Greeting Card Industry Wants To Save USPS From Itself, More Rate Hikes

The greeting card industry has a vested interest in the survival of the United States Postal Service. We might use a private first-class mail delivery service to send cards if the USPS cut back on service or disappeared, but probably wouldn’t. That’s why they, along with the magazine and catalog industries, say that another rate hike isn’t the solution.

Experts expect the USPS to ask for another rate increase sometime this fall, which will make you feel vindicated if you’ve been stockpiling Forever stamps. First-class stamps could have increased in price by as much as three cents. The mail-related industries counter that this is self-defeating, and raising prices will only drive companies and consumers away from snail mail.

Their solutions are a little different from those put forward by the USPS: the Greeting Card Association suggests eliminating the onerous requirement that USPS pre-fund retiree health benefits, but also cutting workforce costs by not bringing mail to every house in the country. Gasp! They suggest “cluster boxes,” as if we became a nation of college dorms or apartment complexes with mail centers. That would save billions of dollars per year and still put fresh mail in consumers’ hands every day.

The good news is that the postal service has only lost $3.9 billion in the first nine months of this fiscal year. compared to $15.2 billion in fiscal 2012.

The Greeting Card Industry Has a Special Message for the Postal Service [Businessweek]
USPS postpones price increase decision [The Hill]