questionsare you willing to pay more to the postal system…

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I would be willing to pay more for letters and such....I mean, who else would deliver an envelope from California to Maine for 46¢?

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@nedreck: Thank you. That's the point I was trying to make.

How much more would you be willing to pay?

vote-for16vote-against

It would be interesting if they would break the pricing into zones. IIRC, the first digit in your zip code designates a zone, the next two define it more and the last two get you in alphabetical order in the previous designation. I don't mind paying $2 to ship across the country...but really, it would bother me to pay that for shipping across town. I realize that fuel is an expense, but online payments are free. Hmmmm ::::goes for more beer::::

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But would it help? Tossing money at something just to spend money doesn't sit well with me.

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When USPS rises the cost of stamps 2-4 cents it is delaying the inevitable for the next increase (which should have already occurred by this point). Honestly right now I feel that all stamps should be .70/ea right now..

Additionally, they need to stop with the "Forever Stamps".. It's original intention was to have a surge in stamp purchases, but now it's simply costing them money in the long run.

There were 23.2 billion first class single piece mail volume in 2012. Adding .24 for 2013 would generate an additional $5,568,000,000 in 1 year..

Which btw, is how much they are currently in the RED.. After that surge, they can keep that .70 First Class Stamp price for a long time (until inflation meets & exceeds it again)

vote-for20vote-against

I'm kind of surprised prices haven't gone sky high, yet. It's still amazingly cheap, considering the cost of fuel, labor, etc, yet people complain every time postage has an increase.

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Nope. Personally I think they should cut Tues & Saturday delivery. I do believe that the flat-rate shipping, improved Priority mail and willingness to work with the private companies (like with Smart Post) are steps in the correct direction.

The issue is that direct mail companies are keeping the unneeded services (daily door-to-door delivery?) afloat.

vote-for11vote-against

Yes.

Wish they hadn't killed international parcel post. Boxes that used to cost little to ship are now too expensive to bother with using any carrier.

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@mtm2: The post office is very efficient. Years ago, they've reduced their shipping contracts from hundreds down to just a few, namely FedEx and UPS.

The reason why it's losing money is because it's offering its services at far too low a price - at a loss - for the people's benefit. First class postage should be at least $0.75 compared to other countries' postage.

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@caver2130: They were going to cut Sat delivery in August but Congress stopped that.

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Definitely. Yes, yes, yes and yes!

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Charging us more for a first class stamp isn't going to save the postal service. It will just encourage more people to use online billing, ecards etc. Some companies are already offering incentives for online billing.

The money is now in parcels. I use the postal service for some small packages, but it's usually cheaper to use FedEx or UPS. The postal service also has some ridiculous rules and regulations.

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@first2summit: The problem isn't that their prices are too low, it's that the politicians are forcing them to fund 75 years of pensions in a very short period of time.

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@wildridge: I've seen companies that charges a convenience fee for electronic payment, too.

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@publiclurker: I'm curious - could you explain a little more in detail? Or is your comment based on something you read on the internet! jk.

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Well, I didn't think I would get a response. The U.S.P.S does not pay pensions. Federal employees were under the CSRS until 1987, then under the FERS retirement system until now. Retirement is paid by the federal government, not the Post Office.

vote-for-11vote-against

NO, this business needs to be run like a business. Where in the world do you have to pay in advance all of the retirement that will be do for an employee, before he or she has ever worked it. Most of the mail men that I know, not only deliver mail, but have other businesses that they own and run. Most are at least double dippers for Government jobs. Lets let this get cleaned up, before we give them any additional pennies.

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@azmjb: This is just another example of someone who is misinformed. Where do you get the "pay in advance all of the retirement that will be do for an employee, before he or she has ever worked it." sic

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@ojulius: I'm not familiar with the federal retirement program in which USPS employees participate, but I'm assuming from @publiclurker's comment that this retirement system might be facing the same issues that challenge the state retirement systems here in Louisiana. Although our systems have done remarkably well with investments, the state government has failed to pay in the matching funds for employees' retirements that they are obligated to pay. As a former state employee, my retirement contributions were always deducted from my checks without exception. The employer's portion of the retirement contributions, however, was frequently NOT paid. This would not be tolerated in a retirement system for any private company, but this piece of information is not well-known to the general public.

/Soapbox

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First of all, I'm happy to see so many comments supporting the Postal Service.
I've seen some posts by members who don't know what they are talking about.
Some background: I retired from the P.O about 15 years ago. When I first started working we delivered mail on bicycles or in 3 wheeled scooters. Gas was about 35 cents a gallon, and it was cheaper to operate the scooters than it was to feed the horses!
Bottom line here: my retirement pay is paid by the feds, not the P.O.
There has been recent talk about doing away with Saturday deliveries. This concept is nothing new. There was talk of it before I retired, but it didn't sit well with the unions. It would probably result in a loss of jobs.

