On Monday, postage rates will go up from 42 to 44 cents. Thanks to the forever stamp, most of us won’t have to bother with those infernal 2-cent stamps this time around.
As so often happens, this convenience has a trade-off. Lowering the transaction costs associated with rate increases means there will be more of them, at least in theory. Sure enough, for the first time in history, rates have gone up four years in a row.
Forever stamps make price hikes so painless that many people probably won’t even notice for months to come. Monday’s increase has barely made a dent in the news.
The forever stamp is a great idea. But frequent rate increases are a serious drawback. This is especially dangerous given the monopoly status USPS enjoys; competition is the only reliable form of price control. Unfortunately, an anti-trust investigation remains less than likely.