On the U.S. Postal Service's financial crunch : The Indicator from Planet Money The price of mailing a first-class letter in the U.S. went up to .66 this month, part of a series of price hikes that the postal service hopes will put it on a pathway to profitability. But from its inception, the United States Postal Service wasn't designed to run much like a business. Today on the show, how the U.S.P.S. went from a public service to a business burdened by debt.

A first-class postal economics primer

A first-class postal economics primer

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The price of mailing a first-class letter in the U.S. went up to .66 this month, part of a series of price hikes that the postal service hopes will put it on a pathway to profitability. But from its inception, the United States Postal Service wasn't designed to run much like a business. Today on the show, how the U.S.P.S. went from a public service to a business burdened by debt.