By Alton Mitchell
This Sunday marked a once in a lifetime observation for many. For the first time in the lifetime of many of us the postal service dropped the price of stamps. The drop in the prices of a standard first class stamp is the first reduction in the price of stamps in nearly a century.
As of last week the price of a standard stamp stood at .49 cents however purchasers of stamps will be saving two cents this week dropping to .47 cents each. The last time Americans were able to experience a drop in the price of a stamp was on July 1, 1919 when the price dropped from 3 cents to 2 cents.
Since that last drop nearly 100 years ago stamps have been gradually increasing reaching its peak amount of .49 cents recently. The increases in stamps have been attributed to keeping up with the levels of inflation. However the Postal Service has announced that customers have paid and exigent surcharge in order for the service to survive the Great Recession of recent years.
Officials with the postal service have expressed concerns with the drop noting that it may result in a downfall of more than $2 billion annually for the United States Postal Service. This comes on the heels of electronic communication taking the place of older style snail mail and being replaced with technological advances such as email, texting, and social media as a means to get information transmitted.
The new prices took effect on Sunday April 10th and in addition to the two cent drop in the cost of mailing a letter the cost of mailing a post card also dropped from 35 cents to 34 cents per card. Despite the postal service being a federally mandated agency it does not receive any operating expenses from tax dollars, but must survive like a standard business surviving only on its own generated revenue. This has sparked fear in the postal community due to the loss in revenue.