Guest MINDSETTER™ Clifford: Is There a Legislator Willing to Represent Citizens of RI?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


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Wall Street

Rhode Island voters saw fit to approve bond issues which amounted to $367 million, but by the time they pay it back the total cost will be $589 million, so, as you see, the interest cost is $222 million.

Think about that, you borrow 367 and you pay 222 million in interest. Smart? NOT!  Almost loansharking.

There is a much more cost-efficient solution, but it needs some background. The most successful bank in this country is a public bank owned by the citizens of North Dakota. It has been around for over 100 years and is the best kept secret in the country. Why a secret? Read on. 

The Bank of North Dakota survived the Great Depression without harm and has survived all other recessions. It was untouched by the last recession of 2008.  How is it different?  It is not run for profit. It is used by the State of North Dakota to fund infrastructure and projects within the state. Projects must be solid ideas and interest rates charged by the bank are much lower than for-profit banks.

Expenses such as maintenance and salaries of bank employees are paid by the bank, and any profit is turned back over to the state. Pretty neat?  You bet. Why is it a secret? Big banks hate it, as the Bank of North Dakota is nonprofit, and loan rates, therefore, are much less than the big banks.

So, if you live in Rhode Island would it not be prudent to have a bank owned by the citizens of the state, overseen by the citizenry, and not interested in profit? Imagine the savings of the just-approved bond issues if RI had a public bank? Include all the local bond issues that were also approved, and the total savings would be astronomical. Many communities are exploring the idea of public banks and Los Angeles recently had on their ballot, the idea of a city-owned public bank.

Tragically it was defeated as the big banks spent a fortune to kill it. Do citizens have a problem with keeping the money in Rhode Island and not sending your money to Wall Street and large banks at loansharking rates? Perhaps it would be fiscally prudent for Rhode Island to get on the bandwagon, avoid the middleman, and finance improvements for our state, at reduced rates. Think different!

Is there a state legislator willing to ruffle the big banks by putting the interests of citizens ahead of corporate banks? Who will introduce such a money saving concept?

Joe Clifford lives in Jamestown.


Related Slideshow: Election Night 2018: Photos of Democratic Heaven and GOP Hell in RI


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