The Inflated Cost of Greetings by Mail

Nov 21, 2019 | 0 comments

As the holiday season approaches, I begin to get itchy about sending Christmas cards.  Never mind that I haven’t sent holiday greetings by mail for ten years or more and, at 55 cents a pop, I’m not likely to do so this year either.  An email greeting will have to do, at least for those whose email addresses I have.  But, it’s not the same.

I know I’m still stuck in the first several decades of my life when it cost only three cents to mail a letter.  I think I began sending Christmas cards of my own (and not as a part of the family) when I got married in 1957.  The rate for letters was still three cents that year and seemed a small price to put on a yearly greeting to far-away friends and relatives.  But now… fifty-five cents apiece to send maybe 75 or 80 cards… a different matter entirely.

Says  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, today’s prices in 2019 are 815.82% higher than average prices throughout 1957. The dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 3.64% per year during this period, meaning the real value of a dollar decreased.  In other words, $0.03 in 1957 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $0.27 in 2019, a difference of $0.24 over 62 years. 

Say what?  If that’s the case, I can’t quite figure out why a stamp to mail a letter (or a Christmas card) costs fifty-five cents.  Shouldn’t it be twenty-seven cents?

Well,  obviously, I’m not a mathematician and I’m sure there is more to factor into increasing prices than inflation.  But, I’m also pretty sure that many of my friends will be feeling the pinch, as well.  I’ll miss all those colorful greetings lined up on the mantel and piano-top.  E-mail greetings are great… but definitely not the same.





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