The fact that urban neighborhoods in this country are underserved by government and large corporations is immoral. Schools are overcrowded, grocery stores are not easy to find, crime goes unsolved, and bank branches barely exist in the less affluent areas of our cities. Predatory “payday lenders” are the rule, from Los Angeles to New York, Houston to Minneapolis, and every city in between. We as a nation need to address this urgently.

One idea that would help would be to bring back postal banking. From 1910 until 1966, anyone could open a small savings account at their local post office and have check cashing services. This Postal Banking System was instituted to stabilize the banking system from the panic of 1907, when many banks failed. William Taft got elected in large part by proposing this legislation. Taft’s postal banking idea was a real success for the country.

The Postal Banking System raised billions of dollars from small savers, and the post office also sold many U.S. Savings bonds through the bank to support the war effort in World War II. The program was very popular with new immigrants to the country, as they did not trust private banks, and the postal banks were backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.

This pandemic has hit the postal service hard, as well as the poorer urban communities. Re-establishing the Postal Banking System will help the unbanked population and the post office. It is a win-win. Unless, of course you are a predatory lender.

George Carroll

Adamstown

(12) comments

threecents

Great LTE[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

Brookhawk

George - An interesting idea except for the fact that the current powers that be seem set on eliminating the postal service in favor of giving the business to the privately owned enterprises. However, ideas for improving people's lives are what we need now, what we need to be talking about, because we've been pretty pathetic about doing it for a long, long time. So keep thinking.

MD1756

This letter writer is all over the map.

What has the postal banking system got to do with overcrowded schools in urban neighborhoods? That's a local issue with the decisions not to tax and fund schools appropriately being made by local politicians.

What does large corporations not putting stores that won't be profitable into urban neighborhoods have anything to do with postal banking?

There are plenty of mechanisms that already exist for investment and banking services. It seems that postal banking would cost the USPS more money than they would make from it. How would you propose funding the costs? Raise the price of stamps to provide banking services?

francesca_easa

Brilliant idea Mr. Carroll! Payday loans and check cashing places are still popular, despite today's technology options. And they make tons of money off the vulnerable. Read "Broke USA". Very eye opening.

yogib

[thumbup]

gabrielshorn2013

Due to Congressional interference, the Post Office perpetually loses money. There is no way to pay interest on your savings account. Further, there is a higher probability of finding a local bank closer than your local post office. This proposal makes no sense.

DickD

[thumbup][thumbup]

DickD

George, banks have improved their services vastly. You can do online banking without going to the bank. Try it, you may like it. And if you want to save money that too is easy. There are a number of good investment firms that will give you a much better return than any postal system rate. And that too can be done on line.

Dwasserba

Suppose you are paid in cash.

gabrielshorn2013

Good question deb. I guess you take a photo of the cash and deposit it the same as you deposit checks? [innocent]

DickD

You would need to go to the bank. Not many are paid in cash. You can deposit a check by taking a photo of the front and back. .Or you can opt for a Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT )

MD1756

And what percentage of people working above the table only have the option of being paid in cash?

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