Tomorrow, the Postal Service is going to charge an extra 2 cents to mail a letter. Now before everyone starts carping on just how awful it is that they need more money, I figured I ought to come to their defense. I spent nearly 40 years in the service, and despite their bumbling, incompetent, and uncaring demeanor, the Postal Service does do a good job. I started there when it was a department of the U. S. Government, just like the Defense Department, or any any of the other multitude of branches. Employees took pride in their government service, and most people thought of them as special for having a good government job.
Fast forward to the present, and you'll find a Quasi-Governmental entity, with a declining revenue stream, but the proud employees still get the job done. The job itself, is to provide universal service from one end of this country to the other, and that includes it's territories. Distance doesn't matter, the cost always remains the same. While on-line shopping and E-Mailing have cut into the revenue stream, the Post Office still provides a safe, and secure way to communicate and pay bills. The chances for identity theft are far greater on the Internet, than through the mail.
Now, that universal service requires a lot of manpower, and transportation costs. When gas was near $5\gallon last summer, there was no break for the Post Office; they paid what everyone else did. That really cut into the operating budget, as did utility costs for the multitude of buildings, offices, and repair facilities. Add to that, the cost of wages and benefits for the employees, and it's easy to see why the cost of postage will have to go up.
While many will question the need for "snail mail" in this day and age, remember the millions of people that don't use, don't want, and are afraid of the Internet. The mail provides a daily contact with friends, and family via a uniformed member of the U. S.Government!
Next: The Mailman