IN HIS CONTINUED FIGHT to make the Postal Service operate in the black, Postmaster General William F. Bolger has doggedly stuck to his theory of increasing the cost of postage stamps to offset the rising cost of mail delivery. Another increase is due next year.
I firmly believe the cost of stamps has gone as high as it can without hitting massive consumer resistance. The Postmaster General must find another way to raise money to operate the Department, besides the cost of stamps.
During my 41 years of working in the business world, I learned if you wanted to criticize a theory, you must offer a suggestion to make it better, or else keep your mouth shut.
As I've criticized the Postmaster General for raising the cost of stamps, I've a plan to help him increase revenue to operate his department. Maybe this could keep the Postal Service in the black, if the plan catches on.
In the accompanying illustration, I show the size of two 20 cent stamps in use at the present time. The first one is a large commemorative stamp. The other, is the new, small, regular size.
My plan would be to use a 20 cent stamp, the size of the commemorative one. The upper part of the stamp would contain an advertisement, while the lower part would be the size of the regular stamp, comemorating an historical event, or personality.
The upper part and the lower part would be separated by a perforation. The stamp collector could tear off the upper part and discard it, and keep the lower part to add to his stamp collection. The public would leave the stamp intact, and affix it to their mail.
To make this plan foolproof, you would have to use both the stamp's upper part (the one with the ad), and the lower part that looks like a traditional stamp, to mail letters. If only the stamp's lower part (the one with the historical event or personality) is affixed to the mail, then that piece of mail would be marked, "postage due" and the receiver woull have to pay the postage due.
This plan would pacify the stamp collector. It would bring more revenue to the Postal Service. And the general public wouldn't care, because it would be just another stamp to them.
These days, people collect everything. Maybe some of the people would start collecting the upper, or advertisement, part of the stamp, and thereby create a larger sale for the stamp.
In order for anything to become a success, it must first be tried. And that's what the Postmaster General will have to do.