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Dear Santa, Just Sign Up for Gmail Already

Getting a message to Saint Nick has never been easy.

Illustration by Addison Eaton

Every year, thousands of little cherubs and rascals try their hands at letters to Santa. As their own attorneys in the court of naughty and nice, they make a case for a verdict that will award them their fantasy presents, whether that be dolls, a new bicycle, peace on Earth, or a just lifetime supply of fun dip and pixie sticks. But where and how to send these adorable holiday missives? The North Pole has a notoriously understaffed post office, and Santa, despite his other good qualities and considerable patience has never really been much of a reader, anyway. This year, as always, these important polar dispatches will be sent by many means, the necessary thing being that the toys, fun, and candy flow in kind.

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Digital Makeover: Send an Analog Email (AKA a Letter) #30DaysofGOOD

Sit down with a pen and paper and handwrite a message to a friend or family member.

30 Days of GOOD (#30DaysofGOOD) is our monthly attempt to live better. This month we're focused on improving the way we use technology.

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To Save Post Offices, Turn Them Into Public Banks

The United States Postal Service is having trouble staying in business. Why not turn post offices into a public option for banking?


I didn’t get any mail today, or the day before. I’m not the only one lacking in pen pals: From 2006 to 2010, mail volume declined by 20 percent, and it’s going to keep dropping. We’re doing a lot more of our correspondence online these days, and that decline in business is putting the U.S. Postal Service—a government enterprise that would rank 29th on the Fortune 500 if it were a business—in an increasingly precarious spot, forcing us to figure out how to keep mail service solvent.

To start eliminating the USPS’s billion dollar deficits, most plans focus on cuts: ending Saturday delivery, cutting more jobs, and renegotiating employee contracts to cut wages and benefits. Some of that is probably necessary, or will be, as physical mail continues its decline, but this isn’t the economic time to cut tens of thousands of jobs. Instead, why not look at this from a business perspective and find a new way to make money? Let's keep the Postal Service alive by having it offer a public option for banking.

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