Saving the Post Office: The Models of Kiwibank and Japan Post

Ellen Brown • truth-out.org • January 9, 2012

In 2006, Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA), which forced the USPS to put aside billions of dollars to pay for the health benefits of employees, many of whom hadn’t even been hired yet. Over a mere ten-year period, the USPS was required to pre-fund its future health care benefit payments to retirees for the next 75 years, something no other government or private corporation is required to do. As consumer advocate Ralph Nader observed, if PAEA had never been enacted, USPS would now be facing a $1.5 billion surplus.

The USPS is a profitable, self-funded venture that is not supported by the taxpayers. It is funded with postage stamps – one of the last vestiges of government-issued money. Stamps are fungible and can be traded at par, and they are backed, not by mere government “fiat,” but by labor. One stamp will buy the labor to transport your letter 3,000 miles.

…Banking in post offices is not new. Many countries, including Germany, France, Italy, Japan and New Zealand, have a long and successful history of it – and so does the United States.

Read the article here.

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