Mail carriers will be delivering some good news and some bad news this week.
The bad news: Stamp prices are expected to rise 2 cents in May to 41 cents, the Postal Regulatory Commission announced yesterday. The good news: With the introduction of a “forever stamp”, it may be the last time Americans have to use annoying 2-or-3-cent stamps to make up postage differences.
Beginning in May, people would be able to purchase the stamps in booklets of 20 at the regular rate of a first-class stamp. As the name implies, “forever stamps” will keep their first-class mailing value forever, even when the postage rate goes up.
The new “forever stamp” is the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) answer to the complaints about frequent rate increases. The May increase will be the fifth in a decade. Postal rates have risen because of inflation (通货膨胀), competition from online bill paying, and the rising costs of employee benefits, including healthcare, says Mark Saunders, a spokesman for USPS.
The USPS expects some financial gain from sales of the “forever stamp” and the savings from not printing as many 2-or-3-cent stamps. “It’s not your grandfather’s stamp,” says Mr. Saunders. “It could be your great-grandchildren’s stamp.”
Other countries, including Canada, England, and Finland use similar stamps.
Don Schilling, who has collected stamps for 50 years, says he’s interested in the public’s reaction. “This is an entirely new class of stamps.” Mr. Schilling says. He adds that he’ll buy the stamps because he will be able to use them for a long period of time, not because they could make him rich — the volume printed will be too large for collectors. “We won’t be able to send our kids to college on these,” he says, laughing.
The USPS board of governors has yet to accept the Postal Regulatory Commission’s decision, but tends to follow its recommendations. No plans have been announced yet for the design of the stamps.
72. The main purpose of introducing a “forever stamp” is ______.
A. to reduce the cost of printing 2-or-3-cent stamps
B. to help save the consumers’ cost on first-class mailing
C. to respond to the complaints about rising postal rates
D. to compete with online bill paying
73. By saying “It could be your great-grandchildren’s stamp”, Mr. Saunders means that forever stamps ______.
A. could be collected by one’s great-grandchildren
B. might be very precious in great-grandchildren’s hands
C. might have been inherited from one’s great-grandfathers
D. could be used by one’s great-grandchildren even decades later
74. Which of the following is true according to the passage?
A. The investment in forever stamps will bring adequate reward.
B. America will be the first country to issue forever stamps.
C. The design of the “forever stamp” remains to be revealed.
D. 2-or-3-cent stamps will no longer be printed in the future.
75. What can be concluded from the passage?
A. With forever stamps, there will be no need to worry about rate changes.
B. Postal workers will benefit most from the sales of forever stamps.
C. The inflation has become a threat to the sales of first-class stamps.
D. New interest will be aroused in collecting forever stamps.