Turning the Post Office into a Bank Is a Bad Idea
The recent proposals in the 2016 Democratic Party Platform to turn the Post Office into a bank may sound like creative, new ideas to help the unbanked and underbanked gain access to basic financial services, but they’re far from being new or creative. In fact, the United States had postal banking for about 50 years – from 1911 to 1966 – after several failed attempts to do so dating as far back as 1871. Unfortunately, as we saw back then and as we subsequently have learned from the efforts of other countries, trying to run a bank out of the post office is about as effective (or ineffective, as the case may be) as trying to turn your local community bank into a post office. Neither is equipped to do the job of the other, and they shouldn’t be forced to try – especially with taxpayer dollars on the line.