Friday, October 26, 2007

Post office: another chance for small journals!

I've written before about the U.S. Post Office's misguided (read: guided by TimeWarner) plot to raise postage sky-high for small periodicals and simultaneously lower it for huge ones. The Postal Regulatory Commission voted to put these new rules in effect on July 15; a massive petition effort has caused them to hold hearings on the new rates. They're scheduled for next Tuesday, October 30. Kudos if you spoke up and signed that first petition... let's all sign it again! To ensure that those hearings have the biggest possible impact, you can sign the new petition—and simultaneously have a message sent to your congressperson—to repeal the new rates. Also at, you'll find an excellent essay by Peter Rothberg, reprinted from the ActNow blog at The Nation. We've got to stop this bad idea before it's too late and the pages of dead periodicals start fluttering from the backs of mail trucks like sad little elegies.

Stamp Out the Rate Hike: Stop the Post OfficeIf supporting small journals isn't enough to convince you that this is an issue, remember that, if those journals go out of business—which many will surely do under the new rates—that means less mail volume and, as a result, fewer decent-paying post office jobs. Also, remember love notes. Subscriptions to Ranger Rick for 4th graders. The postcard your friend sent from vacation, where she couldn't remember your address so she just wrote the street but misspelled it, but it arrived in your mailbox anyway. The time you put stamps and an address label on a coconut and sent it to your friend—and it got there. Be warned! You know once you let TimeWarner make the rules, it's gonna cost fifty bucks to mail that coconut.

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