This morning on the news, they were making a big deal about the possible “postage hike.”

First, I found this article helpful in summarizing some issues that the USPS are facing — the fact that they are caught in the middle (they are a quasi-private business, quasi-government service), why they can’t function like UPS, and what would be different if they tried to be more like their UPS competitors.

Secondly, I’d like to defend the post office.  A few weeks ago, I mailed a letter to Austria for 98 cents.

Ladies and gentlemen, that’s incredible.  I paid less than a dollar to mail a letter to another country.  Across the Atlantic Ocean.  To some city in the mountains.

Can you buy anything for a dollar anymore?  We pay three or four dollars for a cup of water that’s been flavored with beans.  Over the course of this past weekend, my friends and I paid over $25 to park my car on a piece of asphalt.  We pay a lot for a lot.  And yet I paid 98 cents to put something in a box and have it arrive in another box over four thousand miles away, in only a week or so.  Seriously, that’s nuts.

It’s not as if the post office is asking to raise the price of stamps to a dollar.  Or even fifty cents.  So I pay 46 cents to mail something across the United States of America.  FORTY SIX CENTS.  That’s nothing.

So I’m not going to complain.  Nor am I going to stop writing letters.  Mail seems to be the only deal around here these days.