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Increased 1¢  12May08 to 27¢
Increased 1¢  11May09 to 28¢
Increased 1¢  17Apr11  to 29¢
Increased 3¢  22Jan12 to 32¢ Less than a year since last increase. 
Increased 1¢  27Jan13 to 33¢
Increased 1¢  26Jan14 to 34¢ 
Increased 1¢  31May15 to 35¢
Rolled back 1¢ 10Apr16 to 34¢  

The 10Apr2016 rate change marked the expiration of the 2-year "exigent surcharge" granted in 2014.
However, the Postal Regulatory Commission restored rates to sometimes novel values never seen before,
so it is inappropriate to call the April change a "roll-back", which was its nominal policy goal. 

The exigency of the "exigent surcharge" was a USPS that was running losses and needed to get out of the red.
The policy of solving losses by increasing rates is wrong when a market of many alternatives makes demand elastic.
Elastic demand means, if you charge more, I want it less (I can go elsewhere).

A better policy for solving losses would be simpler rates, not higher ones.
Increase ease of use and volume.  Cut the complexification, abolish some zones, offer flatter flat-rate services.  
Be more popular than your competitors, not less.
Since it is the competitors' lobbying that enjoys the loudest voice in setting policy, policies that strengthen the competitors' position are the ones chosen. 
In the name of helping the USPS get more money we will force them to ask for more money, what could be wrong with that?

A special exemption was needed two years ago to raise rates faster than inflation.
I have noted throughout this site the failure to move rates with inflation, and the exemption of foreign rates from any parity with the cost of living at all.
Compliance with inflation can only be argued from an overall evaluation of cash flow through all services, if at all.
But an overall evaluation of the postal system would recognize market appeal and ease of use,
and replace bean-counters with leaders of vision.
How many pages does this site need to tell someone how to mail something?
What is wrong with this picture?

Rest of World
69¢ 94¢
72¢ 72¢ 95¢  ?
75¢ 79¢ 98¢
80¢ 80¢ unchanged
22 JAN 2012
85¢ 85¢ +7¢ to $1.05
+25¢ to $1.10
+25¢ to $1.10
+5¢ to $1.10
+5¢ to $1.15

Compared to a letter, a postcard offers less space and no privacy.
By pricing postcards with letters, the century-plus long tradition of sending picture postcards home from vacation is ended.  The cultural documentation, the collectors and their collections, the glimpse others might have had of what we saw and how we saw ourelves -- all that is gone.  Why? 

Rev 2016Apr29 (rate change 2016Apr10)
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