Business ideologues keep saying that government programs should be run like a business.

Truly? Which companies would they choose? Pharmaceutical profits? Big oil? Wall Street money manipulators? High-tech billionaires? Airline prize thieves?

The good news is that the vast majority of people don’t buy this corporate gossip. Instead, by a 2-1 margin, the Americans stunned smug right-wing privatizers by specifically saying in a poll last year that our US Postal Service should not be “run like a business.”

Indeed, an overwhelming majority, including half of Republicans, say that mail delivery should be managed as a “public service”.


In fact, after proving that this nearly 250-year-old federal agency can consistently and efficiently deliver to 161 million homes and businesses day in and day out, it’s time to let the trusted workforce, decentralized and well-trained agency providing even more services to our communities.

How about “postal banking?” “

Yes, the existing network of some 31,000 post offices in metropolitan areas and small towns across America is perfectly located and capable of providing basic banking services to the one in four of us who do not or do not have can not afford bank account. The giant banking chains ignore these millions, leaving them at the mercy of check-cashing exploiters and loan sharks.

The post office can offer simple and honest banking services, including checking and savings accounts for small dollars, very low interest consumer loans, low cost debit cards, and more.

The goal of postal banking is not to maximize corporate profits, but public service. Plus, there is nothing new about it. Our post offices served as banks for millions of us until 1967, when the Wall Street profiteers got their enablers in Congress to kill the competition.

We the people own this phenomenal public good. Let’s make it work even better for us.

OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer and speaker. This commentary was distributed by OtherWords.org.


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