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PRICE HISTORY -- 1st CLASS LETTER RATES
July 1, 1885 2
November 2, 1917 3
2 THE GREAT DEPRESSION of the DIRTY THIRTIES
3 With inflation
zero or less (deflation),
postage did not change for 26
August 1, 1958 4
January 7, 1963 5
January 7, 1968 6
May 16, 1971 8
March 2, 1974 10
December 31, 1975 13
May 29, 1978 15
March 22, 1981 18
November 1, 1981 20
February 17, 1985 22
April 3, 1988 25
February 3, 1991 29
January 1, 1995 32
January 10, 1999 33
January 7, 2001 34
June 30, 2002 37
January 8, 2006 39
May 14, 2007 41
May 12, 2008 42
44 With inflation zero during the Great
January 22, 2012 45 postage changed every single year.
January 27, 2013 46 It went up, even though interest rates were almost zero.
January 26, 2014 49 This instability is a sign of conflict
and growing instability in the society.
January 22, 2017 49
MORE PRICE HISTORY DETAILS
1st CLASS LETTER RATES
+3¢ to 41¢ on 14May07; increment is 17¢/oz & Forever Stamps start.
Up 1 cent to 42¢ 12May08.
Early 2008, $5B Forevers sold, $5B more printed for the May08 rush.
Nonmachinable surcharge increased 17¢ to 20¢ May08
Up 2 cents from $0.42 -- 44¢ on 11May09.
Incrementing 20¢, not 17¢, on 17April2011.
NOTE ABOUT THIS INCREMENT:
April 2011, the 1st class letter increment increased from 17 to 20¢/oz,
but not the 1oz
along with the usual mid-year parcel rate (shipping
service) changes. Letter changes were supposed to be in
After this embarrassing irregularity, the per-oz increment was
Up 1 cent from $0.44 on 22Jan2012.
Up 1 cent from $0.45 on 27Jan2013.
Up 3 cents from $0.46 on 26Jan2014.
Incrementing 21¢, not 20¢, on 26Jan2014.
Nonmachinable surcharge ("bad envelope penalty") 20¢ -> 21¢ 26Jan2014.
Incrementing 22¢, not 21¢, on 31May2015.
Nonmachinable surcharge ("bad envelope penalty") also increased 21¢ -> 22¢ 31May2015.
Increment back to 21¢ on 10Apr2016; Nonmachinable surcharge ("bad envelope") also back to 21¢
(Expiration of two-year exemption to
inflation-matched rate increases granted by the Postal Regulatory
their grant of an "exigent surcharge" in 2014.)
Increment and nonmachinable surcharged unchanged in the price increase of 22Jan2017.
Increases were in 1st class (everything: letters, flats, small parcels) and Media Mail.
All increases weighted small items harder (more
expensive) and left the end of the USPS weight scale more competitive.
2006: The "Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act" is 85 pages long:
But shipping ("Priority") is
different from letters. Starve the Post Office from rate
increases elsewhere, and force them to jack up package costs. Why
is that? .
- Congress gives up control and lets USPS raise prices on 45 days notice by itself.
- The requirement for open, on-the-record public hearings is suppressed.
- Congress promises price increases will not exceed the inflation rate for past 12 months . . .
- but if rates do exceed inflation, Congress promises to punish the postal system with more regulations and procedures.
is no separation of services used by corporations from
services paid for by people. You can't treat them
differently. There is no way to ask corporations to subsidize and
help out anyone else.
inflation rates used by the Postal Regulatory Commission to increase
our cost of living do not have to match the Cost of Living increases
that you and I get for Social Security, etc. (COLAs).
Where FedEx and
the UPS brown trucks are ready to take all the business, Congress lets
the post office price itself out of the market without jumping through
inflation hoops. In other words, where the Postal Service has
power (it is practically the only one carrying letters), Congress lays
on regulations and procedures that increase everything but transparency
(that get rid of tired and true former requirements for public
hearings on the public record). Where the Postal Service does not
have pricing power and where competitors are ready to undercut them to
capture the market, Congress leaves the Postal Service free to go hang
SERVICES USED BY PEOPLE vs SERVICES USED BY CORPORATIONS: My Two Bits:
prices for corporate junk mail should be raised -- the Internet cannot
make you receive and print it, it must be mailed.
letters and postcards instead of corporate mail, because the Internet
can kill letter and postcard traffic, they need help.
Dear Sirs, What you have chosen to price up and up will just topple the system faster and faster.
Before you shut it all down and sell it all off, remember that the US Constitution guarantees us a postal system.
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Current USPS Postage Rate Charts - simple tables
1st Class Letters pricing history -- Revised 4Feb2014 9July2015--I'm late since 31May; 31Jan2017