"Money was maliciously introduced in ancient times as a tool of enslavement" -
Michael Tellinger

"The present belongs to the future and future generations, and all old laws, religious and other, should be abrogated immediately. Free us!" - Vinay Gupta on Twitter

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." - R. Buckminster Fuller

"You find the strangest ways to be positive!" - Diane Duane, Wizards Abroad

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Inside Job; what to do? One thing, to start: State Banks

Below is a post I wrote on our private Mountain Meadows Blogspot group blog (just for Mountain Meadows Community residents). Though it might be of wider interest as well so I've copied it here: 

Video Viewpoints, Inside Job, and Oregonians for a State Bank

In case you weren't there for the Video Viewpoints program last Wednesday--a screening of Inside Job, and guests from Oregon Action--a very large crowd showed up, clearly showing a widespread interest in this subject. 

At the Computer Users Group meeting last Friday, it was suggested we post information here about the proposed Oregon State Bank and also on the comparison of  local banks where we might switch our personal accounts. So here is everything I have on the subject. If more comes up, I'll add it. If you find something to add, use the Comments field or send it to me. If you are opposed to the idea of a state bank, you can use the Comments function to add your voice here. 

1. The State Bank Fact Sheet: Matt and Bert Witt (of Oregon Action) have sent the most recent edition. The link, above, will take you there. You can copy it or bookmark it for your own use, and then to return to this page, use the Back button. See also: "Putting Oregon's Money to Work for Oregon"

2. Move Your Money to a Local Bank: Fact sheet on local banks as alternatives to the big corporations.

3. Web site for Oregonians for a State Bank. Click on the link, and use the Back button to return here. It also has information on the upcoming (March 30) hearings that Treasa said she would be going to, and contact information for legislators (click on "Take Action").

4. Letters to the Editor: Treasa Cordero-Runzi (guest from Oregon Action) recommended writing letters to the editor, and here are three recent ones; they provide good information and arguments for a state bank that you can also use when telling your friends about it, and contacting state legislators. 
MEDFORD MAIL TRIBUNE, Letters to the Editor, March 10, 2011
A step toward jobs
Why does Oregon have a jobs and foreclosure crisis while North Dakota — another small, mostly rural state — has only one-third our unemployment rate and a foreclosure rate under 1 percent?
For more than 90 years, the state of North Dakota hasn't done its banking with Wall Street. When the state has tax money to deposit, it keeps that money in the state to provide more affordable loans for small businesses, small farmers, homeowners and students. North Dakota does this through what it calls the Bank of North Dakota — a publicly-owned institution that partners with local banks to increase the supply of affordable capital in their communities. 
The state of Oregon, in contrast, deposits nearly two-thirds of its money with five Wall Street-type banks — U.S. Bank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and Key Bank — to use overseas or out of state. 
Legislators from the Republican, Democratic and Working Families parties are proposing to create an Oregon State Bank based on the proven North Dakota model. It would put our existing tax money to work, through community banks and credit unions, to promote job-creating small businesses and affordable housing and education.
There are more details at OregoniansForAStateBank.org.  
— Matt Witt, Talent
Medford Mail Tribune, Sunday, March 20, 2011
Letters to the Editor
Oregon needs its own bank
I concur with Matt Witt's letter concerning the establishment of an Oregon State Bank ("A step toward jobs," March 10).
Since becoming aware of this job-producing opportunity several months ago, I've become increasingly aware of how many small and medium-sized Southern Oregon businesses have been closing. Further investigation reveals that many of these closures are not bad credit risks. Rather, it's a case of Wall Street banks not cooperating with or granting credit to hard-working small-business owners that employ local Oregonians.
Being aware of the billions in TARP dollars (read: taxpayer money) infused into the banking system recently, it leads one to conclude that Wall Street doesn't want to share with Main Street.
How much of the TARP money ever found its way to community banks in Oregon? Small-business owners or farmers can provide the answer: None.
Oregon needs to establish its own bank to keep Oregonian taxpayer money in Oregon and not send it to Wall Street. I'm hopeful that this subject will soon receive the mainstream media coverage that it merits.
— Mary Cody, Ashland
Medford Mail Tribune, March 18, 2011
Support a state bank
Regarding the letter, "A step toward jobs," the Main Street Alliance, made up of Oregon small businesses, recently released a survey conducted in 28 Oregon communities. Two-thirds of small businesses reported problems with access to credit that resulted in delays or cancellation of expansion plans. That includes Medford's Associated Fruit, which is expecting to lay off workers because of the credit crisis. When small businesses can't get affordable loans, they can't create the decent paying jobs our region desperately needs, or even hang onto the jobs we have.
Not surprising that 75 percent of the businesses surveyed support the proposed creation of an Oregon State Bank.
A state bank would mean that the state treasury would be able to use our money, in partnership with local banks and credit unions, to make affordable loans to small businesses, family farmers, homeowners and students.
That's tax money that the state already collects, not new taxes. It's just a question of where that money is deposited until it's time to pay the state's bills.
Should we keep depositing in big out-of-state Wall Street banks, or in local banks and credit unions to create jobs here at home? 

— Caren Caldwell, Ashland

5. Contacting legislators: the hearing takes place March 30, but that's just the beginning. Click here to send a message - service of OregoniansForAStateBank.org

6. Nationwide demand for reform: Today I came across the following article about a nationwide movement in protest of the culture reflected in Inside Job, which the film argues cogently is destroying our economy, and thought this fit in nicely with the theme, too. Click here to view it. (I saw it posted on Twitter by Van Jones. We've also been talking a bit in the computer group population about Twitter and what it's good for; here's a good example.)

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