States across the nation are in debt and needing to make drastic spending cuts, as well as hiking taxes, as well as privatizing public assets and some are discussing bankruptcy. However, if we look to one of the more financially secure States in the country we may find an easier solution.
North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the country. In 2009, when other states were floundering it had its largest budget surplus. Currently, it has the only public-owned bank in the nation, and has a 92 year history of safe, secure, and highly profitable transactions. The Bank of North Dakota allows the state to keep its money local, flowing into the state treasury and local economy.
Eight other states have bills pending to form their own state-owned bank or to conduct studies that would determine their potential: Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, Maryland, Illinois, Virginia, Hawaii, and Louisiana. Washington and Oregon have already commissioned a detailed analysis which concluded in both states, a state/public bank would have a substantial positive impact on employment, new lending, and state and local government revenue.
“A Choice for States: Banks, Not Budget Crises”, Ellen Brown, Yes! Magazine, March 25, 2011.
“Washington State Joins the Movement for Public Banking”, Ellen Brown, Yes! Magazine, January 24, 2011.
Student Researcher: Allison Gill, San Francisco State University
Faculty Evaluator: Kenn Burrows, San Francisco State University