Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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dead_elvis
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by dead_elvis »

Aresen wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 17:31 I would not trust Canada Post to act as a secure depository institution. I would be surprised if USPS is any different.
USians have been conditioned by Steely Dan to think the most secure way to store something is to send it in a letter to yourself. Always made me scratch my head.
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Hugh Akston
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Hugh Akston »

dead_elvis wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 17:57
Aresen wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 17:31 I would not trust Canada Post to act as a secure depository institution. I would be surprised if USPS is any different.
USians have been conditioned by Steely Dan to think the most secure way to store something is to send it in a letter to yourself. Always made me scratch my head.
The only thing Steely Dan has conditioned Americans to do is hate Steely Dan.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by lunchstealer »

Hugh Akston wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 18:26
dead_elvis wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 17:57
Aresen wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 17:31 I would not trust Canada Post to act as a secure depository institution. I would be surprised if USPS is any different.
USians have been conditioned by Steely Dan to think the most secure way to store something is to send it in a letter to yourself. Always made me scratch my head.
The only thing Steely Dan has conditioned Americans to do is hate Steely Dan.
Nah, they also conditioned me to think, wait, is that Steely Dan or Steve Miller Band?
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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Meanwhile...

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thoreau
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by thoreau »

Team Blue doesn't value privacy so why should the ACLU?

The only people who care are out-of-touch Gen X civil libertarians like me, guys who simply don't understand the righteous awesomeness of the Blue electoral juggernaut.

Anyway, I've gotta go to the post office to make a wire transfer to the ACLU. Because the Post Office is where all the hip, woke Millennials hang out, so they can be with the Common People.
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Jadagul
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Jadagul »

I find the case for postal banking in the "everyone gets a checking account" sense pretty compelling.

You're right that asking the post office to make loans is pretty crazy.

But they can replace check-cashing services without replacing payday loan services.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Jadagul wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 19:32 I find the case for postal banking in the "everyone gets a checking account" sense pretty compelling.

You're right that asking the post office to make loans is pretty crazy.

But they can replace check-cashing services without replacing payday loan services.
Check-cashing services are reasonable things to discuss. But the ACLU's article spent quite a bit of time discussing payday lenders and their fees. There's a strong implication that they think the USPS should compete in that space. Which means that the ACLU has been taken over by their dumber Zoomer interns.

I think we could probably fix this whole thing by sneaking into their headquarters and leaving copies of Lolita, Satanic Verses, McElligott's Pool, and other banned books on desks. (Or, in pandemic, Zoom-bomb a meeting with some clips of just about any stand-up comic from the 90's.) The Gen X and Boomer employees will be unaffected, along with the better Millennials. The Zoomers and more frail Millennials will all fall into catatonic states requiring permanent hospitalization. Problem solved.
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Eric the .5b
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Eric the .5b »

For the quasi-90s flashback vibe...

TIRED: It's ridiculous to expect infrastructure like the USPS to pay for itself, even though the bulk of its operation is shoveling corporate advertisements in our mailboxes.
WIRED: The post office should also be a bank. This won't be a problem.
EXPIRED: Isn't it amazing how the USPS gets letters anywhere for no more than the cost of a stamp?
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thoreau
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by thoreau »

Maybe the Post Office could be a grocery store as well, and solve the Food Desert problem.

In fact, let's just replace all social service agencies with the US Postal Service. Kevin Costner can handle security and Jenny Lewis and the guy from Death Cab for Cutie can be the public-facing leaders.

The ACLU can handle the privacy policy for the Members Rewards Card.
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Eric the .5b
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Eric the .5b »

thoreau wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 20:09The ACLU can handle the privacy policy for the Members Rewards Card.
In a partnership with Facebook.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Aresen »

Jadagul wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 19:32 I find the case for postal banking in the "everyone gets a checking account" sense pretty compelling.

You're right that asking the post office to make loans is pretty crazy.

But they can replace check-cashing services without replacing payday loan services.
You really have no idea how many bad check artists there are. If the post office were to run a check cashing service, the losses would be in the billions in the first six months.

To run a break-even check cashing service, you need:

- To charge 5 - 10% of the face value as a fee.

- A staff trained to follow scrupulous security and verification rules on every single transaction.

- Strong ID requirements that involve secure ID.

- To maintain a large database of every person who has cashed a bad check. These people must never be served again until they have made good on previous losses, including service fees for returned items - which have to be steep.

- Strong collection action on any bad items.

Every one of these things will be extremely unpopular and will draw fire from the advocates and politicians who supported the idea.

If you thought the post office was losing money before, just wait until they start cashing checks. It is a bad 'feel good' idea.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by thoreau »

Aresen wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 20:36 - Strong ID requirements that involve secure ID.

- To maintain a large database of every person who has cashed a bad check. These people must never be served again until they have made good on previous losses, including service fees for returned items - which have to be steep.

- Strong collection action on any bad items.
The first one would have an immediate lawsuit from the ACLU.

The second would surely raise due process issues if done by a government.

The third would keep Radley Balko busy writing.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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thoreau wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 20:49
Aresen wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 20:36 - Strong ID requirements that involve secure ID.

- To maintain a large database of every person who has cashed a bad check. These people must never be served again until they have made good on previous losses, including service fees for returned items - which have to be steep.

- Strong collection action on any bad items.
The first one would have an immediate lawsuit from the ACLU.

The second would surely raise due process issues if done by a government.

The third would keep Radley Balko busy writing.
Exactly.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Jadagul »

Presumably they can recoup the losses from the bank account you have there.

Like, the pitch is "literally everyone has a checking account, serviced through post office locations. When you get a tax refund, or any sort of transfer payment, it's deposited in this account. And you can write checks against this account like any other commercial checking account." I don't think the plan is to break even on this; it's to give everyone access to a checking account.

