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Public Banking-- A Major Answer to the Progressive Question of What to Do in the Face of Corporatization of America

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I'm at the second annual conference on public banking. Last night over 600 attendees listened to Matt Taiibi, Ellen Brown, Birgitta Jonsdotter and Gar Alperovitz talk about funding the new economy. 


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The "new economy" means an economy that gets out from under corporatization of America, out from under corporate domination of the economy. 

Matt Taiibi told us about how, when he was covering John McCain's presidential campaign, McCain came up with the phrase "drill baby drill," and the campaign journalists covering him laughed at the idea. But Taiibi asked them if they knew what was actually the cause of the high gas prices that inspired McCain's catch phrase. None of them, including Taiibi knew. That set Taiibi on a learning curve into the arcane world of modern finance. He pointed out how vulnerable these big banks are, how "nobody believes in these companies ability to be good companies..."  

And when asked the question " How much do we really need to know how bad it is?" he replied, " Me personally, I only look at one little tiny thing at a time, otherwise I'd go crazy. People have outrage fatigue at this point""

Taiibi also mentioned that Eric Holder had an early history of excusing banksters-- that when he worked for Clinton, he had written an opinion that would excuse prosecutors from going after big companies because of the effect on the companies-- an opinion that is now used as a rationale for not prosecuting employees of these too-big-to-fail companies. 

Birgitta Jonsdotter, pirate party member of the Icelandic parlaiment, is a real rebel, who is playing an international role in shaking up the world's response to big, bad banksters. She talked about how they prosecuted and jailed the banksters that took down the Icelandic economy, and then nationalized the banks. 

Ellen Brown announced her new book, The Public Banking Solution, which Jonsdotter says is "one of the most important books you can read this year. Brown talked about some of the reasons public banking offers so much potential at all public levels, down to municipal levels, and reported that there are legislative efforts under way in 20 states. But the number that grabbed me the most was the fact that 40%  of banks around the world are public banks-- and many of them are in the BRIC countries which have weathered the recent economic storms much better than companies with private banks. China's banks are 99% public owned, which makes it much easier for public companies, like the steel company doing the re-newal of the Golden Gate Bridge, to compete with US companies depending on private, higher cost financing. 

Gar Alperovitz talked about how already there is a taking back of the economy underway in the US, with 10 million workers employed by worker-owned companies and 130 million participating in different forms of co-ops. He pointed out how Elizabeth Warren's suggestion that the Fed issue money to cover student loans at the same rate that too-big-to-fail banks get demonstrates how public banks could use money creation in powerful ways to make things change. 

I gave a talk at the meeting on Bottom Up Economics-- discussing how bottom up can be seen as a value, that policies can be assessed based on whether they are top-down or bottom up, and that bottom up approaches like public banking are concrete ways to move our culture towards a kinder, more compassionate way of being, as Rabbi Michael Lerner, of Tikkun, described in his talk on the Jubilee-- the idea that the old testament-- in the torah, talks about forgiving all debts every fifty years. What a concept!

I had a chance to sit, before the conference, with Birgitta Jonsdotter, for about 90 minutes. One thing she described then, and in her talk last night, was the need to think ahead 50 years. What do we want things to be like then. She suggested that we are all going to have to settle for less. I replied-- "that's because we really don't need a lot of what we have and can be happy with a lot less." 

She replied, "Exactly," and also pointed out that it's essential that times of crisis are times of opportunity and we need to be ready, with clear and detailed plans, to take action and set policies that address OUR interests. 

Lots more great content to be found at publicbankinginstitute.org and I'll be reported on more of the conference in the next day or two. 

Bottom line, Public banking works and is responsible for the health of some of the fastest growing nations and the only state, North Dakota, that survived the recent economic crises.  Advocating for it is a progressive, bottom up approach that can produce serious democratizing effects, while at the same time taking away power and wealth from the big banks. 

 

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Rob Kall's Bottom Up Radio Show: Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the (more...)
 

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