How can we truly save the United States Postal Service?
Save the Post Office
First, encourage Congress to reverse the manufactured crisis caused by the 2006 Orwellian Postal Accountability Enhancement Act (PAEA) which forced USPS to prepay its health related pensions 75 years in advance in 10 short years beginning in 2007. Since 2007 USPS has had to pay $5 billion or more dollars every year for health pensions of people who may not even have been born yet. This is something no government or corporate entity has every had to do.
Second, tell Congress to expand services at our local post offices. The Postal Service is a service, not a business. It is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. It is wrong to cut Saturday service which could affect 70,000 jobs and harm small businesses that would have to pay contractors higher rates than USPS to get mailing services.
Sheldon Garon, Nissan Professor of History and East Asian Studies at Princeton University, wrote an article at CNN advocating, “A savings account at the post office”.
According to Garon, most countries in Europe and East Asia allow people to open savings accounts in their post office. In the United States, there were postal savings accounts from 1911 to 1966.
“To avoid competing with banks for larger depositors, postal savings accounts are capped at an amount that serves families of modest means.”
In addition, Garon claims that the savings accounts at post offices throughout the world typically “carry no fees and require no minimum balance or a low one.” This would help many Americans who currently have no bank because of high fees and low balances. They could open much needed savings accounts. Currently, many low income Americans use expensive check cashing companies that charge high fees.
Congress Must Act to Give USPS Flexibility to Make More Revenue
Passing legislation to allow USPS to offer postal banking would bring more people into the post office and would help Americans increase their savings. According to Garon, “one-fourth of low-income Americans are “unbanked.” They have no savings or checking accounts.”
“8.2 percent of US households are unbanked. This represents 1 in 12 households or nearly 10 million in total.”
Third, Let’s protect and preserve our historic post offices. Especially those built during the New Deal era that contain one of a kind beautiful art murals and sculptures reflecting the communities they serve. Each post office is the heart of its community. It is wrong that Postmaster General Donahoe is selling off our national treasures, relocating post offices from the centers of towns to the outskirts making it harder for people to use their post offices. Stop the sell-off of our national treasures and preserve our historic buildings for present and future generations.
There are creative solutions to save USPS which is our 2nd largest employer in the United States. It is in each citizen’s interest to preserve the United States Postal Service which is older than the United States of America. Our first Postmaster General, Benjamin Franklin, was appointed on July 26, 1775 by the Continental Congress. Let President Obama know we must keep universal service and six-day delivery of our mail!