Chicago Alderman proposes treasurer’s office could fight income inequality with a public bank

Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar

Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar. Photo courtesy Sun Times

 

Last week, Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar, who’s also a candidate for city treasurer, proposed a public bank using city employee pension funds and city investments to help solve the student loan crisis and other social issues driving income inequality.

Fran Spielman at the Chicago Sun-Times reports:

“‘I make $108,000-a-year as an alderman — and I’m not complaining … But 80 percent of my take home goes to pay for student loans and child care,’ said Pawar, who has $200,000 in student loan debt that carries a 7 percent interest rate.

“Here’s how Pawar’s proposal would work: The treasurer’s office would either launch a public bank or work with private banks, private investment funds and city employee pension funds to invest in student loans. …”

Spielman continues:

“Pawar made no apologies for proposals that would dramatically expand the relatively mundane investment portfolio of the city treasurer’s office to include social issues driving income inequality.

“‘It’s about going big. These are not normal times. We’re sort of in the new gilded age … You have a few people who have tremendous wealth and everyone else … The upper middle-class down to the working poor is in the everyone else [category]. We’re fighting each other over scraps,’ he said.”

[Read or watch the video interview]

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