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"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
Online Edition
Monday, November 24th, 2014
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4163

11:38:18, Oct 25th 2013

Brian Quinn says:
I'll stick to the Elvis stamp thank you.


4171

11:53:02, Oct 26th 2013

RandyF says:
You were doing great up until you had to reach back over 10 years to bring up corporate sponsorship of a cycling team. What was wrong with doing that, at the time. UPS has its NASCAR sponsorship, FedEx has its PGA sponsorship, to this day.

When USPS ended its sponsorship, and Discovery Channel took over, there has not been another corporate sponsorship endeavor taken.

It makes absolutely no sense to try to apply events of 10 years ago to events of today. Oh, and your math skills need some work. 3¢ is not the greatest increase in Postal History. Sometime back in the 1990's, a stamp went up 4¢, 25¢ to 29¢. In your 4th paragraph, you correctly state that it is "proposed" to go from 46¢ to 49¢ in January. Actually, you neglected to state that this is proposed, not set in stone yet. In your 7th paragraph, you state, "Now 4 cents may not seem like a big deal". Is it 3¢ or 4¢??

Ok, I'm nitpicking a bit on some things. Overall, many of the ideas you mention have been proposed in the past but COngress and the PRC will not allow the USPS to go into a lot of those areas. Thank lobbyists for that. Even your own Newspaper Association lobbies Congress about USPS issues that may adversely affect Newspapers.

It's all politics.


4172

4:16:38, Oct 26th 2013

Jason Sethre, Publisher of Fillmore County Journal says:
To Brian Quinn: How much revenue is generated from the sale of Elvis stamps VS. the revenue that could be generated from "stamp sponsors" plus the sale of stamps? Basically, the USPS has a funding shortfall. Revenues are declining... the formula of sales based on rate + volume isn't keeping pace with increased expenses... or even decreasing expenses at this point. So, while we'd like to continue to do business as usual, that will only dig the hole deeper. The Elvis stamp may have been a luxury that the USPS can't afford without some sort of compensation. I guess the good thing is that in the long-term, if the "stamp sponsorship" concept took hold, your Elvis stamp would be worth a lot more money -- coming from the pre-sponsorship era!

To RandyF: UPS and FedEx are no comparison to USPS. They don't provide the exact same service as the USPS -- which is delivery to every household and business six days a week.

And, furthermore, UPS and FedEx have profitable business plans, which entitles them to sponsor NASCAR, the PGA Tour or the Tour de France if they wish. The shareholders of the USPS are the U.S. citizens, compared to the shareholders of FedEx and UPS -- both traded on the NY Stock Exchange.

Note to recent reports relating to financial performance of UPS and FedEx:

UPS: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ups-posts-bigger-quarterly-profit-120423870.html

FedEx: http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-fedex-cyber-monday-20131023,0,2592770.story

And, besides, what value is there in sponsoring a bicycling team that appears in the Tour de France (overseas) when your entire business operation is bound by the U.S. borders? How many Americans who would be the USPS targeted customers watch the Tour de france? According to this link... http://www.statista.com/statistics/229087/people-who-watched-the-tour-de-france-on-tv-within-the-last-12-months-usa/ ... the 2008 Tour de France boasted 17.83 million viewers. If you are going to take $50 million dollars to market your business and your operations are bound by the U.S. borders, doesn't it make sense to target an audience that watches the Super Bowl or World Series? With 108 million Americans watching the (2013) Super Bowl XLVII, that just makes sense compared to the Tour de France numbers. And, all of this is pending that the USPS is profitable, which they are not and have not been for quite some time.

You are correct. I did error in my recognition of postal stamp price increases, which are available here: http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-history/domestic-letter-rates-since-1863.htm

The single-piece letter rate was increased to from 22 cents to 25 cents on April 3, 1988, and then again to 29 cents on February 3, 1991. But, this wasn't a math error, this was a reference error. I missed this in my analysis. Regardless, whether we're talking 3 cents or 4 cents, the general premise of this conversation relates to how to fix the problems of the USPS.

Regarding your question about my reference to 3 cents and 4 cents in the 7th paragraph, please re-read that again. I think you are misunderstanding my explanation. Here it is again...

"First, if the USPS rates were increased consistently year-after-year at the rate of inflation (1 cent more per year) starting in 1971 until today, the cost of a stamp would be 50 cents instead of 46 cents in 2013. Now 4 cents may not seem like a big deal, but the USPS “proposed changes, which would go into effect in January 2014, are intended to generate $2 billion in incremental annual revenue for the Postal Service,” according to USPS officials. If that’s the case, then every year that the USPS hasn’t kept up with the rate of inflation with a modest 1 cent rate increase, they have been falling behind with incremental annual revenue."

You see, RandyF, I put together a spreadsheet matching up columns of rate of inflation since 1971, rate of gasoline per year since 1971, rate of a stamp per year since 1971, and projected the rate of a stamp staring with the rate of 8 cents back in 1971 and adding 1 cent per year to that rate every year until 2013. So, in 2013 our rate is 46 cents, when it would have actually been 50 cents if we had simply set a rate schedule increase of 1 cent per year. Instead of wasting the time of our USPS officials and the Postal Regulatory Commission on deciding whether a rate increase is warranted every few years, just set it at a 1-cent-per-year increase on the single-letter mail piece.

Debating over what won't work and why is fine, and can be of value in some ways.

But, I always like to see solutions to problems. I've offered a few. What are yours?

If you'd like some additional facts and figures to chew on, here's a good start: http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-facts/welcome.htm


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