DailyAfirmation (dailyafirmation) wrote,

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Cheaper more expensive stamps, editing, a "flat" year financially, and some scareyoke...

Investment matters can be complex, and sometimes things aren't exactly what they seem.

Case in point: several weeks ago in this blog entry on finding out that stamps were going up and that they were now selling a "forever stamp," I made this comment:

"Now, this notion that these stamps will be good 'forever,' no matter how much more stamps go up, ever, really appeals to me. Here's my question, why wouldn't you—assuming you actually use stamps—buy $500 or a $1000 worth? That's what I'm going to do."

Well, after hearing a Slate Explainer Podcast yesterday (partial excerpt below), I'm glad I never got:

Should I Invest in "Forever" Stamps?

Absolutely not.

Illustration by Robert Neubecker. Click image to expand.

The postal rate climbed 2 cents on Monday, about a month after the United States Postal Service introduced its new "forever" stamp. As of last week, the USPS had sold more than $82 million worth of the forever stamps, which lock in the 41-cent rate for eternity. One man in Pennsylvania walked into a post office and made an $8,000 investment on his own. Should we all be stocking up?

Absolutely not. Since 1971, postal rates have increased more slowly than the actual inflation rate, as measured by the U.S. Consumer Price Index. So, despite the numerous rate hikes over the last 36 years, stamps have actually been getting cheaper. The 20-cent stamp from 1981, for instance, would be equivalent to 45 cents in today's dollars—which makes today's rate 10 percent cheaper than it was 26 years ago. Should this historical pattern hold, you'd be paying more for today's forever stamps than you would for any stamp in the future, no matter how high the rate goes.

I worked at IBM today and continued my editing work for the Australia group.

Late in the afternoon, my manager called me from Austin to tell me that I wasn't going to get a raise this year. Fortunately for me—I guess, I wasn't counting on one, nor do I need one. Ah, the beauty of living well below one's means.

I got to Global Village on Hillsborough Street at around 6:10 to find a sign on the door noting that their summer hours are now in effect, which means they closed at 5:30.

I saw Sarah coming up the street, and we went into Mitch's, where we wrote a note for Andrew, and Sarah ran back and taped it on the door.

We had a productive one-hour meeting, preparing for our meeting with the rest of the officers next Tuesday, and Andrew and I touching base on our "division of duties" for the year.

I had a relaxing rest of the evening, read a couple of chapters of Lucky in the Corner, and "lights out" was at eleven with sleep coming at about 11:03.
Tags: bar talk, coffee shops, finances, ibm, stc

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