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In light of the budget problems facing the postal service, many conservatives have called for mass layoffs and privatization as a way to “modernize” the institution. But one alternative reform proposal challenges stereotypes of the postal service as a creaky old bureaucracy–and highlights its potential to challenge Wall Street’s hegemony: Postal banking. By offering basic, low-cost financial services like savings accounts, small loans, and money transfers, post offices could help bring economic equity to underbanked low-income communities, save vital civil service jobs, and drive a real public option in a sector long dominated by banking behemoths. We speak with Dave Dayen about the idea and the rising political prospects for instituting financial services in the postal system.
We also discuss the latest news on teachers and nurses organizing for workplace rights, how Wal-Mart’s anti-labor actions may be undermining its bottom line, a legal victory for immigrant guestworkers, and the crowdsourced sweatshop.
Strike action in schools:
Nurses strike in Altoona, PA
Wal-Mart’s self-sabotaging labor practices
Court ruling on prevailing wage rules for guestworkers:
Conversation with Dave Dayen:
Dave Dayen: Signed, Sealed, Deposited
US Postal Service Office of the Inspector General: “Providing Non-Bank Financial Services for the Underserved”
Felix Salmon: Why the Post Office needs to compete with banks
Argh, I Wish I’d Written That!:
Moshe Marvit, The Nation: How Crowdworkers Became the Ghosts in the Digital Machine
Jennifer Pan, Jacobin: The Labor of Social Media