12-year-old Victoria Grant attended the conference with her Dad, and talked about the Canadian national bank that worked in the public interest for 30 years after its creation in 1939. Since 1974, however, Canada, like the US, has depended on private banks for its own currency, and the result has been an exponential spiral of debt. You can hear Victoria telling the emperor that he has no clothes on here.
How to restore sanity to our monetary system? A direct assault on the Fed and the Wall St banks that own it pits us against a wall of opposition from some of the richest and most powerful organizations in the world. Let's start at a smaller scale, in the states and cities where American democracy still has some life and some room to move. States (with the exception of North Dakota) are all in trouble, slashing services and increasing taxes in response to the financial crisis of 2008, as the recession cuts into tax revenues just as more people are in need of public services.
There are bills introduced in legislatures of 17 states to create state-owned banks. Many of these are modeled on the example of North Dakota, the only state at present that has a state bank. North Dakota was insulated from the bank crisis of 2008, and the state is prospering recently, with the lowest unemployment rate, the lowest default rate on credit card debt, and lowest foreclosure rate in the 50 states. Economic historian Rozanne Ederson told us that North Dakotans love their bank now, but in 1919, its original implementation required a farm foreclosure crisis and a hotly-charged legislative battle.
The farmers who pushed through North Dakota's bank in 1919 were the radicals of their day. In Philadelphia this weekend are the people who aspire to carry their torch in a new century. They're up against The Bankers -- a rich and powerful force in opposition to change. But states are so desperate for cash these days, and the State Banks could potentially relieve so many ills that who knows -- it just might work!
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