WEALTH AND MONEY PART XXIX: PUBLIC BANKING AND INFRASTRUCTURE
The last edition of Wealth and Money discussed how Public – Private investment schemes were likely to be used under the Trump administration to finance the rebuilding of America’s infrastructure. Due to 40 years of tax cuts for the rich and corporations, along with deregulation of the financial industry, our federal and state governments have been defunded. This massive transferal of the nation’s claim to wealth, money, to the richest .01 percent has left government in debt and opened the door for complete predation on the people of America. Rather than paying for infrastructure with the taxes we traditionally would have collected from the wealthy all along, we are now forced to borrow from them at exorbitant interest rates.
Public – Private investment schemes will leave average Americans ever more in debt, while at the same time much of our previously public infrastructure will be privatized. Water utilities, roads, airports, parks, and much of what our parents and grandparents fought to give us will be owned by the rich, and “we the people” will be in a complete stranglehold. It will be the final enslavement of the masses by the oligarchy/plutocracy. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can reclaim ownership of our country.
Money creation is the constitutional right of our federal government. Yet 97 percent of all money is now created out of thin air by the private banking industry in the form of loans creating debt. This is possible because of the age-old fractional reserve banking system that allows a bank to keep in reserve only 10 percent of the money it actually lends out. In essence, if a bank has $1000 in its vaults it can lend out $9000 created simply as entries on a computer screen.
In and of itself, fractional reserve banking is not necessarily a bad thing. It keeps money flowing in the economy. Providing personal and business loans at a community level is a vital societal function. However, at the level of infrastructure development, using the private banking industry (or worse, using the above mentioned private investment industry) to finance public works keeps our state and federal governments endlessly in debt for money we could be creating for ourselves.
Chartered in 1919, the publicly owned Bank of North Dakota (one of the most “conservative” states in America) is a century-old example of the public taking care of itself. Unlike almost every other state or sizable community in America, North Dakota does not finance its public needs through the Wall Street banks. Employing the fractional reserve banking model, the people of North Dakota used the state’s own public assets to capitalize a state-owned bank which now has the power to create money for infrastructure development. There is no need to borrow from private banks or private investment firms. Additionally, interest collected on loans made by the Bank of North Dakota is returned to the people of the state making infrastructure development nearly interest-free. It should also be noted the Bank of North Dakota does not compete with community banks. North Dakota has one of the highest per capita levels of privately held community banks in the nation.
North Dakota has remained largely debt free through thick and thin. The Wall Street banking collapse of 2007/2008 had little impact on the state since none of their money was tied up in the large private banking cartel. There is no reason the other 49 states cannot follow the example of North Dakota.
All across America cities and states are looking at the possibility of creating publicly owned banks to overcome the bondage of Wall Street. Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Seattle are doing in-depth studies. With a population of only 70,000 people, Santa Fe, New Mexico is well on its way to creating a city owned public bank. The work of the dedicated and caring citizens of Santa Fe can be seen at
Most of us are often feeling powerless these days against the overwhelming financial forces aligned against us. Big money has virtually taken over our government. But the one thing we can do is quit playing the game. We can educate ourselves to find alternatives to the Wall Street trap. The Public Banking Institute, the Web of Debt Blog by the nation’s foremost public banking expert, Attorney Ellen Brown, and the Public Bank of Pennsylvania Project are excellent sources of information. We can take our states and our nation back.
Part XXX will discuss: The Conquering of America