Stand Up for the Stamp

A few weeks ago the price of a first-class stamp increased to 49 cents. Sounds like a pretty good deal when you think about it. For 49 cents, a person will come to a box in your neighborhood, pick up your letter, and deliver it anywhere in the United States. What’s the problem?

Of course, some people are complaining about the 3-cent increase, which many like to point out is the largest in more than a decade. “This is an outrage! Who do they think they are? We need to privatize the post office to stop these outrageous price hikes!”

I find watching the evening news really helps to put the price of mailing a letter into perspective. Hundreds of thousands killed or displaced in Syria. The people of the Philippines struggling to rebuild after Typhoon Haiyan. Demonstrators in Ukraine spending the night in subfreezing weather to protest the government. And in the United States, the price of a postage stamp just went up 3 cents.

I can hear the refugees of Syria now: “How do they live there?” The people of Ukraine must be equally appalled: “Three cents. Is there no God?”

Read the article on the Boston Globe.