December 28, 2006, - 9:32 am

On the Elvis Stamp & the U.S. Postal Service

By Debbie Schlussel
This week, the U.S. Postal Service released results of yet another meaningless, irrelevant survey. The quasi-governmental delivery monopoly announced that the most popular stamp collected since 1988 is the 1993 Elvis stamp (the one featuring young, trim Elvis, not drug-addicted, bloated Elvis).
Almost every major news media outlet reported the results of the survey. Apparently, every year the USPS surveys 10,000 homes to determine the most popular stamps saved by collectors.
But who really cares which are the most collected? The Post Service already monitors sales of stamps. The computerized registers and systems at your local post office are carefully monitored by Postal Service marketing and products execs for the most popular products. And it doesn’t let those statistics dictate its production of stamps, anyway. For example, sales of the Islamic Eid stamp are very, very low. But the USPS continues to produce them, anyway.
And they aren’t making any more of the Elvis stamps. You can’t buy them online at the USPS site, either.


The USPS, the pensions of which are still borne by the Treasury Dept. a/k/a U.S. taxpayers (according to the Wall Street Journal), is still a quasi-governmental body. It still has a monopoly on the delivery of first-class mail. It still keeps raising the prices of stamps.
Part of the costs of all of that includes these silly surveys. Doing a survey of 10,000 homes every year is costly–a non-competitive cost that the USPS, now a loser to e-mail and faxes, can’t really afford.
So, why does the Postal Service continue these surveys? If it’s about publicity, how does a stamp–the Elvis stamp–that’s no longer for sale at your local post office help sales? It’s just like past wastes of money in the name of empty marketing, employed by the USPS: the Millenium countdown clocks in every post office in 1999, the endless sponsorships (in the multi-millions) of Lance Armstrong and the U.S. Olympic Cycling Team.
Time for the Postal Service to stop wasting money on stupid surveys. It’s already lost most of its market share to technology. And it simply can’t afford to waste money on silly pop culture surveys.
As much as I like Elvis and his stamp, the Postal Service needs to wake up. The USPS has a “Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee” and encourages Americans to write with advice and ideas. Time for citizens to advise the Postal Service to stop the fruitless surveys and endless waste.
Read my 2001 column on silly USPS wastes of money, subsidized by your first-class stamp and tax money.
Read Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal editorial on USPS legislation just passed by Congress.
By the way, did you know that Elvis was Jewish? According to Jewish law, you are a Jew if you were born to a Jewish mother (or if you convert to the religion). Elvis’ mother and all the women on her side back to his great-great grandmother, Nancy Tackett Burdine, were Jews. She originally had a Jewish star on her grave’s headstone. And Elvis even got a nosejob. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Responses

OY GEVALT!!! i can see a sudden DECLINE in the value of my velvet Elvis now that you’ve revealed he’s NOT a sweet *goy* from Tupelo or where evah it is he came from.
You also failed to mention that the USPS is probably the only government agency that turns a profit, not counting Reagan’s contracokedealing CIA of course.

EminemsRevenge on December 28, 2006 at 10:36 am

What I’d like to see is an honest analysis of the costs vs revenues of junk mail. When I get 10 or more pieces of mail from the same company, selling a product or service in which I have no interest at all, it makes me wonder if the full costs of that mail are in fact being borne by the sender. on December 28, 2006 at 10:49 am

Methinks someone got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.
(although i do agree that sponsoring the bike team is frivolous)
Face it, mailing a letter in this country is still dirt cheap.

Rocketman on December 28, 2006 at 10:58 am

Pop culture…
I would like to see the “muhammad cartoons” on the stamps.
Maybe the government can finally find out the “religion” of the terrorists, and maybe the “let’s not talk about their religion” can stop and maybe calling a spade a spade can save innocent American lives.

Independent Conservative on December 28, 2006 at 12:21 pm

Although “halachically” Elvis could’ve probably “converted” without any of the formalities because of the matriarchial line, even his estate acknowledges that only the great-great grandmother really practiced Judaism and the women 2 generations after and beyond were hardly aware of their Jewish heritage.
However, Elvis was certainly a friend of the Jews and one of his “odd jobs” before he became famous was as a janitor/caretaker of a Memphis synagogue.

hairymon on December 28, 2006 at 3:20 pm

This evil stamp is pretty cool. I have been waiting for this service from long time. Its now finally released.

LiteBlue USPS on July 5, 2018 at 10:33 pm

Leave a Reply

* denotes required field