Pennies and Postal Stamps

See a penny, pick it up; all day long you’ll have good luck.”  old English superstition

I remember walking down the sidewalk as a child and being thrilled to find a penny, a nickel or especially a quarter. I would put it in my pocket and add it to my piggy bank, eventually roll it in paper stacks and deposit it in my savings account. I don’t know exactly how many found pennies added to the value, but the fun of finding them was priceless.

Along comes inflation and adulthood and picking up lost pennies, or even dimes, wasn’t worth the bother. Maybe I would bend over to pick up a quarter, but that was only because they worked in the parking meters. A few days ago, I was pumping gas and spotted something that brought this all back to me.

Better than coins, it was an uncancelled forever US postal stamp!

With the holiday season upon us, who wouldn’t want an extra stamp if they found one? I picked it up and brought it home. On my drive, I began to think of the ironies. A forever stamp that was issued by a government-run organization which is facing bankruptcy. Is this stamp going to really be usable forever? I’ll be happy to have it in January when the rates for a first class letter go up again.

Everyone seems to prefer emailing to handwriting letters, but no one wants to give up their free access to junk mail, which makes up the bulk of our daily deliveries. It is sad that such a credible and reliable service, whose motto proudly states their dedication, is in such trouble. At one time, the USPS was considered a real authority for the US government. Do you remember the scene from Miracle on 34th Street? Where the Judge declares Kris Kringle to be Santa Claus, based on the evidence of the mail addressed to him and delivered by the postal workers?

Hopefully the US postal stamp will not go the way of the penny. I guess this all means we should never take anything for granted.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. James W Hall
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 11:50:37

    Right on. Congress has imposed so many restrictions on the USPS that it is not possible to run it as a business. Bad for the USPS and also for the consumer.

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  2. stmarco7
    Dec 02, 2011 @ 11:24:02

    Speaking of the dying penny, this posting on Andrew Sullivan’s blog today: http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/12/kill-the-penny.html

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  3. themiddlegeneration
    Dec 02, 2011 @ 13:43:22

    Thanks for sending the link. Sullivan makes a very clear argument that pennies don’t belong in today’s economy. I wonder how much longer first class mail can hold on before it needs to be privatized…

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  4. Looking Out The Window
    Dec 08, 2011 @ 10:24:14

    Living in remote areas there is nothing more center to rural areas than the post office. We live in an area where there is no mail delivery. Everyone stops by the post office once a day to pick up our mail, and meet and greet each other. It’s value is not appreciated in large population centers where there are so many options available to them.

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  5. Trackback: See A Penny « Walter Kitty's Diary

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