Jim Epstein on How to Get More Americans Banking Without Involving the U.S. Postal Service

Would you trust the post office with your money?


U.S. Postal Service Delivery Truck |||

By doing away with the need to wait in line and schedule visits around their limited hours, banks have become a lot less like U.S. post offices—and that's certainly a good thing. Yet some lawmarkers, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), want the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to get back into the banking business. The USPS inspector general released a white paper last month arguing that the organization should use its enormous reach—31,272 retail branches—to help those "underserved" by traditional banks.

While reducing the number of unbanked Americans is a worthwhile goal, writes Jim Epstein, it could be more easily achieved if Sen. Warren and other Washington do-gooders would abandon their backward-looking schemes and simply get out of the way. He offers three policies that would better serve the banking needs of the underserved. And none of them have anything to do with your local letter carriers.