Letters to the Editor

Decision may silence small periodicals

The United States Postal Service is going to limit our access to independent opinion by increasing distribution costs for small publications but not for large publications.

In May 2006, the USPS proposed a rate increase of 11.7 percent that more or less affected all periodicals. But in February, the Postal Rate Commission recommended a version of a rate proposal from Time Warner (the largest magazine publisher) that it had previously rejected. It would disproportionately affect small national publications while easing costs on larger magazines. Small titles will be devastated while the largest magazines will enjoy much smaller increases or actual rate decreases.

Rich players buy access to government representatives that smaller players can't. It is understandable that Time Warner would relish the idea of making it more difficult for new competitors, but there is no reason to think that it is in the interest of the American people. The Founding Fathers devised a system to enhance the distribution of opinion and political discourse in our postal service. By limiting availability of distribution, you limit the exchange of ideas. We all know who that benefits, and it's not you or me. Money talks, but why does our government have to listen?

ANDREW OGILVIE

Modesto

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