Joe Pinsker - October 20, 2015
In an interview with Fusion’s Felix Salmon the day after last week’s Democratic debate and published Tuesday, Senator Bernie Sanders discussed the marquee features of democratic socialism he’s been tirelessly calling for during his presidential campaign: higher taxes for the wealthiest Americans, an increased minimum wage, and breaking up the biggest Wall Street banks.
Salmon also raised a possibility that has not been as prominent in Sanders’s stump speeches, but animates him nonetheless: turning the U.S.’s post offices into banks. Sanders:
"If you are a low-income person, it is, depending upon where you live, very difficult to find normal banking. Banks don’t want you. And what people are forced to do is go to payday lenders who charge outrageously high interest rates. You go to check-cashing places, which rip you off. And, yes, I think that the postal service, in fact, can play an important role in providing modest types of banking service to folks who need it."
It’s something Sanders alluded to in a 2014 Wall Street Journal op-ed, and it’s not even the craziest idea proposed to save the USPS—a report last year explored the implications of turning post offices into hubs for 3-D printing.