If there’s one thing Americans are really good at, it’s capitalism. They will think they invented it and will defend it to the death of the Indonesian kids that make their clothes (that I happily buy for a very good price, don’t be offended). Whereas christians have their bible, capitalists have a free market. In the free market, goods are being sold at the price that is dictated by many factors, among which competition, quality, demand and many other things (for instance: the faith of the dude that empties your garbage can). You may wonder where this could go wrong.
The US mail, that is. As you know, the concept of mail is pretty straight-forward. You write a letter, put it in an envelope and use stamps to pay for having it delivered. The amount of stamps may vary on how much work it would be for the delivery. Heavy letters will require more stamps, as would letters that have to go further away. A good rule of thumb when setting up a mail system, would be to have the price be determined by the amount of work. Three stamps worth of labor would be three times more expensive than one stamp worth of labor. Also, US mail originally doesn’t really have competition when it comes to letters (if it did before email, please correct me), so competitive pricing wouldn’t matter.
If you want to make something out of delivering mail, you don’t give people a choice between paying 58 cents or 63 cents per stamp. What also doesn’t help is giving both choices the ‘forever’ mark. Why not have the cheaper stamps printed on banana peels, so they’ll expire? What idiot buys two forever stamps because he is afraid he will never use the third one before the sun goes out? If they’re equal in quality, equal in manufacturing cost (as in: delivering mail) and will never expire, then why on earth would you give a discount? Also: why has nobody in the history of US mail noticed handing out cheaper stamps that will last as long as mankind may backfire when service costs outgrow the price of a forever stamp bought in 1880?
What was the last time you sent someone a letter?
What is the oldest forever stamp you have?