Sound Off

Sound Off: I heard that postage went up recently. Are the “forever” stamps that were purchased in 2011 adequate now? What are the rates now?

Postage for a one-ounce letter went up to 45 cents, postal employee Greg Howard said. But forever stamps bought in 2011 will still be recognized, without the need of additional postage.


Tim Quest 5 years ago

What about "forever" is so difficult to understand?

youngjayhawk 5 years ago

"forever stamps bought in 2011 will still be recognized"

Hope your loss is not too great!

ignatius_j_reilly 5 years ago

Or, if your receiving company would do bills online, you're only losing 30-odd cents for each bill vs. 40-odd.

Curtis Lange 5 years ago

I wonder about people sometimes. :/

Scott Morgan 5 years ago

Um, I guess I save .45@ with auto deduction services and pay online.

overthemoon 5 years ago

45 cents is a bargain. With FedEX and UPS trying to push the USPS out of the market, just think what it would cost to mail a birthday card!! I recently got a letter from a friend in MO. It came in one day. No expedited delivery, just regular mail. For 43 cents. I think we need to think about the cost of mail relatively and not be going nuts over 2 cents.

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

The "market" was created long before the USPS. Indeed, PRIVATE delivery of letters was the only option before 1871. That's like, uh, for the first 95 years of our nation.

And, for the delivery of packages? Ever hear of Wells Fargo or American Express?? They were among the many private transportation/delivery companies that were absolutely necessary for the delivery of non-first class mail. Heck, it wasn't until the early 20th century that the USPS even started delivering non-first class mail! (I've heard it started with the Sears Roebuck catalog in 1906.)

So...we had 95 years with PRIVATE delivery of first class mail, and over 130 years of PRIVATE delivery of packages...before UPS came along. 130+ years of market development.

Oh...and let's not forget that UPS was started in 1907. (It was called American Messenger Company for the first 12 years.) Wow. UPS started almost exactly when the USPS started delivering something other than first class mail.

So...could you please explain your "there was no "market" until UPS created it; prior to that USPS had a government owned monopoly"? I mean, the facts certainly don't support that statement...but perhaps I'm missing something?

kansanbygrace 4 years, 11 months ago

Wrong on the second point, DIST. USPS, one of the best mail delivery services in the world, delivers small and light for less and faster than any of the competitors.
Another point is that every single day, a great portion of the small packages that UPS, FEDEX, DHL handle are delivered to the USPS for postal carriers to deliver to their destination.
The private deliveries would be substantially more expensive if they didn't outsource their small package handling to USPS.

friendlyjhawk 5 years ago

What are the USA H First-Class Rate stamps worth as postage today?

kujeeper 5 years ago

USPS is horrible, typical government workers who won't go above and beyond for any reason. Lets privatize it, see postage decrease, and service quality sky rocket. I just got a Christmas card from KC last week and I only live 55 miles from the sender, they could've walked it to me faster!

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

You how private FedEx and UPS offer a sooooo much less expensive option for sending that Christmas card??? Uh huh. Sure.

Unlike you, I don't expect perfection...but I still haven't had something I sent via first class take more than a day to get to its destination in years. (And I use first class mail regularly for specific reasons so, yes, I actually do know if the mail has been received.) Unfortunately, one of the USPS plans for lowering costs is up the delivery goal to 2 days. Cutting costs of providing service...lesser results.

By the way, it sounds like you didn't know that FedEx and UPS depend on the USPS for deliveries to remote rural areas. Yup. That's what they do...hand off deliveries to the USPS. Kinda the way they stay so "efficient" is by utilizing that very thing you think needs to be privatized.

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

As an aside...wanna know where USPS are losses coming from? From Congress mandating, in 2006, that the USPS set aside $5.5 BILLION annually for 10 years into a “Future Retiree Health Fund”.

There's already over $40 billion in the account but, even with USPS financial problems due to changes in how Americans communicate with each other, Congress won't back off. Won't reduce the amount by a single penny. Won't even allow the funding to be stretched by smaller set asides over a longer time period now that there's sufficient funding to cover costs for over 40 years!!!

globehead 5 years ago

Odd, I mailed a letter from downtown KC just before midnight once addressed to my mother in Topeka. She got it at 10:00am the very next morning. Of course, I did use a stamp on mine.

Scott Morgan 5 years ago

Kujeeper, Even sadder

Much like the sticker shock of the 1990s when citizens realized school administration in small communities were making 100K or more. In Western Kansas some of these birds were making 3 x more than anybody else in the county. We did nothing. Not much has been done about the contracts loaded with cash out insurance, new cars, full pay for a year after retirement, and gulp (smile you paid for it), the famous consulting contracts, we should now turn our attention to the USPS. Well all non specialized tax payer funded jobs really.

Folks are now realizing we gave up the farm to fed workers. BTW....regarding a national story ......The more folks know about Wisconsin state employees pay packages the less popular the protests are. Notice you don't hear much anymore. Why? The citizens of Wisconsin saw the real figures and benefits and are sizzling mad.

Check and see how much an average postal worker makes. Check out what the ave. for an asst. manager (10 years) of a small town post office makes. State employee benefits are generous, you should see what our federal buddies receive. You do not need any training except a high school diploma either. Think folks would line up for a job like the above?

parrothead8 5 years ago

"... we should now turn our attention to the USPS. Well all non specialized tax payer funded jobs really."

You do know that the USPS isn't funded by taxpayer dollars, right?

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

Would you PLEASE explain to me why your goal is to lower other workers' pay and benefits packages...rather than to raise those of everyone else? Or at least to raise those of yourself? That makes ZERO sense: "I don't make as much as you do, so I want you to make less!" Uh huh.

