A Call For Unions To Endorse State Owned Banks

A Call For Unions To Endorse State Owned Banks

By John Parulis

Posted on May 23, 2011 by the Website Workers Council

A Union endorsement of state banking in all 50 states can refocus attention on unions in a way that shows that Unions support solutions that concretely and dramatically support ALL working individuals and families.

There is open hostile class war against workers. Collective bargaining rights and worker protections all over the country are being carved away or dismantled, state by state. The onslaught is profound and relentless. The White House and Congress are either complicit in these attacks or determined to do nothing about them. Fueling this attack against workers is a corporate monster now thoroughly in control of government. It pays little or no taxes, uses off shore accounts to mask its financial holdings from taxation and continues to fund the ever growing number of campaigns of lawmakers who beacon to its call. It controls the mainstream press. It controls the world.

The financial collapse that is now being blamed on pensions, public workers and errant home loan borrowers was caused by that particularly egregious offender of working people- the banking industry. Theirs and the profits of America’s largest corporations are growing by leaps and bounds while states and cities struggle with life damaging cuts to important services and jobs.

It is not enough to fight them in the streets, in the state capitol buildings and in the courts while the mechanisms that give them power are left alone. We must fight them where it hurts them most.

In this regard, workers must become proactive and ready to augment defensive strategies with endorsing and proposing solutions that allworkers can understand and support. Public Banking is such a solution. It is working in the state of North Dakota where it was started by embattled farmers during the period of America’s last great economic depression. Today, the State Bank of North Dakota (BND) is thriving.

As of the spring of 2010, North Dakota was also the only state sporting a major budget surplus; it had the lowest unemployment and default rates in the country; and it had the most community banks per capita, suggesting that the presence of a state-owned bank has not only not hurt but has helped the local banks.

The BND was founded in 1919 to insure a dependable supply of affordable credit for its farmers, ranchers and businesses. This is a model that all states, all workers can embrace.

Public Banks are…

  • Viable solutions to the present economic crises in US states.
  • Potentially available to any-sized government or community able to meet the requirements for setting up a bank.
  • Owned by the people of a state or community.
  • Economically sustainable, because they operate like private banks.
  • Able to offset tax increases with returned credit income to the community.
  • Ready sources of credit for local governments, eliminating the need for large “rainy day” funds.
  • Required to promote the public interest, as defined in their charters.
  • Constitutional, as ruled by the U.S. Supreme Court.

…and are not

  • Operated by politicians; rather, they are run by professional bankers responsible to and accountable to the public.
  • Boondoggles for bank executives; rather, their employees are salaried public servants (paid by the state, with a transparent pay structure) who would likely not earn bonuses, commissions or fees for generating loans.
  • Speculative ventures that maximize profits in the short term, without regard to the long-term interests of the public.

Find out more about how State Banks can work for you here: Public Banking Institute
 
Urge your Union local, leadership and labor council, state, federal and AFL-CIO to endorse public banking and support legislative efforts to enact it.
 
 
John Parulis is a Peace and Freedom registrant in San Rafael and a member of CWA Freelancers Guild Local 39521. He blogs at Truth Phalanx. For information contact him at info – at – brightpathvideo.com
 
 

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