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For broadcast on CBS Radio Network stations February 15-16, 2003:

Irregular Regular Issues

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.

Regular issues are the workhorse stamps of a postal service: They're rarely
flashy, but are designed to make up all the odd little rates and last for
years and years. In the past, the U-S has had the Presidentials, the Liberty
Series and Prominent Americans, but now...

"They have an enormous number of chaotic series that overlap one another and
make no sense."
RUNS :06

Fred Baumann, associate editor of Stamp Collector newspaper, says regular
issues are the stamps that actually show up on the mail, and should be

"Is there any reason why stamps, which are one of the few things the
government puts out that nearly everybody lays their hands on, shouldn't be
marvelous pieces of art?
RUNS :10

But they're not, he says.

"Many of them look like they were designed by B-average high school
commercial art students that show up on everything. Many of them don't even
say what they're worth."
RUNS :10

And that, Baumann says, isn't good for collectors OR the Postal Service.

That's stamp collecting this week. 

I'm Lloyd de Vries, CBS News. 

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