Money laundering, discrimination, doing business with Iran – are we talking about The Mob? Nope. We’re talking about America’s largest financial institutions. Read the latest crime report on our biggest banks compiled by the investigators at Pro Publica. Wouldn’t you say that it’s time that our money worked FOR us? Sign this online petition supporting the establishment of a public bank in Illinois.
From Salon and Alternet, a concise summary of the ways privatization is draining America and strop-mining public assets.
“A grand delusion has been planted in the minds of Americans, that privately run systems are more efficient and less costly than those in the public sector. Most of the evidence points the other way. Private initiatives generally produce mediocre or substandard results while experiencing the usual travails of unregulated capitalism — higher prices, limited services, and lower wages for all but a few ‘entrepreneurs.’
With perverse irony, the corruption and incompetence of private industry has actually furthered the cause of privatization, as the collapse of the financial markets has deprived state and local governments of necessary public funding, leading to an even greater call for private development. As aptly expressed by a finance company chairman in 2008, “Desperate government is our best customer.”
The author, Paul Buchheit teaches economic inequality at DePaul University. He is the founder and developer of the websites UsAgainstGreed.org, PayUpNow.org and RappingHistory.org, and the editor and main author of “American Wars: Illusions and Realities” (Clarity Press).
A new report from People for the American Way, “Predatory Privatization: Exploiting Financial Hardship, Enriching the One Percent, Undermining Democracy,” says it all in its title!
“Privatization is almost always promoted as a way to save money, improve services, and shake up unaccountable bureaucracies. But in reality, privatization often fails on all counts. Privatization plans can cost government and taxpayers more money, limit accountability and transparency, and leave people who depend on public services worse off.”
Don’t we in Chicago know this all TOO WELL! Sign our online petition – “Say NO to privatization!”
From the report’s back cover:
From The Gaurdian of London, “The greatest danger of the rate-fixing scandal now engulfing the City of London is that it will be managed and defused in the usual way, and nothing will really change. Tuesday’s forced resignation of Bob Diamond, the Barclays chief executive, follows well-worn procedures for dealing with crises that potentially threaten those in power: denounce the worst offenders, let a few symbolic heads roll, set up an inquiry under a safe pair of hands, and tweak the regulations to prevent a repetition of the most egregious misdemeanours…The financial system has already failed at huge economic and social cost. It has been shown to be corrupt, incompetent, rapacious and economically destructive. The City’s claims to be an indispensable jobs and tax engine for the British economy are nonsense: the bailout costs of 2008-9 dwarfed the financial tax revenues of the boom years, which were below those of manufacturing even at their peak…
Know anyone who needs credit? Know anyone who is being gauged by high-interest loans they can’t re-negotiate? Know anyone is struggling to stay in their homes due to high payments and low probability of re-sale? Know a small business owner who can’t expand because of lack of capital? Know a city that had to SELL its public assets in order to earn some ready cash? If you do – then you will probably agree that we NEED A PUBLIC BANK FOR ILLINOIS LIKE THE BANK OF NORTH DAKOTA. Read the story here.
Listen to this informative interview with political scientist and expert on the commons, Gar Alperovitz, who makes the point that once the public bails out giant companies like AIG or Citicorp, then we might as well get voting stock and turn them into public benefit utilities and NOT return control to the same people who crashed the system (while making billions in pay and bonuses).
Illinois Citizens for Public Banking co-founder, Tom Tresser, has Big idea #5 in the August issue of “Chicago Magazine” on how to make Chicago even better. It’s about establishing a public bank for Illinois.
“THE RATIONALE: A state bank could help Illinois reduce its budget deficit and make more credit available, thereby boosting the economy.
THE PROPONENT: Tom Tresser, cofounder of Illinois Citizens for Public Banking and a former teacher who coorganized the opposition to the 2016 Olympics
HE SAYS: “Illinois has more red ink than any state but California. It owes $34 billion in principal on its bonds; pension debt stands at $76 billion, the highest in the nation; and it pays a ton in bond interest and fees, not just because it has a poor credit rating but also because it also uses big out-of-state banks and investment firms to do the deals.
“Contrast that with North Dakota. Since the economic downturn began in 2008, North Dakota has had a budget surplus every year. It has no state debt, excellent credit, and the country’s lowest unemployment rate [3 percent]. While student loans in Illinois carry interest of 8 to 12 percent, in North Dakota it’s 4 percent.” Read the full story.
Check out this tirade of truth from MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan:
In his rant Tuesday, Ratigan blamed not only both houses of Congress but also the president for failing to address the root of the country’s economic problem. He said of President Obama, according to an MSNBC transcript:
I would like him to go to the people of the United States of America and say, “People of the United States of America, your Congress is bought, your Congress is incapable of making legislation on healthcare, banking, trade, or taxes because if they do it, they will lose their political funding and they won’t do it. But I’m the President of the United States, and I won’t have a country that is run by a bought Congress. So I’m not going to work with a bought Congress and try to be Mr. Big Guy … I’m going to abandon the bought Congress like Teddy Roosevelt did, and I’m going to go to the people of the United States get rid of the bought Congress.” … Until a President says that’s the problem and says he’s going to fix it, there is no policy that I can possibly see no matter how brilliant your idea may be or your idea or my idea or her idea or your idea at home, is that idea will not happen as long as there’s a capacity to basically fire a politician who disagrees with me by taking funding away from him. Is that a fair assessment?
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Table of Contents
- Join us! June 2-4, San Rafael, CA! Two evening events plus the PBI 2013 Public Banking Conference!
- Bail-out Is Out, Bail-in Is In: Time for Some Publicly-Owned Banks
- PBI Newsletter, April 2013: Artificial Scarcity and Public Banking
- The People’s Bank
- PBI’s Annual Public Banking Conference 2013, June 2-4, 2013, San Rafael, CA. Please join us!
- Creating a Finance System That Serves the People, Part II: Remaking the Federal Reserve, Building Public Banks and Opting Out of Wall Street
- Before Next Crash, Create Finance System That Serves Public, Part I: Shrink, Regulate Banks, and Enforce Law
- Britain’s Post Office to offer current (bank) accounts
- It Can Happen Here: The Confiscation Scheme Planned for US and UK Depositors
- School districts pay dearly for bonds…ANOTHER reason for publicly-owned banks!