Reprinted from Campaign For America's Future
Can The Post Office Save Itself By Becoming A Bank?
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Postal banking serves the public, not Wall Street. We the People could have postal banking right now if enough of us speak up and demand it. SIGN THE PETITION HERE.
Traditional banks have abandoned communities, leaving people stranded, unable to cash checks, pay bills, etc. (For example, Bank of America has closed more than 1,400 branches in the last five years.) Nearly 28% of U.S. households either don't have regular bank accounts or otherwise have to turn to payday lenders, check cashers and the like to fill that void. The people who have to use these predators end up paying nearly an average of 10 percent of their incomes in fees and services.
There is a simple solution: postal banking. The United States Postal Service (USPS) has more than 30,000 branches -- at least one branch in every zip code. Allowing the USPS to expand into simple banking services would not even be a complicated new idea -- we used to do it!
February's post, "Postal Workers And The Public Want A Postal Banking Public Option," explained:
"Until 1967, the Postal Service (then called the Post Office) operated postal banking through the United States Postal Savings System. Reviving postal banking would be like offering a 'public option' for financial services. It would let people have accounts they could use to cash checks, get small loans, pay bills and even get prepaid debit cards. These services would enable lower-income Americans to avoid the exploitative 'payday lenders' and check-cashing 'services' that eat up working people's earnings."
We need a nonprofit "public option" for banking. If the USPS expanded into postal banking this would provide people with affordable, consumer-driven, basic financial services ranging from paycheck cashing and bill payment to savings accounts and small-dollar loans. Here are some of the things that a postal banking "public option" could do for people:
-- Debit cards
-- ATMs that do not charge fees
-- Cash paychecks
-- Pay bills
-- Electronic funds transfers
-- Small loans
People could get all of these with low fees. Plus there is an added benefit, these fees would strengthen and preserve the USPS.
Postal Banking Is A No-Brainer
Postal banking is an obvious no-brainer solution to two national problems. It helps millions of Americans obtain simple, basic banking services with low fees, and it helps the USPS stay afloat at a time when corporate/conservatives argue that it should "make a profit" off of the public instead of serve the public.
If you think this is a good idea SIGN THE PETITION HERE.
The Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service includes:
Alliance for Retired Americans
American Postal Workers Union
Americans for Financial Reform
Brave New Films
Campaign for America's Future
Center for Effective Government
Democracy for America
Jobs With Justice
National People's Action
People Demanding Action
People for the American Way
Social Security Works
United for a Fair Economy