Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Banking Goes Postal

         Let’s try to think up something new, something really stupid.  I mean REALLY stupid, so stupid that no one would believe it.
         Like this:  Because the poor don’t have much money, they can’t afford to use delivery services like Fedex and UPS.  Among the clientele of those two home delivery services, the poor are under-represented.  So, in order to even out the home delivery playing field, let’s mandate that failing banks go into package delivery for the poor.  That way the poor are helped and so are the failing banks, who can charge for their services.
         But what has package delivery got to do with banking, you ask?  Nothing much, that’s for sure.
         It doesn’t matter. 
         I know it sounds preposterous.  But don’t shut it down too quickly.  All I’ve done is reverse the latest Democrat brainstorm, this one from Elizabeth Warren, the native American white woman from Massachusetts.  In the wake of government interference that drove banks to impose fees on things like previously free checking accounts, fees that made it harder for the poor to enjoy basic banking services (government intrusions that she supported), Warren suggests now that we use the Post Office to supply banking services for the poor.
         Yes, the Post Office.
         Because the Post Office is about 5 billion dollars in the red, it needs more revenue.  It can get that revenue, Warren insists, by providing checking accounts, small loans, and other banking services for the poor.  What has package delivery got to do with banking, you ask?  Nothing, like I said.  But staggering disconnects don’t stop progressives.  They view non sequiturs not as obstacles but as challenges.   
         A moment’s reflection raises even more questions.  For example, if the Post Office makes small loans to the poor, and if the poor have, because of their poverty, little or no collateral by which to secure their loans, how can the Post Office make smart loans and avoid losses if they must loan to folks who are greater loan risks?   And which postal letter carriers are trained to assess loan risk and have the time to track down delinquent borrowers?  And if your mail isn’t delivered one or more days per week because postal service talent has been redirected into checking accounts and ATM cards, will you be OK with it?  And if, instead of redirecting letter carriers into banking, the Post Office has to recruit and then hire (1) trained and experienced loan officers, (2) checking and savings account counselors, and (3) ATM gurus, and if they need desks, chairs, phones, and electronic equipment to do the job well, how will the Post Office pay for it all and where will they house it?
         Don’t ask those questions because, after all, it’s for a good cause -- the poor.  You’re not against the poor are you?  You aren’t one of those hateful, selfish Republicans who’d rather get mail than help the poor with Christmas Club savings, are you?  You aren’t a shameless one percenter, are you?
         Here’s another question not to ask:  don’t ask a progressive for objective historical indicators that turning post offices into banks has actually raised the poor.  They’ll just look at you in quizzical disbelief.  Why are you asking questions, they’ll wonder.  Can’t you see that they care?
         I am compelled to state the obvious:  There is no idea so ridiculous and so disconnected from reality that some progressive somewhere won’t propose it as a legislative breakthrough and excoriate you as a heartless bigot for opposing it.  Progressives are so twisted and warped that prudence looks to them like hatred.  I haven't heard such nonsense since somebody suggested we task NASA with Islamic relations.  So we did, on the basis that if we could put a man on the moon in less than a decade, our astrophysicists can turn al Qaeda into pacifists.  
         I am not impressed by the bold and unembarrassed ignorance of the progressives.  I deride it.  My response to combining the Post Office with small banking is found by combining the two delivery services mentioned above:  FedUps.

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