Why Is Socialism Doing So Darn Well in Deep-Red North Dakota?

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posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 12:48 PM
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March 26, 2013 |
North Dakota is the very definition of a red state. It voted 58 percent to 39 percent for Romney over Obama, and its statehouse and senate have a total of 104 Republicans and only 47 Democrats. The Republican super-majority is so conservative it recently passed the nation's most severe anti-abortion resolution [3] – a measure that declares a fertilized human egg has the same right to life as a fully formed person.

But North Dakota is also red in another sense: it fully supports its state-owned Bank of North Dakota (BND), a socialist relic that exists nowhere else in America. Why is financial socialism still alive in North Dakota? Why haven't the North Dakotan free-market crusaders slain it dead?

Because it works.

In 1919, the Non-Partisan League, a vibrant populist organization, won a majority in the legislature and voted the bank into existence. The goal was to free North Dakota farmers from impoverishing debt dependence on the big banks in the Twin Cities, Chicago and New York. More than 90 years later, this state-owned bank is thriving as it helps the state's community banks, businesses, consumers and students obtain loans at reasonable rates. It also delivers a handsome profit to its owners -- the 700,000 residents of North Dakota. In 2011, the BND provided more than $70 million to the state's coffers. Extrapolate that profit-per-person to a big state like California and you're looking at an extra $3.8 billion a year in state revenues that could be used to fund education and infrastructure.


www.alternet.org...

I believe this is one area where all the 99%, Blue, Red and other, can come together. Banking can be considered a Public Utility and should be. Banking can be for the benefit of everyone not just the very rich.

Even economic idealogs can come together in fighting the influence politically that the uber wealthy weld. The wealthy constantly bombard us with the message that Public Utilites don't work, they aren't effiecient and they are "socialist" (we don't do that ****). It's a message that the last thirty (forty now almost) years has proved destructive to work-a-day people.

I like alternet for several reasons: The stories are well documented and two you can read them without the clutter of ads and other stories screaming for your attention. Just hit the PRINT button at the top right of any story and it flips to a text page for printing or reading; also, the links are live at the bottom of the story when you want to check sources or to get more information.

A very well designed and human friendly site.




posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 01:07 PM
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Great thread. A dose of reality that people need to wake up and face

Banks are granted to much power by their charters to not be controlled by the democratic process.

edit on 30-3-2013 by poet1b because: Typo


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posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 01:07 PM
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I'm missing where this has any relation at all to the Socialist ideology? It sounds like a giant Credit Union at the state level, to me. Very much like a modern version of the Central State Banks which existed at the founding of our nation and ..to various degrees, right into the Civil War. It's nice to see one state has held the independence this way as it really should have been all along.

It's key feature being loans below market rates to business that directly leads to improved conditions/employment within North Dakota though? (From article). Yup.. Sounds like a state sized credit union. Good Job North Dakota!

(Maybe this is part of their secret to having an unemployment rate in the 3% range while most of the nation suffers in the 7's and 8's. Not bad at all for them)

* Thanks goes to Waterbottle on helping me learn about the Central banks as they existed at the founding...it was an eye opener


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posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 01:31 PM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
I'm missing where this has any relation at all to the Socialist ideology? It sounds like a giant Credit Union at the state level, to me. Very much like a modern version of the Central State Banks which existed at the founding of our nation and ..to various degrees, right into the Civil War. It's nice to see one state has held the independence this way as it really should have been all along.



Yes!!! - you see the whole point - that this nation was founded with many socialist ideals - they were not called that at the time but that is what they were in fact.

Mutual Aid societies (as the libertarians like to call them) but without exclusions.

Government run public utilites - by the people and for the people - are socialist/collectivist. It is in fact Democratic Socialism in action.
edit on 30-3-2013 by FyreByrd because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 01:42 PM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 

It's a pickle you put people in though when the terminology is chosen. Socialism is a well defined term and perhaps not what it may have meant before 1918. Now? Err... To a good % of the world population, it's synonymous with utter failure and collapse of empires, let alone mere nations. It brings images of Gulags when they existed as true hard labor camps across the Soviet Union, Tiananmen square massacres of people protesting for freedom and leaders put to the wall and shot to death like Chauchesku in Romania.

