Postmaster general: Get used to ‘uncomfortable’ rate hikes

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. postage / ˈpoʊ stɪdʒ / (n.) – the fee paid for mailing letters and packages

    I added $5 to your total bill for postage and handling.

  2. advocate / ˈæd vəˌkeɪt / (v.) – to openly support an idea or a cause

    Lara advocates for women’s health.

  3. self-sustaining / ˈsɛlf səˈsteɪ nɪŋ / (adj.) – having the ability to support oneself without help from others

    The government program aims to provide support to small businesses until they become self-sustaining.

  4. overhaul / ˈoʊ vərˌhɔl / (n.) – the act of fixing or changing a system to make it work properly and effectively

    The school registration system needs a complete overhaul.

  5. shore up / ʃɔr ʌp / (phrasal v.) – to support something that’s not working well

    The government offered tax exemptions to businesses to shore up the struggling economy.


Read the text below.

Americans should get used to “uncomfortable” postage rate increases in coming years as the U.S. Postal Service seeks to become self-sufficient, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said Thursday.

The Postal Service Board of Governors sets postage rates, but DeJoy said he’ll advocate for raising prices until “we have accomplished our objective of projecting a trajectory that shows us being self-sustaining.”

“I believe we have been severely damaged by at least 10 years of a defective pricing model which cannot be satisfied by one or two annual price increases, especially in this inflationary environment,” he added.

DeJoy made the remarks at a Board of Governors meeting in which the Postal Service reported a loss of about $1.7 billion for the latest quarter.

A sweeping overhaul meant to shore up the Postal Service’s financial future will be reflected in the next quarter’s results.

The long-delayed law also ensures six-day-a-week mail delivery. The bill was signed by President Joe Biden on the same day the Postal Service announced plans for the latest rate increase.

If the increase wins final approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission, then the cost of a first-class “forever” stamp will grow by 2 cents to 60 cents, effective July 10.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Do you regularly use the postal services? For what purpose do you usually use them? What is your opinion of the national postal service in your country (ex. efficient, poor service)? Discuss.
  • Do you think the postal services will still be in use in the near future or they will no longer be necessary? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Some critics believe that DeJoy wants to privatize the US Postal Service. In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of transferring the management of public services like postal delivery and public transportation to private companies (ex. pro: better services, con: higher rates)? Discuss.
  • Do you think the management of public services in your country should be transferred to private companies? Why or why not? Discuss.