Richard Wolff on Postal Banking

Postal banking. What does that mean? Post
offices around the world, in fact over a hundred countries have what I’m about to
describe to you, the post office provides financial services. You can have a
savings account. You can have a checking account. You can have a credit card. You
can get a loan you can do all the things you do with a bank but the post office
provides you with an option. It’s usually an option that’s much more convenient
because every post office has it. It’s an option that’s usually much cheaper
because the government is providing it and the post offices already exist, and
the structure already exists, and the trained personnel who already deal in
money orders and other financial items are already of available, certified. It’s
perfect. It’s a way to offer Americans, if we did it, cheap alternatives to banks.
What banks? The banks, the large ones that have been
caught over the last five years doing every illegal and every unethical thing
banks are in a position to do. We should have an alternative, which we don’t now.
We also have a situation where people who live paycheck to paycheck often are
short and have to go get something called the payday loan from some lending
agency charging hundreds of percent per year in interest. The post office could
provide a cheap, convenient, reliable, better service for the mass of the
American people. If the answer is it must be left in private hands given how
they’ve behaved and given their extortionate rates, then you really have
to wonder whether we have a government that’s there to serve the private
interest or a government that’s there to serve the mass of people with something
they really need. A quarter of Americans are listed as either unbanked or
inadequately banked, that is they don’t have a bank convenient to them or they
don’t have enough money to make it worthwhile for the bank to give them an
account, etc. The post office can serve the mass of people with a much better
alternative. It’ll be a better alternative
that also forces the private bankers, on pain of losing competition, to come up
with as good or better service, which is as it should be. Funny how those banks
always celebrate competition but they don’t want it from the government, even
though their behavior makes it long overdue.
We actually had postal banking in the United States from 1911 to 1967. It would
bring more revenue if we let the post office do it, which the post office needs to run itself, and to support the postal services. It’s a good
idea. It exists in a hundred countries. We ought to have a demand for it now. It’s
something the American people need and the only opposition is from the big
banks in the United States and they have foreclosed any need to do that.

28 comments on “Richard Wolff on Postal Banking”

  1. Clare Stucki says:

    I'm gonna get a loan and a credit card from the Postal Bank, then I'm gonna not repay any of it. What're they gonna do, repo my mail box??

  2. B A says:

    Yes! 👍
    It should be effectively free to cash a check, send/receive money, save/withdraw it, automatic deposit and pay bills. Let's say $5 to get an ATM card.
    In the meantime, un(der)banked people ought to know there's no-fee reloadable-credit cards and banks like Bluebird and Simple. USPS could do even better and enable the economy, because when people don't have to do non-value-add activities like wait in line to deposit a check or get cash because they don't have a credit or debit card, they can be working, less stressed and have more time to save or spend said money. The optimal amount of money-making requires investing effectively across society so people are best supported to generate more tax revenues, capital and therefore, a larger and happier economy. Cannibalizing society does the opposite.

  3. Pat Hacker says:

    In the fifties I had a savings account at the local Post Office.

  4. Chris Whalen, CPA says:

    My podcast answers the question "Do The Rich Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes?"

    Podcast – Do The “Rich” Pay Their Fair Share Of Taxes?

  5. Drav1212 says:

    Whenever mr. Wolf speaks my head just explodes from his one sided ideology. As the us postal office enters its 12 year of financial loss it needs to do something extra in order to survive and that is because gov. Agencies cant compete with the private sector. You don't hear about ups having 12 years of financial loss you dont hear about ups wanting to become a bank. Only failing gov. Agencies do. Maybe post offices should start selling doughnuts and coffee so you have something while you wait on long lines

  6. Drav1212 says:

    Before my local post office becomes a bank can i get a stamp machine

  7. Drav1212 says:

    Poor people. As cited from voter id argument. Don't have identification, so how are all these poor people going to do transactions at banks because proponents of voter id laws keep telling us poor people dont have identification. So how are they going to bank at a postal office?

  8. Drav1212 says:

    Once again kardashian wolf is full of hot air

  9. Bob Browning says:

    Mr Wolff must have the vultures worried; judging from the drab1212 etc. trolls.


    Not postal alternative banking, but nationalized electronic banking…… with state access and automated taxation of all accounts……… Come on Wolff forget the past and be a modern.communist.

  11. Ming Mongo says:

    I'd pay extra to not deal with a bank. I'm probably not alone.

  12. PsychoticusRex says:

    … only problem I see is that banks do have added security compared too post offices , specifically regarding heists. A worker safety issue, and not a token expense. :/

  13. The Chronicles Of Elaine says:

    This is another big gov grab. It's hard to sue the gov when they steal money. USPS is known for there notorious thefts (@postalnews @postalreporter). USPS keeps getting more jobs but still ends up in the RED. Say NO to postal banking.

  14. Sehid Namrin says:

    What about municipal banks? They can help make almost any municipality financially solvent and have excess capital for needed projects.

  15. Tubmaster 5000 says:

    Canada had postal banking until, I think, the 1960's. It has been proposed that such a scheme be revived as a way to provide revenue for Canada Post. Nothing has come of this proposal as yet.

  16. Zanga Zeit1776 says:

    Dr. Wolff tells it!!

  17. Drav1212 says:

    You all are worrying too much. Since Obama care is failing, which I assume be sure everyone is now talking about Medicare for all, which has me confused because isn't Obama care the savior for everyone? Once single payer comes in, all, our problems will be solved

  18. outbacktrek says:

    better than a 4profit mafiaBankster

  19. Zachery Jones says:

    Tbh, I reap benefits from my bank in credit card rewards and I pay it off monthly as to avoid any charges. However, I know this is not everyone’s case and overall postal banking would be a good idea. Just keep my flying points haha

  20. Francis L Mayer says:

    Great ideas! I actually worked in government and in private sector and in both sectors I got top ratings. The government can compete very nicely with industry. it is all based on good leadership. If a government agency has good leadership it can be very well run and the same goes for the private sector as well. Conversely, corrupt leadership can wreck any system no matter how brilliant it is and sadly many Americans embrace ignorance like it is a badge of honor. The things we did in the past were often very smart, however, the "bright idea fairy" has often killed many good things the government was doing to make way for "initiatives" that are flat out corporate welfare. No one batted an eye when TARP handed out massive loans/bail outs to failed private institutions but God forbid we dare help out the US Post Office with a few billion even though the US Post Office is enshrined in our US Constitution. You can see here what was provided businesses under TARP and it runs into the 100s of Billions The Post Office runs at a profit but the US COngress has doen to the Post Office what NO other institution is required to do, pre-fund its entire retirement system see

  21. Mate Jebach says:

    But would banksters allow that? Would police find child-pornography, some unpaid bills, terrorist connections for those who propose something like that?

  22. Augur Cybernaut says:

    Yes please.

  23. vortexgen1 says:

    There are areas in this country that are massively underserved by banks and yet the banks won't serve there and won't let anyone serve those areas except for the payday lenders. The payday lenders just prey on the poor, when the Post Office could do a better job for a lot less expense.

  24. chris courtney says:

    My God the POST OFFICE screws up basic mailing and now you want them to be a bank. I admire your faith in big government Dr Wolf !

  25. Mia Ash says:

    Dear Professor your feedback on the above link is greatly appreciated.

  26. Neo Sannyasin says:

    Wow! Professor Richard Wolff is finally on YouTube! Welcome! Better late than never.

  27. Clownish-Gambino says:

    If the Big American banks are against it then I'm at minimum up to educate myself more about whatever it is

  28. Scrypt OG says:

    That feel when the underlying mechanism of fiat currency still isn't understood & using socialized services serve central banks 2x

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