Yglesias has a writeup here though I don't think he crunches any real numbers in that piece.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Aresen »

Jadagul wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 21:03 Presumably they can recoup the losses from the bank account you have there.
You are assuming there is anything in the account. Unless you are going to put a hold on every deposit until the check has cleared*, it doesn't work that way. People want to cash checks so they can spend the money.

*We did this in the bank where I worked for anyone who was not an established customer. We had an average of one screaming mad customer every day because of it.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by thoreau »

I'm sure Matt Yglesisas knows how to run a successful financial services agency, but even as an outsider I know that financial services endeavors have to be very careful with security issues because money is literally their business. And money attracts thieves and scammers.

So maybe the Ideal Platonic Postal Bank, run by Postmaster General Matt Yglesias, would be as successful and scalable as any project ever envisioned by an Ivy League technocrat, and as affordable as any project ever spearheaded by the Ivy Legacy who works down the hall from me. But if we didn't get Postmaster General Yglesias, if we got an Actually Existing Postmaster General, I worry that some of Aresen's security concerns might apply. Because providing financial services in high-crime neighborhoods, for people with unstable finances, seems like something that might be tricky without good security or very carefully-threaded needles.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by lunchstealer »

Postipankki you guys!
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Jadagul
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Aresen wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 21:09
Jadagul wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 21:03 Presumably they can recoup the losses from the bank account you have there.
You are assuming there is anything in the account. Unless you are going to put a hold on every deposit until the check has cleared*, it doesn't work that way. People want to cash checks so they can spend the money.

*We did this in the bank where I worked for anyone who was not an established customer. We had an average of one screaming mad customer every day because of it.
You're gonna have money in there eventually. Tax refund or stimulus payment or welfare or social security.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by thoreau »

How does the postipankki deal with the lady who's there with a suspicious-looking check and some elaborate story about how rent's due and she just needs at least part of the check in cash? Because I've done plenty of volunteer work with a certain population, and, yeah.

Give me a proposal for a postal bank that deals with her in a way that won't get an immediate suit from the ACLU (new or old version), and comes at least close to breaking even, and I'll hear it out. Otherwise, um, let's just have the USPS stick to analog spam. It's what they're good at.

Also, could the postipankki deliver a few copies of Lolita, Mein Kampf, On Beyond Zebra, and Satanic Verses to whichever ACLU staffer wants the USPS to compete with payday lenders?
Jadagul wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 21:25
Aresen wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 21:09
Jadagul wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 21:03 Presumably they can recoup the losses from the bank account you have there.
You are assuming there is anything in the account. Unless you are going to put a hold on every deposit until the check has cleared*, it doesn't work that way. People want to cash checks so they can spend the money.

*We did this in the bank where I worked for anyone who was not an established customer. We had an average of one screaming mad customer every day because of it.
You're gonna have money in there eventually. Tax refund or stimulus payment or welfare or social security.
You've never interacted with a certain population, have you?

You were becoming so worldly, Jadagul. And now this. Go do some volunteer work. Go teach at the state school that serves poor kids. And go talk to some ER nurses.

Hell, go talk to Andrew, if we can get him to come back. He works with a certain population. He even defends them! But he's not blind to what he's dealing with.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Jadagul wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 21:25
Aresen wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 21:09
Jadagul wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 21:03 Presumably they can recoup the losses from the bank account you have there.
You are assuming there is anything in the account. Unless you are going to put a hold on every deposit until the check has cleared*, it doesn't work that way. People want to cash checks so they can spend the money.

*We did this in the bank where I worked for anyone who was not an established customer. We had an average of one screaming mad customer every day because of it.
You're gonna have money in there eventually. Tax refund or stimulus payment or welfare or social security.
And you will have politicians huffing and puffing about 'taking the money people NEED TO LIVE in order to pay debts'. And that's assuming the individuals involved do not simply open a different account for the new deposit. (Which is where that large database I mentioned comes in.)
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by thoreau »

Anyone with a plan for a new social service needs to talk to a dentist and ask about the phone calls they get on Friday afternoon from people who have bad tooth pain and are wondering if they could get a prescription to hold them over until Monday, when they'll totally come in to be examined.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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thoreau wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 21:38 Anyone with a plan for a new social service needs to talk to a dentist and ask about the phone calls they get on Friday afternoon from people who have bad tooth pain and are wondering if they could get a prescription to hold them over until Monday, when they'll totally come in to be examined.
Drug seekers are very definitely a thing.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Shem »

Aresen wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 20:36 You really have no idea how many bad check artists there are. If the post office were to run a check cashing service, the losses would be in the billions in the first six months.

To run a break-even check cashing service, you need:

- To charge 5 - 10% of the face value as a fee.

- A staff trained to follow scrupulous security and verification rules on every single transaction.

- Strong ID requirements that involve secure ID.

- To maintain a large database of every person who has cashed a bad check. These people must never be served again until they have made good on previous losses, including service fees for returned items - which have to be steep.

- Strong collection action on any bad items.

Every one of these things will be extremely unpopular and will draw fire from the advocates and politicians who supported the idea.
I mean, you know Wal-Mart does all that for like $4/check, right?

I'm guessing that's a big part of why the article focuses so much on payday lenders, or, as they're often called in our more depressed urban hellscapes, "check-cashing places."
Last edited by Shem on 02 Apr 2021, 22:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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I’d be willing to bet that they do it at a loss.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Number 6 wrote: 02 Apr 2021, 22:16 I’d be willing to bet that they do it at a loss.
That's what she said ...

... about the United States Postal Service
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