Postage Hikes and the Independent Press

blog-uspsFor the third straight May, the United States Postal Service has raised the price of first-class postage (today a stamp climbed to 44 cents), but according to new statistics, some of which were compiled in last week’s issue of The Economist, there are larger problems for the postal industry — 2008 saw “the biggest decline in mail since the Depression,” with volume falling by 4.5 percent, “or about 9 billion pieces.” For years independent publishers, including STOP SMILING, have expressed dismay over postal increases — for an intelligent overview of what postage hikes can do to a small press, read Robert McChesney‘s plea, “Postal Rates = Free Press,” published by In These Times in 2007.