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What About Where You Live? Privatizing Our Heritage

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It is projected that California, with more than $200 billion in real estate, roughly $62 billion in investments and more than $100 billion in projected 2010 revenues could safely leverage that into $4 trillion for investment in infrastructure, schools, jobs and the needs of the people.

The balance sheet included in the Report for the Fiscal Year June 30, 2009 of the annual audited statement for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania shows that, while not as rich as California, the people of Pennsylvania own more than $50 billion in assets, including: $2.4 billion in anticipated tax revenue, $3.5 billion in long-term investments and $2.2 billion in real estate, including the 137 acres in the Washington Crossing Historic Park.

That is almost $8 billon in public wealth. And while this is not a California sized asset base, neither is it chump change.

If in the past 10 years the Bank of North Dakota was able to generate nearly a third of a billon dollars for the state general fund, it is reasonable to project that in the next 10 years, a state bank of the far larger and more populous Pennsylvania could generate many times that for its taxpayers, and create a river of new credit and revenue to invest in businesses, put people to work, fully fund state services and maintain the state's infrastructure, including the park at Washington Crossing.

The legislators who introduced the bill to start divesting of the public assets at Washington Crossing should withdraw that legislation, and introduce instead legislation to form a State Bank of Pennsylvania.

And they had better do it before some bottom-feeding, Wall Street pitch man comes calling to Harrisburg with a scheme to help Pennsylvania out of its budget catastrophe by buying up those assets.

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Lock them up in a state bank where Wall Street and Washington can't get to them. Put them to work for the people of Pennsylvania - a second American Revolution to honor the first.


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http://www.publicbankingpa.org

Author of the forthcoming novel "Pursuits of Happiness," a director of the Public Banking Institute and chairman of the Pennsylvania Project. Mike is an international transportation and logisics executive with broad experience in U.S. government (more...)
 

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