Mailers re-establish alliance to oppose USPS price increase

Press release:

affordableThe Affordable Mail Alliance, a coalition of Postal Service customers, has been reestablished to defeat an expected Postal Service proposal to raise postage rates by as much as five times the rate permissible by law. The Postal Service Board of Governors, who must approve the Postal Service’s request, is set to decide on the matter imminently.

The law permits the Postal Service to raise postage rates annually, consistent with the rate of inflation, a standard that should satisfy any well run organization in today’s economy.

But a combination of declining revenue and increasing costs has the Postal Service poised to inflict on its customers an “exigent” rate increase designed to subsidize an outdated infrastructure in need of change. Most private sector companies have already made major structural and operational changes in recent years in order to survive. The USPS needs to do the same.

A massive postage rate increase will hit consumers, charities, and large and small businesses at a time when the still fragile economy cannot afford it. The result will be more jobs lost in the private sector in order to maintain an overbuilt postal system, and even less revenue to the Postal Service as mailers flee. There should be a unified call to reform the USPS, not saddle postal customers with higher prices– something that will only accelerate the decline of mail volume, and hasten the Postal Service’s demise.

The Postal Service claims that it will soon run out of cash without major financial relief,a claim it has been making for a number of years. In 2010 the Postal Service proposed amassive postage rate increase to avert a pending financial catastrophe that never materialized. Fortunately for mailers and for the Postal Service, that proposed price increase was rejected through the efforts of the Affordable Mail Alliance.

While the Postal Service may believe it has no other options, a rate hike of this magnitude will hurt postal customers and cause more mail to leave the postal system; therefore, the Affordable Mail Alliance has united to once more say no to exorbitant rate hikes.

Members of the Affordable Mail Alliance

Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers
American Catalog Mailers Association
Direct Marketing Association
MPA
The Association of Magazine Media
Association of Marketing Service Providers
National Newspaper Association
Quad/Graphics
RR Donnelley
Software & Information Industry Association

  • mjamison

    The non-profit mailers, periodical mailers and newspaper mailers really don’t get it. Their privileged rates rest largely on the idea of public goods and the premise that the postal network ought to provide social value. As the Postal Service moves to a more privatized model there will likely be little justification for these preferential rates.

    Selling postal workers down the tubes and degrading the postal network may be an immediate strategy for preserving their rates but it’s a long term loser. In the end the ad mailers and others in business mailing will do what has been done throughout the American economy – a race to the bottom – and part of that is likely to be elimination of any rates based on social or public goods.
    This release is little more than a plea by the well heeled for additional special privilege and relief.

    • LiamSkye

      “This release is little more than a plea by the well heeled for additional special privilege and relief.”

      And make no mistake – that relief will come at the expense of the postal workers and the well-being of their families.

  • Ben F

    Mailers will flee ? Please, Postal Service has been losing money for years on the rates charged to mailers, time to pay for the actual cost to deliver…

  • LiamSkye

    “The law permits the Postal Service to raise postage rates annually, consistent with the rate of inflation, a standard that should satisfy any well run organization in today’s economy.”

    That is complete bullshit. The price increases are limited to CPI-U, which is based on a market basket of goods and services commonly purchased by urban Americans. That means postal rate increases are capped at the rate of increase for things like sweet rolls, boating shoes, and retro hipster clothing at the bargain store. Those prices are not at all related to the costs of affecting delivery, which is rising at a much greater rate than CPI-U because it includes things like employee health benefit premiums, the cost of fuel, and the increasing number of delivery points.

    Anybody who believes a single word of the Alliance’s specious argument is a clueless rube who couldn’t manage a lemonade stand, so I am pretty sure everyone in Congress will swallow it hook, line, and sinker.

  • Cliff Claven

    Congress want the USPS to be run like a business. It needs to raise the rates to reflect the actual cost of delivering the service.

    The mailers need to stop having the USPS subsidize their profits.

    • George

      Yep. This is a microcosm of our complete financial problems. Corporations are having a say in an institution that was set for individuals. Contrary to what Romney says, corporations are not people .