So.. I SO WISH other terms could be found that are distinct and separate from the Socialist political ideology. This definitely isn't that for a centralized control and regulation of the means and end result of production ..as is a defining characteristic of Socialism.

At the same time... Well.. Yeah, we did have some very socialist founders as I've come to learn. Hamilton was red before red even had a color assigned for it. Inventor of the forerunner to the Federal Reserve, as it later became. (OH the little things modern history books forget to mention....an oversight, I'm sure. lol).

Good thread for making people go see what you're talking about though ..and possibly learning about something they are almost outright told can't and doesn't exist in the US.



posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 04:17 PM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
I'm missing where this has any relation at all to the Socialist ideology? It sounds like a giant Credit Union at the state level, to me. Very much like a modern version of the Central State Banks which existed at the founding of our nation and ..to various degrees, right into the Civil War. It's nice to see one state has held the independence this way as it really should have been all along.

It's key feature being loans below market rates to business that directly leads to improved conditions/employment within North Dakota though? (From article). Yup.. Sounds like a state sized credit union. Good Job North Dakota!

(Maybe this is part of their secret to having an unemployment rate in the 3% range while most of the nation suffers in the 7's and 8's. Not bad at all for them)

* Thanks goes to Waterbottle on helping me learn about the Central banks as they existed at the founding...it was an eye opener


Plus North Dakota is floating in pool of oil. The oil boom there is a big part of their low unemployment rate.

The BND is a neat idea, i like it.



posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 05:46 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 



It's a pickle you put people in though when the terminology is chosen. Socialism is a well defined term and perhaps not what it may have meant before 1918. Now? Err... To a good % of the world population, it's synonymous with utter failure and collapse of empires, let alone mere nations.


Only a small percentage of the population come up with that interpretation, and they are mainly concentrated in the US.

Wasn't embracement of the banks and the investment community Reagan's big concept for improving our economy? Cut taxes on the rich and eliminate the regulations that slow the bankers down, so that they will invest in the U.S. economy, and drive business to new heights? The whole idea that we should trust in the Investment Markets to guide us into the future.

At what point do people put 2 and 2 together and realize what a bad idea that was.



posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 06:07 PM
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Originally posted by poet1b
reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 



It's a pickle you put people in though when the terminology is chosen. Socialism is a well defined term and perhaps not what it may have meant before 1918. Now? Err... To a good % of the world population, it's synonymous with utter failure and collapse of empires, let alone mere nations.


Only a small percentage of the population come up with that interpretation, and they are mainly concentrated in the US.

Wasn't embracement of the banks and the investment community Reagan's big concept for improving our economy? Cut taxes on the rich and eliminate the regulations that slow the bankers down, so that they will invest in the U.S. economy, and drive business to new heights? The whole idea that we should trust in the Investment Markets to guide us into the future.

At what point do people put 2 and 2 together and realize what a bad idea that was.



Ahhh- good ole Saint Ronnie and his voodoo economics or trickle down economics or supply side economics none of which have any theoritical basis in facts.

This is a good thread and so is the one about (on the front page at the top on the REAL ID ACT of 2005). - maybe people will begin to see is we keep putting facts before sound bites.

Thank you for commenting.



posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 06:27 PM
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reply to post by poet1b
 



Only a small percentage of the population come up with that interpretation, and they are mainly concentrated in the US.


Yeah, I've heard people repeat that statement or something very close to it countless times here and elsewhere across the net.

Odd thing tho....Wherever I go to check comparative charts or definitions of political ideologies? Anywhere in the world...in fact. They generally have the same or very close definitions. All about matching. So... This small % statement is kinda silly. Defining things like Socialism isn't subjective or open to personal opinion. It's a well defined, well used and an officially recognized political designation, known for it's meanings all over the world.


1
: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

2
a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

3
: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done
Source

Now we can always say Websters Dictionary, of all things, is a political hack job, pushing a warped agenda to change minds or something ...Or someday we could just start recognizing things for what they properly are by universally understood definition. The fact the word is NOT a positive one to many is opinion. The definition of it, is factual.



posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 07:32 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


Here is how I see the 3 main political ideologies;

1: Capitalism - Benifit for the individual
2: Socialism - Benifit for the society
3: Communism - Benifit for the state

Socialism and Communism tend to get mixed up together oftern, but that is mainly due to the USSR and the cold war when the word Socialism was thrown around all too often, that people started to think that socialism can only exist/move onto communism.