Oh...and if you are actually whining because "it's taxpayer dollars"...then please explain why you used postal workers as an example, then. After all, they aren't paid by taxpayer dollars! They get ZERO taxpayer dollars.

Scott Morgan 5 years ago

Comrade acorn, have you read about the Greek economy lately? A Euro country (weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee everybody gets everything) which may not have the moolah to pay the electric bill in March. Germany is pi@@ed off. Not nice to make Germany mad.

Yes, when people like mail folks earn more than teachers, by a long shot something needs to be done which makes sense.

Terry Sexton 5 years ago

Fund the damn post office & while you're at it, throw some money in there for public broadcasting.

JackMcKee 5 years ago

There are no stupid questions. There are only stupid people.

purplesage 5 years ago

When did this latest increase take effect? I don't remember news coverage.

FedEx and UPS both deliver piles of stuff to the post office. Then, the postal service is supposed to make the final leg of the delivery to an address. I say supposed to; a recent experience, small town, a parcel arrived from Massachusetts. Once the post office got it, it was never seen again. At least, until some unknown good samaritan left it, 3 weeks later on our back porch on a Saturday morning.

Why can the privately run, for profit agencies make a bundle and the post office is a welfare case?

JackMcKee 5 years ago

take one look at the people working at the post office and you're question will be answered.

Maddy Griffin 5 years ago

What kind of slam is that? Are you aware that USPS is the single largest employer of Veterans?

Scott Morgan 5 years ago

Good, love vets, also like to see my money working correctly.

deec 5 years ago

The post office receives NO taxpayer funding. UPS and Fedex subsidize their profits by handing off their mail to the post office in rural areas for delivery. Both UPS and Fedex also raised their rates recently.

deec 5 years ago

This is an illustrative example, clearly showing that the private, for-profit option is much more expensive and less efficient. It was presented to refute the fallacious contention that privatized service is both cheaper and more efficient.

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

I wouldn't read too much into the word "won't", Math.

After all, Jesse was telling us the "cheapest quote" he found on the FedEx website...and the delivery date. Doesn't mean he actually sent a 0.01 ounce envelope that way. Could be he was just looking for comparison purposes?? Because of the posts on this forum???

deec 5 years ago

Of course you got it wrong, on purpose, probably. He clearly is stating it is an example only. The post office, Fedex, and UPS websites give an estimated delivery date, which he mentioned in the post. His example shows that private for-profit methods of delivering a letter are more expensive and less efficient, which belies the conservative mantra that private enterprise is cheaper and more efficient,

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

So you have never use the wrong word in a quickly typed forum post? Why am I skeptical?

I apologize for not being clearer in my suggestion that you not read too much into his use of the word "won't". I realize I should have that time..."haven't you ever used the wrong word in a quickly typed forum post?"

Jean Robart 5 years ago

January 15 or 16. Where have you been hiding? It was plastered all over the news.

deec 5 years ago

Postal rates have risen from 39 cents to 45 cents in the last five years. "Declining mail volume is a symptom of the weak national economy[citation needed], particularly related to the financial and housing industries, and to trends toward the use of electronic mail. First-Class mail volume (which is protected by legal monopoly) peaked in 2001[24] and has declined 29% from 1998 to 2008, due to the increasing use of email and the World Wide Web for correspondence and business transactions.[25] Lower volume means lower revenues to support the fixed commitment to deliver to every address once a day, six days a week. In response, the USPS has increased productivity each year from 2000 to 2007,[26] through increased automation, route re-optimization, and facility consolidation.[25] Despite these efforts, the organization saw an $8.5 billion budget shortfall in 2010,[27] and has been losing money at a rate of about $3 billion per quarter in 2011.[28]"

Kendall Simmons 5 years ago

A situation that could be eased by Congress backing off from their 10 year $5.5 billion requirement that the USPS fund the “Future Retiree Health Fund”.
Right now there's over 40 years of funding in it. But Congress won't even considered stretching the last 5 years of this requirement out over a longer period and concomitantly reducing the annual funding requirement.

Seems like they want to drive the USPS out of business so that there doesn't need to be any health care funding needed after a while.

Scott Morgan 5 years ago

I am 6 decades old, the USPS has been barking the same lame message for my entire life.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

"after the last link of the U.S. currency to gold was broken in 1971"

You mean in 1933.

The link to silver was broken in 1971.

FlintHawk 5 years ago

Here's some clarification: Only the "Forever" stamps that have "Forever" printed vertically on the right hand side of the stamp are true "forever" stamps.

I spent hours earlier in the week trying to get accurate information about the increase and "Forever" stamps. Many people bought what they thought at the time were "Forever" stamps (no amount shown on the stamp), but turns out those stamps are NOT forever.

The only real Forever stamps I have are the Liberty Bell ones, with "Forever" on the right hand side. Those are now worth $.45.

Dixie Jones 5 years ago

the garden love stamps are "forever" stamps, it is not limited any longer to the liberty bell stamps only ...

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

Just think, by the time you find them, they'll be worth a fortune!

kansanbygrace 4 years, 11 months ago

usps, one of the best mail delivery services in the world, delivers small and light for less and faster than any of the competitors. Another point is that every single day, a great portion of the small packages that ups, fedex, dhl handle are delivered to the USPS for postal carriers to deliver to their destination. The private deliveries would be substantially more expensive if they didn't outsource their small package handling to USPS. The Congressional mandate to USPS that they must fund an enormous "future benefits liability" that no other business in the world has to do busts the budget by itself. Congress is doing everything they can to kill the more effective, efficient and economical delivery option and leave us paying more for less.

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