north dakota + occupy wall st.

28 Nov

Next to the cash register of a small cafe in Chicago is a sign that shows a photo of the JP Morgan Chase Building, downtown, and an image of the cafe’s logo. Next to the Chase Building, it says, TOO BIG TO FAIL. Next to the cafe: NOT TOO BIG TO FAIL.

The sign encourages people to use cash, not because the owners are scrooges, but because they don’t want to support big banks and because they lose a percentage of the money paid via credit and debit cards. The sign was up long before Occupy Wall St. and that day a while back when we were all supposed to switch to local banks. It was just smart business and good for the community.

What might also be good business is if Illinois itself created a central bank. This article from GOOD, published this spring, describes how North Dakota beat the Occupy folks to the anti-bank punch.

The [state-owned Bank of North Dakota] does very little direct lending and instead helps prop up a large network of community banks throughout the state, financing parts of loans to farms and businesses. This mitigates some of the risk for the smaller banks and frees them up to make more loans, thus spurring industry and, subsequently, job growth.

In essence, this is socialism providing the means for capitalism, and it’s working very well.

Interesting stuff. The article is worth reading.

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