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Living People To Be Featured On U.S. Postage Stamps

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

These are challenging times for the the United States Postal Service.  These are also “changing” times.

Ending a policy that has been in place since it’s inception, the U.S. Postal Service announced that it will begin featuring images of people who are still alive.

We wanted to make sure the people we suggested had stood the test of time,” said Stephen Kearney, the Postal Service manager of stamp programs. But in deciding to discontinue the rule, Kearney explained it was limiting the number of worthwhile, relevant candidates, especially those considered meaningful by young people who might be encouraged to buy stamps.

Previously, candidates had to be deceased for five years.

So what lead to the change?  Possibly economics.

The Postal Service is in the midst of closing thousands of post offices as part of a financial overhaul to cut red ink. The commemorative stamp program brings in about $200 million a year in profit. “The main source of profit is those who buy and keep the stamps,” Kearney explained,”it’s serious money, but it’s a relatively small drop in the gap we have to close.”

Still, if the popularity of Facebook and Twitter can supplement snail mail, postal officials believe the competition to name the first living person featured on a U.S. stamp may top the public’s participation in the Elvis runoff.

Stamps to feature contemporary people – CNN.com.

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