Re: Proposed postal rate increase for *some* periodicals BLACK, STEVE 18 May 2007 14:18 UTC

Based on my brief reading of Jeanette's links and an article from CQ
(Shawn Zeller, The Periodical Price Wars, May 7 2007), it seems that the
unfairness lies solely in the bulk discounts enjoyed by publishers of
large-circulation magazines.

The Postal Service notes "Mailers should note that the piece, pound,
bundle, and container rates are designed to work together to more
accurately reflect handling and delivery costs."
<> The rate
structure is quite complex, with different rates depending on how much
sorting the post office has to do. The bigger the batch going to a
delivery location, the lower the rate.

Is this fair?

Is it fair that Wal-Mart gets lower prices on their goods because they
buy such huge quantities from their suppliers? A free-market economist
would say yes, but there are social consequences to making it more
difficult for the little guy to stay in business.

Similarly, the rate structure appears to be fair based on the post
office's actual costs of sorting and delivering mail, but I guess it
doesn't recognize the social value of keeping rates low for
low-circulation periodicals.

The CQ article states that on average it works out to an 11.7% increase,
but that Time Warner will only see 11.1% because of bulk discounts. I'm
not sure the difference of 0.6% is worth storming the ramparts, but I'm
not well enough informed to really know.

Steve Black
Reference, Serials, and Instruction Librarian
Neil Hellman Library
The College of Saint Rose
392 Western Ave.
Albany, NY 12203
(518) 458-5494