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@azmjb: You havent the slightest clue about the subject. Educate yourself before you come barging into an intelligent debate.

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I wonder what a major increase would do to internet sales...

vote-for11vote-against

I'm willing to pay more, but only if they charge the exact same rate for the companies that send junk mail to me. Once a week I get a mailbox full of junk from RedPlum, who proudly boasts that they mail to 99% of all households in America. In 2010, there were 115,000,000 households. If RedPlum were paying 46¢ each (and I'd pay more than 46¢ for that much mail), that would generate revenue of roughly $53 million per week or $2.75 billion per year. How much of that do you think they're really paying? A tiny fraction, I'm sure. Stop making us support the junk mailers (aka the enemy) with our postage rates.

By the way, you can unsubscribe from the RedPlum junk mail. When the unsubscribe finally processes in 10 weeks, you get...your next-door neighbor's RedPlum. That's because even though your address is on that mass of junk somewhere, the letter carriers don't bother to read it...they just put one in every mailbox. The last house on my route is the one that doesn't get it anymore.

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@supersox: What would internet sales be if the P.O . didn't exist?

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@cleverett: Sounds like a personal problem, self inflicted. Not a problem caused by the P.O.

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@first2summit: That is not why. Congress is trying to force USPS out of business...in order to do it...it created a law that requires USPS save up enough to cover retirement benefits 75 yrs in advance. The ONLY entity required to do that.

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@azmjb: that is totally false on its face...

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@webgenie: Do you have any info to back up your claim? People are posting here with nothing to back up what they are saying. Yeah, you probably read it on the internet! The Post Office does not pay retirement benefits - retrirement pay is payed by the Feds.

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I can see that my attempt to educate people is a losing cause. Back to original question, I would pay as much as a buck to send a letter. I send out maybe 3 letters a month, most of my bills are payed either online or have auto payments made. Nobody writes letters anymore, since Al Gore invented the internet! The Post Office, required by law, delivers to areas that are not profitable to other delivery services. I've had excellent service from the P.O. Most comments I see or hear are negative about the P.O, but I'm very happy with the service I receive.

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I think home mail delivery should be 3 days a week. Half MWF the other TTHS.

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that is NOT true...the USPS is self funding... the Federal govt does not pay for their retiree benefits because they are self funding.......and here is a link to back up my claim about the prefunding retirement for 75 yrs

"Unlike any other public or private entity, under a 2006 law, the U.S. Postal Service must pre-fund retiree health benefits. We must pay today for benefits that will not be paid out until some future date. Other federal agencies and most private sector companies use a “pay-as-you-go” system, by which the entity pays premiums as they are billed. Shifting to such a system would equate to an average of $5.65 billion in additional cash flow per year through 2016, and save the Postal Service an estimated $50 billion over the next ten years. With the announcement of our Action Plan in March, we began laying the foundation for change, requesting that Congress restructure this obligation."

http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/financials/annual-reports/fy2010/ar2010_4_002.htm

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And here is another good article laying out the problem:

At the heart of the matter is a 2006 Congressional mandate put on the US Postal Service contained in the “Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006” to pre-fund healthcare benefits of future retirees, a 75 year liability over a 10 year period. No other agency or corporation is required to do this. This provision costs the Postal Service $5.5 billion a year.

http://my.firedoglake.com/mmonk/tag/american-postal-workers-union/

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this little handy dandy 2006 mandate (thanks to the tea party candidates in congress who had just taken Congress) is just trying to force the USPS to close so that it could be "privatized". Guess which companies are backing it?

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Yes. I would be willing to spend $1.50 to send a letter, as long as it is being delivered within 2-3 days (which is pretty true for most of the country). Package and parcel prices? They could rise slightly with no one really caring, but not significant. A small increase in commercial mail could probably be sustainable without discouraging advertisers from mailing stuff out.

Lastly, as others have said, get rid of Forever stamps! My mom bought hundreds of them, and Im sure others did as well. People will continue to do that, and it really prevents them from being able to raise prices, since a lot of people already have a year of stamps on hand. If they want to do something like that, have stamps that are marked "Good until 2014, then $0.45" or something like that. That would allow people to buy stamps, know that even if the rate increase they can still use them. After doing that, the price of stamps should rise consistently, a small amount once per year would be very reasonable.

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@webgenie: You're confusing health benefits with retirement pay

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Junk it in favor of a fully privatized system that succeeds or fails on it's own merits....not my tax dollars. Each and every time our government, in it's wisdom, monetarily supports a private entity it spoils the mixture for the whole.
Laissez-faire

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No. And here's why:

The postal service is exactly that, a service, and it should stay that way. If you're unemployed and can't afford stamps for letters, does that also mean you shouldn't be afforded services like fire and police?

I can afford the extra taxes coming out of my paycheck that is keeping the postal service afloat. People that can't afford it shouldn't be punished. Leave the stamp pricing low.

