The latest episode of It’s Our Money with Ellen Brown addresses what we can do about the dominance of the financial industry over our lives.
“Wall Street Owns the Country”
So what are you going to do about it? Well, you could join with a growing number of your neighbors in supporting creation of regional and state-owned public banks. Nothing stands in the path of all-consuming usury like the presence of a publicly-owned alternative that doesn’t extract the life-blood from an economy. We discuss developments in CA and Los Angeles and get an update on Oakland’s process with a former US Treasury Policy Chief, Paul Pryde. Commentator Bob Bows offers his next book installment on how we can turn money into a public utility, and economist and author Mark Anielski discusses his new book An Economy of Well-Being: Common-sense tools for building wealth and happiness.
Charter Amendment B proposes “the most fundamental change to our economic system that Angelenos have ever had the opportunity to vote on,” says Harold Meyerson, executive editor of the American Prospect, in the LA Times. It’s a change Angelenos should embrace.
“No serious look at L.A.’s housing supply or its small-business climate would give anyone the impression that our existing mega-banks are interested in making the city great again. That will require a dedicated commitment to local investment. One clear way to help that happen is to vote “yes” on Measure B.”
As the corporate establishment rallies its media to push back the grassroots groundswell for public banking, Ellen Brown in Truthdig writes a powerful call to action to free ourselves from Wall Street:
“Wall Street owns the country. That was the opening line of a fiery speech that populist leader Mary Ellen Lease delivered around 1890. Franklin Roosevelt said it again in a letter to Colonel House in 1933, and Sen. Dick Durbin was still saying it in 2009. ‘The banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill,’ Durbin said in an interview. ‘And they frankly own the place.’”
One of the tenacious organizers with Public Bank LA, Ben Hauck, passionately explains in Medium the imperative behind leaving Wall Street banks to create the revolutionary alternative system that stops banks from syphoning wealth away from our communities.
“Public banking will not only allow us to fully divest from Wall Street banks and their unethical investments, it will provide us with the power to create money through lending. Why do we allow Wall Street banks the near monopoly on money creation, when the power should be in the hands of the people? There is no justification for the stranglehold big banks have over our economies.”
The coalition of California cities now working toward establishing locally-accountable, ethical, publicly-owned banks demonstrates that many people did learn fundamental lessons from the most recent financial crisis. Zoe Sullivan writes in NextCity:
“People came together after Ferguson to think about what we could do to take our money out of this system and keep it in our communities,” says YaVette Holts, [founder and executive director of the Bay Area Organization of Black-Owned Businesses, known as BAOBOB]. … When she learned about the public bank initiative, Holts says it was clearly a natural fit.”
Commissioned by the Public Banking Institute, Matt Stannard has substantially revised and augmented the Wikipedia entry for public banks to make it complete, thorough, and up to date. The editors required that he add to what existed, rather than writing an entirely new entry, but you can refer to it now with greater confidence. Check it out for yourself here.
The hard work for public banks in Pennsylvania is paying off at both state and city levels. The Pennsylvania Public Bank Project sends this report:
“Football fans will understand: time to move the ball to our public banking goal posts in Pennsylvania.
“In Philadelphia, our team confirms that the city has set aside funds for a Feasibility Study. This follows an independent research study earlier this year led by Councilman Derek Green.
Meagan Day in Jacobin makes a case for a state-owned bank, echoing two economic professors, Thomas Herndon and Mark Paul, who call for a national public banking option in Project Syndicate. Both articles are full of important historical perspectives and current statistics.
“There are nearly twice as many payday lenders as there are McDonald’s locations in the United States. …”
Herndon and Paul, who wrote a recent Roosevelt Institute report, write:
“[T]he federal government should create a public bank to offer basic financial services to households, including deposit and transaction services, small loans, automobile financing, and mortgages. To ensure banking access in every ZIP code, the new public bank could form a partnership with the USPS, which already maintains office branches across the country. And because 59% of post office branches are located in ZIP codes with one or no bank branches, this would go a long way toward addressing the impact of bank branch closures.”
To succeed on November 6th when Charter Amendment B for public banking will be on the ballot, Los Angeles is building a broad-based, people-powered movement. Wherever you are in the country, you can help: You can sign the Charter Amendment B endorsement form and share it with your friends, especially those in the LA area.
There’s also a need for Political Outreach, Community Outreach, Field Operations support, and Events and Media support.
You can host a text banking party for #YesOnB —> click here.
For other ways to get involved, contact Public Bank LA here.