Should We Bring Back The Postal Banking System?

SteveBlog

Law Street: If you are tempted to take out a payday loan you might want to take Sarah Silverman’s advice and try literally anything else.  The trouble is, there are rarely other options and here in the United States there are 40 million Americans who are “unbanked,” without access to the formal financial system.  Shockingly, these Americans spend the same amount just to use their own money as they do to purchasing food–10 percent of their income.  Payday loans may be an evil but unless and until they are replaced with a better alternative they continue to be a necessary one.  Eliminating payday lenders would prevent borrowers from taking on that particular pernicious type of debt but does not solve the underlying concern that many unbanked Americans do not have access to credit.  One of the proposed solutions to provide access to banking services for the unbanked is to use the United States Postal Service.  Progressive politicians are advocating this method as an efficient way to reach low-income citizens in their neighborhoods. But some are uncomfortable with a government agency, one which is facing some financial difficulties of its own, taking on a problem that should be dealt with by market forces.  So is the existence of the “unbanked” really a problem? If so should we be using the post office to combat it?  Read more.

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