Three things you can count on in life - death, taxes, and postage rate increases.

I'm old enough to remember the ten cent postage stamp. If you remember anything before ten cents I would have to say you are older than me. But, the point is, we have been dealing with increased costs to mail a letter all of our lives. It's possible, however, we never expected it would reach this level.

The last time you could buy a regular stamp for 10 cents was 1975. Gerald Ford was president, you could get a gallon of gas for less than 60 cents, and the Minnesota Vikings were in the Super Bowl.

The proposed rate increase for a first class one ounce letter is from 50 cents to 55 cents. Gone are the days when you can buy multiple stamps with a single dollar bill. However, the good news is you're gonna pay six cents less for each additional ounce.

There are other increases to postage rates, which you can view on the USPS website. The proposed rates are scheduled to take effect on January 27, 2019.

The United States Postal Service is in a tough position. Operating expenses are going up, revenue is going down. The postal service is not funded by tax dollars, so its got to find a way to cover expenses. While the USPS still provides a critical service to the people, the need for its services is clearly diminishing.

Sure, we still use the postal service to conduct some of our business - but can anyone under the age of 80 remember the last time they wrote and mailed a letter? Still, for a good many of us, one of our daily tasks we look forward to is to pull the day's mail from the mailbox.

The USPS must be forever thankful for the holidays like Mothers Day and Fathers Day - and, of course, Christmas. People won't ever stop having birthdays, so that is another avenue of business that should remain steady for years to come. But, the fact is, we are using snail mail less and less. Can you foresee a world where the USPS would eventually cease to exist?

It seems doubtful that the USPS would ever go away, but it will be interesting to see how many of us are still alive when the cost to mail a letter or a birthday card is over a dollar. It's just a matter of time.

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