PDA

View Full Version : Enough with the complaining about postage stamps



jimmygu3
05-16-08, 01:37 PM
I heard someone on CNN whining about the postal rate increase, so I made my own chart of postal rates adjusted for official CPI. They in fact track CPI pretty closely. If we used shadowstats CPI, postal rates would be shown to have decreased considerably since 1980 (along with median income).

http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj317/jimmygu3/CPI_Postage.png

zoog
05-16-08, 04:51 PM
Nice. I wonder why it went down in the 40's and 50's? Perhaps because of the buildout of highways and increased postwar production of long-haul trucks, airplanes, etc.

Jim Nickerson
05-16-08, 06:46 PM
I heard someone on CNN whining about the postal rate increase, so I made my own chart of postal rates adjusted for official CPI. They in fact track CPI pretty closely. If we used shadowstats CPI, postal rates would be shown to have decreased considerably since 1980 (along with median income).

http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj317/jimmygu3/CPI_Postage.png

Jimmy,

I don't know how you figured this out, but up until I was 12-14 years of age, somewhere in there I think and that would have been 1953-1955, it cost 3cents to mail a letter first clas--certainly not a quarter.

c1ue
05-16-08, 07:06 PM
You all missed out on a zero risk arbitrage opportunity: the "Liberty Bell" stamps are all automatically usable for the new rate.

Thus does $0.41 become $0.42 instantly.

zoog
05-16-08, 07:12 PM
Jimmy,

I don't know how you figured this out, but up until I was 12-14 years of age, somewhere in there I think and that would have been 1953-1955, it cost 3cents to mail a letter first clas--certainly not a quarter.

He CPI-adjusted back from the current price. In other words, the 3 cents it cost you back then would be roughly equivalent to 25 cents today.

Jim Nickerson
05-16-08, 07:15 PM
He CPI-adjusted back from the current price. In other words, the 3 cents it cost you back then would be roughly equivalent to 25 cents today.


Then I fail to see any value to Jimmy's chart. Sorry, Jimmy.

jimmygu3
05-16-08, 11:10 PM
Then I fail to see any value to Jimmy's chart. Sorry, Jimmy.

No problem, Jim. I'll explain inflation-adjusted prices vs. nominal prices in another lecture.

Jimmy

Jim Nickerson
05-16-08, 11:24 PM
No problem, Jim. I'll explain inflation-adjusted prices vs. nominal prices in another lecture.

Jimmy

Jimmy when was the last time today you asked yourself what will a 42-cent stamp cost 35 years from now?

There is some enlightenment that comes from considering how the costs of things now have risen from times past and this is often explainable in part by inflation. I see no value in considering the cost of things in times past based on todays inflated bonar.

If there is some value, I wouldn't mind being enlightened.

jimmygu3
05-17-08, 12:20 AM
Jimmy when was the last time today you asked yourself what will a 42-cent stamp cost 35 years from now?

There is some enlightenment that comes from considering how the costs of things now have risen from times past and this is often explainable in part by inflation. I see no value in considering the cost of things in times past based on todays inflated bonar.

If there is some value, I wouldn't mind being enlightened.

The value of adjusting the price of something relative to a basket of goods is that you remove the effect of inflation. Then you can track the real price of an item over time.

The chart shows that a first class stamp has about the same real cost as it did in 1975. Postage rate increases have simply tracked the CPI. It's not the cure for cancer, just a little observation.

And inicidentally, it still amazes me that I can pay $.42 to send a letter across the country.