Lady Liberty Stamp Fiasco Is Good Government

Lady Liberty stampThe post office made a big boo boo when it printed the WRONG Lady Liberty on a series of Statue of Liberty stamps. Anyone who wants to mail a letter with a picture of the New York landmark in honor of its 125th anniversary will have to settle for a Vegas version. But here's the good news: the post office isn't pulling them from the shelves.

What? How is this good news? They're making a mockery of the lady in the harbor by replacing her with a Vegas showgirl, right? Sure, you can think that way. Or you can fill your glass half full and consider this. The post office spent money to print 3 billion stamps that unfortunately came out with a mistake on them. The decision to forge ahead is good government at work.


Because that's a lot of paper -- both in terms of the stuff that was inked to go on an envelope and the greenbacks the post office spent to have the job done. In a time when everyone and their sister are calling for the government to cut the deficit, cut spending, and cut our taxes -- somehow doing all three simultaneously -- every sector of the government needs to take a long, hard look at what's "necessary spending" and what's extra.

Reprinting perfectly good stamps -- the picture itself looks fine, it's just NOT the Statue of Liberty -- is the very definition of extra. They might not meet the purpose of honoring Lady Liberty's birthday, but they work. Most folks I know don't really give a fig what the picture looks like on their stamp as long as it gets their letter there. And in this case, the faux Lady Liberty stamps will. They stick on envelopes just like any other stamp; if they didn't, there would be a call to the manufacturer and a real means for the post office to recoup its losses. But in this case, since the mistake was post office-based, they have to take their lumps.

In this case, that means changing the informational materials used to promote the stamp. It won't be a real honor for Lady Liberty but a simple stamp featuring a landmark here in the 50 states. Not a bad deal, and let's face it: Deciding to make do with what you got is an example of old-fashioned American ingenuity at its best. It could be a good lesson for United States Congressmen to follow.

Do you think the post office is coming out on top with this move?


Image via USPS

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