Victor Manta wrote: The good old times! After over a half of a century, I haven't experienced a reduction of
postal rates yet.
Stephen Suffet wrote: Actually I recall several postal rate
reductions here in the USA....
Victor Manta answered: OK, I admit that, for polemical purposes,
I exaggerated a bit (but not more then that). For sure there were postal rate reduction
sometimes and somewhere in the world, but the general tendency that I have observed is
that the postal rates increase and that this increase is bigger then the inflation rate of
the currency for any particular country.
I will take as example Switzerland, a country known for her stable
currency. Two to three years ago Switzerland had an uniform rate for "normal"
letters, of 70c, with next day delivery in the whole country. Then, suddenly, a new postal
rate was introduced, named A - Priority, for the price of 90c (about $ 0.60, and a 28.5%
increase), promising a guaranteed next day delivery. The old 70c rate was renamed B-Mail,
with a 3 (!) days delivery. Please take in consideration that Switzerland is actually
smaller than most of the US states. I was told, but it was at my knowledge neither
officially confirmed, nor denied, that at time some B-Mail is artificially retained at
post offices or in transiting centers, in order to be delivered later then the A-Mail...
And something else yet, that will allow for a comparison and an
explanation. One and a half years ago the Postal Services were in Switzerland a part of a
bigger state monopoly, named PTT (Post, Telegraph, Telephone). The telecommunication part
was partially privatized and the whole communication domain was somehow liberalized,
permitting the entry of a limited number of private companies. After only a year, the
connection prices have dropped considerably and we have on the telecommunication market a
number of interesting options opened since then. Nothing similar in the domain of postal
services, that remains here (as in most countries) a monopoly controlled by the
government, with some advantages for few, paid by them and by the majority of others - and
however typically with an adverse balance.
Posted the 4/2/99 on
wrote: Being somewhat observant, I have found that a good many people buying stamps
today are not collectors but more like opportunists. I never buy from Ebay
but from my observations stuff like Princess Di, Elvis, Marlyn Monroe is selling easily and at a price no respectable collector would consider paying.
V. Manta answered: I can only recall a remark of the Count Otto von
Bismarck: "Fools you are... who say you like to learn from your mistakes... I prefer
to learn from the mistakes of others, and avoid the costs of my own".
Dave wrote: Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been trying to find
a quote similar to this for a while. Would you have any objection to me using it as a
signature quote for a while?
Posted the 4/11/99 on
Arlene wrote: Congratulations to the
people of Nunuvit, the third Canadian territory that officially came into existence
today... It's not everyday that a new territory is created, and I think it is something to
celebrate the peaceful and democratic process that went into it's creation.
V.M. answered: Congratulation to NUNAVUT and to all Canadians for the
new territory! There is a hope that the new territory will sell enough stamps to somehow
reduce the economic support (over 80%) it needed till now and collected from the whole
country through a peaceful and democratic process named taxation.
Posted the 4/2/99 on
The 22nd of April, 1999 the United States Postal Service will issue a stamp dedicated to
the philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand, the author of Atlas Shrugged, philosophically one
of the most challenging novels of this century. It is less known that Ayn Rand was also a
passionate stamp collector. If interested, please find excerpts from her article "Why
I Like Stamp Collecting" on my page:
Posted 4/7/99 on
Thank you so much for pointing me to this site. I had no idea
that Ayn Rand collected stamps. I loved what she had to say about it. She put
into words what I had always believed... Mike Smith
yourself... or the wife of your neighbor, on stamps.
A new collecting domain was opened by the Australia Post at the Stamp Expo
1999 - Personalized Stamps. One could ask that his own face should be put
on a stamp, on a place intentionally left free, near the nice image of
Polly Woodside 19th century merchant barque. Then he could use the new
created stamps as ordinary ones and send letters with his image anywhere
Australia Post hopes to have personalized stamps available nationwide for
Christmas. It was not specified if only faces will be allowed as
I'm not very enthusiastic about the whole idea. Any comment? Posted the
8/3/99 on rec.collecting.stamps.discuss
just_say_no answered: I am with you Victor.
I do not like the idea. First, I think stamps are not toys. They are
somewhat like currency and should be treated as such, with some
responsibility. Secondly, what keeps someone from putting something
obscene on it (and this could be a matter of opinion)? I won't go on but
what a bad idea from a country that has issued some great stamps recently.
I have searched for a
definition of a set in all catalogues that I have (many :) and could find
any. So I have proposed the following definition: A set consists of
stamps with a similar subject and design, which were all issued the same
day. The next one that I propose is: Series are successions of sets,
issued on different dates.
8/26/99 on rec.collecting.stamps.discuss
I think the distinction
between "sets" and "series" is a good one. I can vote
in favour, if we had that kind of thing. Unless someone convinces me otherwise, I will adopt these definitions for my future
site(s). Peter Galbavy.
I like the precision of the distinction, and it does make sense of the
words. Victor's definitions have my vote. Peter D.