Now stamps are ‘forever,’ too

Amye Buckley - Executive Editor

Amye Buckley – Executive Editor

Amye Buckley

It’s the greatest gift idea of the year and it’s on sale now at your local post office. Best friend turning 21? Give them postage stamps. Cousin getting married? Sister having triplets? No problem, this year get everyone a few books of stamps, they’ll thank you later.

During the late spring, before graduates danced across the stage and kids trudged off to the community pool the postal regulators introduced the “forever” stamp. These came into play based on the simple idea that you can buy them now and they’ll still be good after the next price hike. No more one and two cent stamps staggering crookedly across your nice clean envelope, just buy once, peel and stick. They will work for Christmas cards this year and every other year, forever.

Ah, convenience.

It’s great for the post office too – now they can change prices anytime they want without all the fuss of reprinting stamps with different numbers tattooed on the corner. Who reads those numbers anyhow? Maybe they held some significance once upon a time when children steamed gummy-backed stamps off their envelopes and pasted them in heavy books, but not anymore. If there are no numbers on the bottom, maybe, just maybe folks will forget how much the little tax stickers actually cost.

They cost 41 cents, right now. If postal rates go up like everything else then invest in stamps now, no telling what they’ll be worth next year.

Erasing the price tag off the postage stamp is more than convenient for the customer, it moves the postal service into the fine tradition of pricing set by the oil and gas industry. Postal rates, like everything else, are affected by the price of oil and gas and these prices are set by that fine tradition of decision making which involves licking a finger and testing the winds.

The difference between oil and postage prices being that postage only goes up and does not yo-yo every single day. Postage pricing, since it is a government entity, has to go through a commission to change anything and this slows down the process considerably. Oil companies can change price based on supply and demand, or was it damage to a few barrels of crude in Coffeyville, Kan. making that nationwide jump. Wait, it was the hurricane.

Ah, decisiveness, a great characteristic.

So do what nobody expects us to do, run out and stock up on those cheap stamps while their still available. After all, in this volatile stamp market with the rising cost of printing those little suckers who knows what they will cost next year. Of course by then we will not be using paper, never mind.

Looking at the bright side, maybe the gas industry will take a page from the posts office and let us all buy a lifetime of fuel at current prices, unless we all start using electric cars.