When U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy laid out plans Tuesday for the future of the post office, he pointed to higher postage rates and slower first class mail as a means of stemming postal service losses he says could reach $160 billion.
But missing from his new 10-year plan were two ideas economists, members of Congress and consumer advocates say could generate billions of dollars for the beleaguered service and bring the post office into the 21st century: a return to postal banking and the post office’s entry into the lucrative alcohol delivery business.
“We don’t expect the post office of the 21st century will be the same as the post office of the 20th century,” said Rakim Brooks, senior campaign strategist for the American Civil Liberties Union. “People are using the mail less, and we think that the institution has to provide new services.”
Postal banking, he said, is among the new services the post office of the 21st century could — and should — provide. It would include basic banking services, including check cashing, providing low- or no-fee checking accounts, installing low-fee ATM machines, and providing wire transfer and bill payment services.
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