Photo caption: Photo by John Hageman courtesy the Grand Forks Herald.
The centennial anniversary of the Bank of North Dakota brings into focus the seeming irony that a public bank born of socialists 100 years ago — along with the publicly owned North Dakota Mill and Elevator — continues to find widespread support in a state where Republicans control every statewide elected seat. Could it be that socialist institutions can work exceedingly well? John Hageman in the Grand Forks Herald quotes historian Mike Jacobs:
“There’s no denying that it’s a socialist institution. That doesn’t mean it’s un-American. This is the legitimate product of a state in the United States deciding that this was an alternative that made sense.”
The BND’s whopping success, if ironic, is causing other states to pay attention, including New York. Hageman points out BND President Eric Hardmeyer is planning to meet with New York state officials at the end of August.