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NIce try mr postal worker.

Let's just get rid of the USPS entirely.

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I'm not interested in paying more for USPS.
They're unionized and their pay and benefits are ridiculous.
http://work.chron.com/average-pay-postal-worker-2050.html
(In 2011 average pay was around $50K for most USPS workers not including benefits...)

If you can't compete as a business on your own merits, you go out of business.

And they don't provide good service.. I hardly if ever use them now and when i have to, the wait for supposed service in person is awful. They will have one person at the counter and a line 10 deep at lunchtime when they know they will be busier! The workers are surly and slow to boot. Job security through the union will do that to an employee. They don't care about going above and beyond service because they get raises regardless.

If I have to make a stop at Fedex, there are always more people working the counter and never a line and they are friendly.

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@ojulius: Yeah I did...however the 2006 mandate to fund their retirees healthcare for the next 75 yrs is beyond the pale and is designed to make the USPS fail. No other business faces that requirement. How do you compete with UPS and Fedex who do NOT have to prefund their retirees healthcare...By the way....they are also who paid for the lobbyists for this...

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@maxify55: YOUR tax dollars do not pay for the USPS it is self funding. The mandate that no other industry faces is set up to force failure....that is what YOUR tax dollars ARE doing. Forcing the failure of the postal service that is the envy of the entire world! Do you know there are lots of places in the world that do not have a postal service? So yeah all the things that the rest of the world envied about us have been systematically dismantled in the effort to "privatize" everything. Should we also make ALL roads toll roads? Should you have to pay the fire department to put out your house fire? Should you have to pay individually for a police officer to show up at your door?....Oh and this Internet you are using.....Designed by YOUR tax dollars.

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@ojulius: at $1 a delivery people will stop mailing bills, letters and cards. It will push more people to online communication and bill pay. The only people hurt buy $1 per piece will be the elderly who still pay the old fashioned USPS way and the poor.

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@llamabox: Why on EARTH would you want to get rid of the greatest postal service in the world. The entire world evy's it? Do you know what made us the greatest country in the world? Having things the rest of the world envy'd. This meme to privatize everything has dismantled that piece by piece. So yeah lets turn this country into a third world banana republic by privatizing everything.....that will certainly ensure our "greatness" won't it?

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th epostal service does not need to charge more to be saved. they need to stop having to fund their retirment fund in advance for 75 years.. no business anywhere has to have a retiremnt plan that is fully funded for 75 years. this is how the republicans are trying to kill it (union busting) so the coporations who fund THEM (the congress) ups/fedx/etc can take over and make more money. the post office is part of the constitution and no congress should be trying to break it up.

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@hessem: OH YES they DO provide a excellent service...they are envied the world over. You do realize that UPS and Fedex BOTH use the postal service to complete their deliveries? You do know that there are lots of areas in our country that are not serviced by either UPS or Fedex ONLY the USPS reaches every address in the country.

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@webgenie: No they don't. Counter service at my local USPSs sucks. Flat out sucks. And I have gone to no fewer than four different USPS locations and it's the same at all four locations. Understaffed, slow, surly with some employees standing around while the queue for counter service grows...

Sorry USPS counter service SUCKS. Typical union employee behavior.

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The USPS has outlived it's usefulness. It's a dinosaur of a bygone era.
Shut it down.

Webgenie is very obviously biased and likely a USPS employee.
There is no other way anyone could defend the current state of the USPS unless their paycheck is coming from the USPS.

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@hessem: YOU are wrong.....the USPS is SOOO old fashioned that USP and Fedex BOTH use them as the final leg of the journey of a package OFTEN. It's soooo Old fashioned that everyone in the US gets an address and postal service. That is not the case in the rest of the world. By the way....as far as your privatizing goes.
Do you know why there are huge slashes of America that STILL do not have high speed internet? Why is that do you think....it's privatized. There are places where it just isn't profitable to them to do it. So because of that we are lagging behind the rest of the world in Internet speeds. So much for privatizing making all things better!

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My first thought here was to say I would pay whatever increase it would take for the stamps to help the USPS. After reading through these comments and checking out the links here, I am now against increasing stamps just for the sake of "saving" the USPS. Good for the wooters who have put in their links to back up what they are saying. It's kind of sad when the only response someone has to another that is showing you where to go to read about why they are answering a question the way that they are is, "that's a lie, or don't believe everything you read on the Internet," it's pathetic. Start "listening" and "opening up your brain" to reality. There are so many close-minded people in this world that have a generic answer for everything they don't agree with.

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@llamabox: Really? And who would deliver all the bills that come in paper form with no online options? Could you really imagine if it was up to UPS and FEDEX? Not only would the cost be astronomical, but that cost would hit the companies sending said bills and I am sure there would be an increase in rates from that end as well. I ship hundreds of packaging a year to buyers all over the country and I always use USPS. Why? Cost and convenience.