Along with “quit smoking” or “lose weight,” “save more” is consistently one of the most popular new year’s resolutions. But that’s easier said than done, especially when millions of Americans still lack access to a basic bank account.
Sheldon Garon, Princeton professor and author of Beyond Our Means: Why America Spends While the World Saves, argues that there are ways to change that. In addition to the new reforms and protections recommended by the Dodd-Frank Act and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, the U.S. Postal Service could provide services similar to the postal banks still popular in countries with high personal savings rates–such as Belgium, France, and Germany. In the process, the USPS might also “save” itself from its well-publicized financial woes.
Professor Garon recently talked with Kiyoshi Okonogi of the Asahi Shimbun about postal savings and other possible solutions–read the full Q&A here. (See also Reid Cramer’s post at the New America Foundation’s The Ladder blog, Felix Salmon’s article at Reuters, and Tim Fernholtz’s post at GOOD.)
Gregory Mills of the Urban Institute‘s MetroTrends blog wrote up a post earlier this week about the importance of making it easier for would-be small savers to access basic financial services. He goes on to argue that the U.S. could seriously benefit from “modern-day, higher-tech equivalents” of school or postal savings banks.
Want to add your two cents to the discussion? Prof. Garon will be speaking with Marty Moss Coane on WHYY’s “Radio Times” this coming Tuesday, January 3rd–call in with your questions!