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USPS announced yesterday that it is proposing price increases on postage, to take effect Jan. 1. You can read a summary of the increases over at Zine World's website.

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Yes, I saw that on the news a couple days ago. Disturbing, but I guess I'm getting a little resigned to it. It also mentioned their plan to eliminate Saturday delivery, but I thought they'd already done that. Fortunately, from what I understand, this wouldn't affect POB delivery, though maybe they'll find some excuse to do that too. On the news report I saw, ABC, they chirpily talked about turning post offices into Internet cafes where you can just sort of lounge out with a cappacino or something. Of course, bitter old marginal luddite that I am, this sounded pretty depressing and disgusting, but I don't suppose a lot of zinesters these days would be that bothered by it.

One of these days I'm going to do a survey on how small the print can be before my and readers in general *won't* read it. I know a lot of zinesters are bothered by tiny print, though I'm fine with it myself, even with pretty bad adult presbyopia. If I discover that many or most won't bother with it, I may have to make some hard choices in how freely I trade my zines or send them out by "editorial whim". I like to accomadate people, but if I can't economize without people refusing to read my zines or complaining, or worse, tossing them "in the round file", my papernet communication may have to be severely curtailed, sad though that may be. I'm all over the Net already, and I don't think doing less zines will result in my increasing my Net time. It hasn't been that satisfying as it is.

I have a post office related story. My brother went down to renew my POB for me. He was going to pay the $40 fee for the year (up from $38 last year) and an elderly neighbor took him aside and let him in on a "secret". He didn't have to pay for it. Why? In my town of Malden, and possibly other little towns without home delivery, you get your POB for free. The post office, in direct contradiction to their old policy of always informing the customer of the cheapest alternatives, doe *not* have to tell you this. I could have gotten my POB free last year too.

I'm not mad or down on the postal clerks. I suppose they're between a rock and hard place, and are pressured into keeping silent by management.

I can't imagine everything being sent electronically---certain antiques & collectibles would require a post office---so some sort of infrastructure has to be kept up. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe antiques & collectibles---and certainly vinyls, CD's, books, which can be stored electronincally---may at some point become irrelevant, boring old luddite things that far too few people care about to justify a post office.

Maybe this is due to economics more than I've liked to think. Maybe it's not as much because of government monopoly as I've thought. Maybe I'll just have to make do with what's dished out to me for as long as I can and keep a balanced attitude about it.
I'm still a teenager and that idea disgusts me! Ugh, you are not alone. Sometimes I think I was meant to be born a few decades before I was...

James N. Dawson said:
Yes, I saw that on the news a couple days ago. Disturbing, but I guess I'm getting a little resigned to it. It also mentioned their plan to eliminate Saturday delivery, but I thought they'd already done that. Fortunately, from what I understand, this wouldn't affect POB delivery, though maybe they'll find some excuse to do that too. On the news report I saw, ABC, they chirpily talked about turning post offices into Internet cafes where you can just sort of lounge out with a cappacino or something. Of course, bitter old marginal luddite that I am, this sounded pretty depressing and disgusting, but I don't suppose a lot of zinesters these days would be that bothered by it.
PO Boxes in the UK are £120 a year. Ie $250ish USD! Do the Post Offices in the US handle things other than post, or is it just posting stuff? The ones here do savings accounts, insurance and bureau de change, so they're usually busy.

Amber / Culture Slut said:
If P.O. boxes were free, that would be cool, but $40 still sounds good to me. The last time I had a P.O. box was a few years ago in Ontario, Canada and I recall it costing me somewhere around $100 a year. Not to mention, our postage rates are raised annually and are already some of the highest in the world. We've never had Saturday delivery (at least in the towns I've lived in, I don't know if that's Canada-wide), but I used to date a postal worker and he was quite happy to have weekends off, obviously.
The only other thing the USPS handles besides post are Passports. I think if they took all the lazy folks working there and replaced them with people who really wanted to work, they'd get more crap done and save a ton of money. I swear just about every post office i use has one employee who runs around like a chicken with it's head cut off overworked, while the rest of them stand there like zombies.

Emma Jane Falconer said:
PO Boxes in the UK are £120 a year. Ie $250ish USD! Do the Post Offices in the US handle things other than post, or is it just posting stuff? The ones here do savings accounts, insurance and bureau de change, so they're usually busy.

Amber / Culture Slut said:
If P.O. boxes were free, that would be cool, but $40 still sounds good to me. The last time I had a P.O. box was a few years ago in Ontario, Canada and I recall it costing me somewhere around $100 a year. Not to mention, our postage rates are raised annually and are already some of the highest in the world. We've never had Saturday delivery (at least in the towns I've lived in, I don't know if that's Canada-wide), but I used to date a postal worker and he was quite happy to have weekends off, obviously.

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