Mutatis Mutandis

11 February 2009

In an entry on 27 February of last year, I wrote

The Woman of Interest alerted me to the fact that the USPS will be increasing its rates again in May. A one-ounce, first-class stamp will cost another US$0.01.

The problem here is that the Postal Service long-ago passed the point where each increase in price caused a drop in total revenues, as people began switching first to facsimile machines and, more recently, to e.mail. And officials report their expenses as continuing to climb, which shows that they're not paring dis·economies of scale. Basically, officials increase the price per letter in an attempt to off-set the cost per letter which increases as the number of letters decreases because of past price increases. It’s a death-spiral. This morning, she informs me that the rate will be increased by US$0.02 this coming May.


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