How the government subsidizes the rich, while we pay the fees

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The United States has two personal banking systems. One of these systems is carefully regulated. It benefits from substantial government subsidies, and it offers extensive protections to consumers.  The other system serves the poor.  “One of the great ironies in American life is that the less money you have, the more you have to pay to use it,” writes Mehrsa … Read More

New book explains why we need a postal bank

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A new book entitled How the Other Half Banks by Mehrsa Baradaran makes a great argument for why we need a postal banking system.  The book explains how economic inequality in this country is caused largely by unequal credit.  A significant portion of the population has been deserted by the banking system and is consequently  forced to use payday lenders and check-cashing … Read More

Commonomics USA hosts conference call on postal banking

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Commonomics USA (formerly BankACT), a leading voice for postal banking since USPS inspector general Dave Williams first proposed it in January 2014, will host a series of conference calls featuring prominent economists and experts on United States Postal Service-based financial services, beginning on  Tuesday, February 3, when Dean Baker, American macroeconomist and co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy … Read More

Senator Elizabeth Warren: Coming to a Post Office Near You: Loans You Can Trust?

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Senator Elizabeth Warren has a piece in Huffington Post about the OIG's report recommending that the post office offer financial services.  It starts like this:  "The poor pay more. "According to a report put out this week by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Postal Service, about 68 million Americans — more than a quarter of all households … Read More

What the post office could be

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What if instead of closing post offices, cutting window hours, getting rid of career postmasters, and selling off post office buildings, the Postal Service had a different vision?  What if brick-and-mortar post offices were seen as vital community hubs with a lot of potential for bringing in new sources of revenue?  What if the Postal Service stopped pushing customers to … Read More