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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/9/14

Wave of the Future: States Taking Over Federal Government and Banking Sector Functions

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Message Michael Payne

A minor revolution seems to be taking place just below the level of awareness of most Americans. We might call what's going on the "wave of the future" as a growing number of this nation's states, instead of continuing to wait for this dysfunctional federal government to act on critically important issues, have decided to take matters into their own hands.

These states have had enough of government vacillation on important issues, its ineptitude and incompetency, the corruption, and the gridlock. Some of their governors and other leaders have decided that, since the government has become a huge roadblock and obstruction to solving this nation's most critical problems that it's time to find ways to circumvent many of its functions and develop solutions of their own.

Of course we know that certain functions of the federal government should and will remain under its control because their administration must be centralized; functions such as the FAA and air travel, the administration of the Interstate roadway system, dams and waterways, as well as the military. But many other functions are ripe for decentralization and transfer to state control.

There are four initiatives that certain states have taken that illustrate how they are circumventing specific federal government and banking sector functions and putting them under their own control. And, by doing so, these states are at work solving problems that the government in Washington refuses to address. They are:

State Banks: this from the North Dakota Bank website: "As the only state-owned bank in the nation, we act as a funding resource in partnership with other financial institutions, economic development groups and guaranty agencies. We have four established business areas: Student Loans, Lending Services, Treasury Services and Banking Services."

Under North Dakota state law, the state of North Dakota and its agencies are required to place their funds in the bank, but local governments are not.

The Bank of North Dakota has been in existence since 1919, the only one of the 50 American states. But now it appears that the time is ripe for many other states, because of the continuing financial abuses of the Big Five banks (JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs) to create their own state banks and any number of them are studying these possibilities.

Here is an excellent article by Chris Hedges in which he strongly advocates the expansion of state banks based on the North Dakota model as he says, "We can wrest back control of our economy, and finally our political system, from corporate speculators only by building local movements that decentralize economic power through the creation of hundreds of publicly owned state, county and city banks." This article points out how the many financial abuses of the country's most powerful banks are adversely affecting states and their citizens and how these practices can be ended by state control over these functions.

A movement of this kind, while still in its infancy, has the potential to transform the banking industry in this nation. The expansion of state banking could be the best way to eventually break up the monopoly that these massive banks that are "too big to fail" have created. This is one way by which further government bailouts of these banks, wasting monumental amounts of taxpayer dollars, would become a thing of the past.

Single Payer health care: Governor Peter Shumlin and the State of Vermont legislature created a revolutionary single-payer health care plan, Green Mountain Healthcare, in May 2011. This system of state administered health care involves universal coverage, universal dental care, and vision care. It also increases Medicaid reimbursement rate to doctors, a very key provision.

Here again is a situation by which states can take matters into their own hands. A majority of Americans seem to think that, ObamaCare, i.e., the Affordable Care Act is far from the best answer in improving this nation's health care system, largely because it was passed without a "public option" and that it still allows the health insurance industry to control the process.

This Vermont single payer health care system can become a model for many other states that see it as being far more consumer-friendly and much more cost effective than the ACA. It's yet one more example of how individual states can circumvent the government and do what is right for their citizens.

If more and more states adopt single payer systems it will revolutionize health care in America and break the vice grip that the insurance companies have over the current system.


Home Foreclosures: this Congress has watched as millions of Americans have lost their homes to foreclosure with many falling into bankruptcy; but it has done nothing of substance to try to mitigate the problem. Congress and the White House have allowed the masters of Wall Street, those who are directly responsible for the 2008 financial crisis that was largely caused by the proliferation of fraudulent mortgages, to escape any form of punishment for these deceitful actions.

So what can the states do to get around this colossal failure of the U.S. government? Creative thinkers in the city of Richmond, California have come up with an ingenious way to use eminent domain laws to address their foreclosure problems. This is a new, exciting initiative that will, without a doubt, be tested in the courts but has tremendous potential for helping those who could go homeless or even bankrupt because of pending foreclosure actions.

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