Office does a great job, but readers of this column will know this is the second time it has made me mad with pointless user-unfriendly regulations. (See “Going Postal,” if I ever get the ARCHIVES up and running on this site.) You don’t want to be around if I get mad a third time.


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