• Third Sector Radio USA

    There used to be nine state banks, all started around the time the North Dakota State Bank was formed. The opposition is strong; the other eight banks succumbed to the pressures of private banks as soon as the Populist movement of over a century ago (a true People’s movement against the mega-wealthy, not this sham elite-generated populism of today) lost its steam, meaning people moved on with their lives and forgot about politics.

    As someone who pushed for a state bank in Washington in the 1980s (and even drafted legislation), I learned that state banks are useful in keeping public money to benefit the residents of the state. For most of its existence, the North Dakota State Bank made loans to farmers and small businesses in the state, recirculating wealth (rather than having it go out of state) and generating jobs (which, of course, increase state revenues). The Bank, the only one left in the nation, played a key role in North Dakota weathering the Great Recession better than any other state.