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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Nothing's forever

Sadly, I didn't buy any "forever" stamps. I had 26 41-cent stamps left over from my roll of 100, so I had to swing by the Post Office yesterday for the 1-centers before mailing off the bills I did on Sunday. Not smart smart planning, and not exactly thinking of the future:

Do the math: In 1970, a first-class stamp cost only 6 cents. Since then, there have been 17 rate changes, amounting to a whopping 700 percent price increase.

Play that forward and just imagine how valuable those "forever" stamps will be the longer you squirrel them away in your desk drawer.

For example, if you were able to invest $410 to purchase 1,000 "forever" stamps before the hike goes into effect Monday, that investment could be worth $3,000 to help defray the cost of your 1-year-old daughter's wedding 30 years hence.

More than likely, however, the price of stamps will escalate much faster, and those 1,000 stamps may well pay for a year's college tuition.

What a deal! Imagine being able to lock in your price at the pump at the current $3.85 a gallon. Or think of fixing your grocery bills for all time at today's prices.

Of course, for the stamps to be around "forever," the Post Office would have to be, too, and I wouldn't take any bets on that. If newspapers are at the top of the list of endangered-by-tehchnology enterprises that just won't lie down and die, snail mail isn't far behind. Those bills are the only outgoing mail I have these days, and almost the only incoming. Most of the rest consists of catalogs that clutter up the place, mostly unperused since the online versions are so convenient.


Bob G.
Tue, 05/20/2008 - 8:13am

LMAO....squirrling away stamps....such the philatelist, aren't you?
I really like the way you (forward) think....!!!
(lick 'em if 'ya got 'em)



Harl Delos
Tue, 05/20/2008 - 1:31pm

I've got too (bleep) many stamps I can't use, because I don't know how much they're worth.

How much postage do you add to a "D" stamp to make it worth 42c? What about a stamp that shows the flag, and has *no* denomination at all?

I got a letter once, decades ago, where the sender attached a Christmas Seal instead of a postage stamp. He thought it would arrive postage-due - the post office did that at one time, although not in recent decades - but apparently nobody noticed.

I like the idea of the forever stamp. They wouldn't be saving you any money at this point; they were already 42c before the price hike. On the other hand, you don't have to mess around with 1c and 2c stamps to make up the difference.