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Ellen Brown is author of From Austerity to Prosperity: The Public Bank Solution. At The Web of Debt Blog, she writes What We Could Do with a Postal Savings Bank: Infrastructure that Doesn’t Cost Taxpayers a Dime:

In a July 2013 article titled “Delivering A National Infrastructure Bank...through the Post Office,” Frederic V. Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, addressed the woeful state of US infrastructure. He noted that the idea of forming a national infrastructure bank (NIB) has had bipartisan congressional support over the past six years, with senators from both parties introducing bills for such a bank: [...]

[W]hat if we set up the NIB without using taxpayer funds? What if we allowed Americans to open savings accounts in the nation’s post offices and directed those funds into national infrastructure bonds that would earn interest for depositors and fund job-creating projects to replace and modernize our crumbling infrastructure?

A post office bank ... would not offer commercial loans or mortgages. But it could serve the unbanked and fund infrastructure projects selected by a non-partisan NIB.

The Unbanked and Underbanked: A Massive Untapped Market
Ellen Brown, author of From Austerity to Prosperity: The Public Bank Solution.
Ellen Brown
The “unbanked” are not a small segment of the population. In [a 2011 survey], the unbanked and underbanked included about one in four households.  Without access to conventional financial services, people turn to an expensive alternative banking market of bill-pay, prepaid debit cards, check cashing services, and payday loans.  They pay excessive fees and are susceptible to high-cost predatory lenders.

Globally, postal banks are major contributors to financial inclusion. Catering to this underserved population is a revenue-generator for the post office while saving the underbanked large sums in fees. Worldwide, according to the Universal Postal Union, 1 billion people now use the postal sector for savings and deposit accounts, and more than 1.5 billion take advantage of basic transactional services through the post. According to a Discussion Paper of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs:

The essential characteristic distinguishing postal financial services from the private banking sector is the obligation and capacity of the postal system to serve the entire spectrum of the national population, unlike conventional private banks which allocate their institutional resources to service the sectors of the population they deem most profitable.
Expanding to include postal financial services has been crucial in many countries to maintaining the profitability of their postal network. Maintaining post offices in some rural or low-income areas can be a losing proposition, so the postal service often cross-subsidizes with other activities to maintain its universal network. Public postal banks are profitable because their market is large and their costs are low. The infrastructure is already built and available, advertising costs are minimal, and government-owned banks do not reward their management with extravagant bonuses or commissions that drain profits away.  Profits return to the government and the people.

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2004Doing Right By America, and doing a good job of cataloging Bush's failure:

Ever want to rattle off Bush's misdeeds to an undecided coworker, but couldn't quite come up with the best list of shame? Ever want to illustrate the administration's failure on healthcare, but find yourself wondering exactly how bad the statistics were? Well, furrow your brow no more -- the Senate Democratic leadership has developed a remarkably good webpage, one that serves as a one-stop shop for arguments and facts.

Need to know how many jobs Bush has lost this country? 1.5 million. How much your health care premiums have gone up under Bush? 45% in just three-and-a-half years. Answers to all these sorts of questions can be found in the remarkably comprehensive Resource Center, which contains a damning indictment of Bush packaged in tasty little stat-filled morsels. There may be another almanac of Bush's shame like this somewhere else on the web, but I haven't seen it.

Perhaps the nicest aspect of the site, though, is its unifying message: Doing Right By America.


Tweet of the Day:

Obamacare IS the conservative plan. The lib plan is single payer, that evil socialism enjoyed by all our capitalist allies.
@JohnFugelsang



On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Ted's Cruz-sade-a-palooza! Greg Dworkin rounded up the many fronts in the Gop civil war. Markos rolls his eyes at Hillary's "common ground" play. WSJ laments the Cruz-sade. (But gets the terminology wrong—remember when that disqualified you for debate?) Armando helps game things out. The Hill notes the Cruz-sade robs the House of time to respond to the Senate. Helpless Gop Senators don't know what to do about Cruz's NRSC vice chairmanship! Will Rs "win" on spending issues no matter what happens to Obamacare? What might we see in post-shutdown politics.


High Impact Posts. Top Comments. Overnight News Digest.

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