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Why the GOP Is Killing the Post Office

The conventional wisdom is that the US Postal Service is closing post offices and ending Saturday service because it's broke. Don't believe it.

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Expand the store. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders wants to let post offices sell products and services that they're now barred from offering (thanks to corporate opposition and Congressional meddling). Sanders suggests allowing sales of cellphones, delivery of wine, selling fishing licenses, notarizing documents, etc. This would be a boon to the people in poor neighborhoods and rural areas who don't have convenient access to such services.

Seven days. Instead of reducing service, be the only entity that offers reliable delivery service to every community in the country, seven days a week.

Bank here. From 1910 until bank lobbyists killed it in 1966, a Postal Banking System operated successfully through local post offices all across the land. It offered simple, low-cost, federally insured savings accounts to millions of "unbanked" Americans who couldn't meet the minimum deposit requirements of commercial bankers or afford their fees. Today, banks are even less interested in servicing the steadily rising number of poor people, leaving them to the un-tender mercies of payday lenders and check-cashing chains. So let's bring this small-deposit banking system back into our easily accessible and familiar neighborhood post offices to serve these people and create loan funds for investments in local communities.

America's postal service is just that — a true public service, a grassroots people's asset that has even more potential than we're presently tapping to serve the democratic ideal of the common good. Why the hell would we let an elite of small-minded profiteers, ranting ideologues, and their political hirelings drop-kick this jewel through the goal posts of corporate greed? This is not a fight merely to save 32,000 post offices and the middle-class jobs they provide — but to advance the big idea of America itself, the bold, historic notion that "Yes, we can" create a society in which we're all in it together.

That's worth fighting for, which means that you and I must add our voices and grassroots activism to those who're daring to confront the cants and greed of the privatizer elite. It means standing up to them, but, most importantly, standing up for ourselves, our values, our country.

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