Another economic justice demand list includes public banking
by Matt Stannard on January 31st, 2014

Key thinkers and writers in the economic justice movement are increasingly placing public banks on their list of demands. Gar Alperovitz, a longtime advocate of public banks, did so last November with his list of cooperative institutions that can economic democracy. Rolling Stone's Jesse Myerson included "a public bank in every state" on his list of demands millenials should make to democratize the economy. Chris Hedges devoted an entire article to public banking. Now, Yes Magazine's Sarah Van Gelder has added her own list, as a response to President Obama's newfound focus on economic inequality. (We also recently expressed that the President should study public banks if he's serious about addressing economic opportunity). Van Gelder writes:

8. Establish ­­­state banks that invest in us, not Wall Street.
The state of North Dakota set up a public bank in 1919 to hold the state’s deposits and to be the source of credit for state investments. Profits from the bank go back into the state treasury—not to Wall Street. 
The result? North Dakota is the only state that has consistently enjoyed a budget surplus, even during the recent recession, and has very low rates of unemployment (its reserves of oil are not the only reason). The bank also partners with community banks, which are in the best position to make loans to local businesses, keeping borrowing costs low in communities throughout the state. It’s a great model that builds our wealth and the prosperity of our locally rooted business sector, instead of the profits of Wall Street banks.

There's a reason so many advocates point to the Bank of North Dakota. People are looking for models that work. Thanks to he BND, as well as historical examples and institutions in other countries, we already know public bankng works. The current convergence of leading economic democracy advocates around public banks is part of a growing national consensus. 

Posted in not categorized    Tagged with Sarah Van Gelder, Yes Magazine, Public Banking


Leave a Comment