Post Office branches could replace payday lenders under a proposal endorsed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). The Office of the Inspector General reported last week that 68 million Americans — more than one-fourth of all households – have no checking or savings account and spent about $89 billion in 2012 on interest and fees on non-bank financial services.
Those households spend about $2,412 a year on these fees – or roughly the same amount they spend on food, Warren noted in a column posted Saturday at The Huffington Post.
“Think about that: about 10 percent of a family’s income just to manage getting checks cashed, bills paid, and, sometimes, a short-term loan to tide them over,” Warren wrote. “That’s more than a full month’s income just to try to navigate the basics.”
Private systems are focused on making profits for a few well-positioned people. Public systems, when sufficiently supported by taxes, work for everyone in a generally equitable manner.
The following are six specific reasons why privatization simply doesn’t work.
1. The Profit Motive Moves Most of the Money to the Top
The federal Medicare Administrator made $170,000 in 2010. The president of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas made over ten times as much in 2012. Stephen J. Hemsley, the CEO of United Health Group, made almost 300 timesas much in one year, $48 million, most of it from company stock.
It’s been debated for months, but on Wednesday the United States Postal Service announced it’s not going to deliver first-class mail on Saturdays anymore.
The postal service said on Wednesday it will continue to deliver packages, mail-order medicine, and express mail on Saturday, but not letters, bills, cards, and catalogs. Post offices which are now open on Saturdays will continue to be open on Saturdays.
“The Postal Service is advancing an important new approach to delivery that reflects the strong growth of our package business and responds to the financial realities resulting from America’s changing mailing habits,” said Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster.
I’m one of the three people who thought the Post Office was receiving federal monies. Why did I think this? For one the United States Postal Service is a brand of the federal government. Sure the USPS has a Postmaster General, Board of Governors, but authority rests with Congress. Notice on the commercials how they started with a smiley face, hey guys we don’t receive federal monies. Now they have a sad face, hey guys we are in real trouble.
You must remember government is not efficient; it’s not meant to be run efficiently. When has the government received a profit in any venture they have their dirty little hands in/on? Maybe one, Social Security, but they are continuously ruining that. On the surface the USPS is the second largest employer but unlike Wal-Mart they pay their people a living wage.
The USPS is structured like a business but Congress prevents it from running like one: efficient, cost- effective and innovative.
People don’t realize the dirty little history of the Post Office. It single-handily crippled the system. The thing they accused Bill Gates of doing; they made it into a monopoly. Congress protects the USPS from competitors, it has legal monopoly over first class mail.
In the mid 1800’s there were private mail businesses that were more efficient and innovative. Did you know it wasn’t the USPS that introduced stamps but one of the other 147 competitors. Today USPS competition come more from FedEx or UPS but the USPS monopoly prevents it from delivering first class and standard mail with the exception of urgent mail.
We need to privatize the Post Office, get it out of government’s firm grasp. Sure people will lose jobs, that’s always a part of any restructuring. The salaries are sufficient but it’s time they cut from the top down. Those that can retire need to retire so younger folks can work. That is the revolving door structure; out with the old, in with the new.