Any idea how much a postage stamp costs? Yeah, me neither.
So I googled it.
Man. It’s easy to get behind the times. When I was a kid and actually paying attention to this it cost 32 cents to mail a letter. When it jumped to 33 cents it was serious topic of discussion. But it wasn’t until it hit 34 cents in January of 2001 that my Mom pretty much gave up all hope for the future of the human race.
Today it’s a whopping 49 cents.
Check it out yourself.
Since 1863 postage rates have been changed 31 times. 14 of those times have occurred since I was born in 1989. Back then you could mail a letter for 25 cents. Almost half of today’s rate.
Why all of the increases?
Part of it can be explained with this chart here.
Until the early 2000s the amount of mail handled by the post office exhibited a steady upward trajectory. Since then it’s been losing ground pretty fast. To save money USPS has shut down a ton of post offices. To make money they’ve been jacking the price of stamps.
Once all the old people keel over it won’t matter anymore.
Bye-bye post office.
So how can we change this? Is there a way to revitalize the post office?
Bet your bottom dollar, Gonzo.
To figure out the solution to the woes of the postal service we only have to look at the reason it’s tanking.
Good old fashioned competition.
Cause, ya know, the internet.
What is the internet doing right that the postal service sucks at?
Simply put the internet is a better conduit for sharing information. Ever do a google search and the check your facebook, only to see an ad for the thing you just searched for on your facebook sidebar? Happens to me all the time. Because the internet is smart. It knows things about you. It keeps track of what you like and don’t like, what you buy, what you look at. It’s all cataloged electronically.
It like the old birds and the bees trope. The internet is a reproducing organism. One google search can turn into ten adds on your facebook sidebar. Companies buy the ad usage and keep funding the growth of the internet.
But mail a letter and no one has a clue what’s in.
So how is anyone supposed to make money off of that?
By taking a cue from the internet we can quickly and efficiently revitalize the postal service. We just need a side branch of the postal service dedicated to opening people’s mail and reading it. The post office will then sell pertinent information from the mail to interested corporations, who will proceed to bombard the mailboxes of the individuals who have sent the mail with spam advertising.
From a dying and drab model for communication a fertile eco-system will develop.
It’s really that simple.
P.S. The postal service is dying because you read this stupid blog. Asshole.