Personaly, i believe that the next step that should be taken is Social Democratic Capitalism. We already have a bit of socialism in my country (UK), and i would infact like to see more. Here is some socialism trates that the UK has;

1: NHS
2. Police service (except the Met, and sadly in a few years, many of the forces will be sold off)
3. Fire service
4. State schools
5, Councils
6. Social Housing

These are just a few off my head. Personaly, i would like to see our Gas and train services nationalised, a way for the country to make money.

Socialism is not always bad, and should not be a dirty word. When it is strong and mixed with communism, then it becomes bad because of the communism, when mixed well with capitalism, it can be very benificial for the society as a whole (esspecialy the poor).

Bassicaly, socialism with the right to private property and business, if done correctly, could be very benificial for many western nations, esspecialy at a time where we are fighting the corruption and getting robbed by banks.



posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 09:17 PM
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Originally posted by Trolloks
reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


Here is how I see the 3 main political ideologies;

1: Capitalism - Benifit for the individual
2: Socialism - Benifit for the society
3: Communism - Benifit for the state



I like your breakdown and find it easy to see, experience and understand. Thank you for sharing it (and I may just use it myself in the future.

Here in the US (the UK as well) we do have public schools - socialism, we do have a national health care system for seniors (the conservative are doing their best to dismantle it) that is the most efficient health delivery system in the country (more money in patient care then any insurance company can claim). Our roads and water and electric infrastructures are for the most part socialist (though capitalist are pushing for ever more Public assets to be sold to Private interests).

We can do well to recoginize that we here in the USA live in a socialist state - but one that supports corporate interests at the expense of WE THE PEOPLE. I'm tired of corporate welfare - I don't want to see hungry children but the Republicans seem to prefer insuring corporate survival over individual survival. There are certain areas that are just too important - like Banking - to leave in the hands of greedy, lying capitalists.

You are right - Democratic Socialism is the next logical step in governance.



posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 10:13 PM
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reply to post by Trolloks
 

I have to say that when you state it all like that, I can't find a thing to argue about. It's tough here sometimes. As you saw right on this thread, socialism in the Northern European or UK (to some extent..British seem conflicted on how good all that has been) seems to have workable areas. It seems FAR too interchangeable with it's extreme version, communism. At least for many ..and that's where it goes from nice chat to fight.

Honestly, I think a good many think the history of the Soviet Empire is hype and propaganda and so, nothing like what DID exist ever really could have.
That is the trap and extreme danger I think we run in courting socialism on any level. Those who don't even accept history happened ..WILL repeat it with all it's faults and failures.

On the other hand, pure capitalism isn't working either. Really, for the same reason. In both cases, in my opinion, the Human Factor gets into it. In Socialism, it's warped into Communism and TOTAL state control down to what you WILL do for a living, for your entire life. Capitalism is warped into Oligarchy and other variations of that same general line. Regardless, it all comes back to the same tho... Neither system (With a couple exceptions each) seems to work by itself.

So, hell.. Why not at least open the debate to a mixing of philosophy to some degree? I never said this.. shhhhh.... I have a rep to uphold and all ... but to know me personally? I'm fiscally conservative with a law and order streak long, wide and to the bone. At the same time, I'm generally liberal on a good number of social issues. Neither extreme can work in isolation and even those following either far end ought to know that if they're honest, IMO.

I like your approach!



posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 10:18 PM
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but but but but but socialism makes people lazy and there is no incentive !!!



posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 10:47 PM
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This is an interesting topic but, I think when it comes to this topic people miss 2 key points.

1. Social programs are not Socialism.

2. Most countries that call themselves Socialists are only socialist in name or are partially socialist. There are only a few truly socialist countries.

Socialism is like other forms of government, in its pure form it doesn't work so well.



posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 11:00 PM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
I'm missing where this has any relation at all to the Socialist ideology? It sounds like a giant Credit Union at the state level, to me. Very much like a modern version of the Central State Banks which existed at the founding of our nation and ..to various degrees, right into the Civil War. It's nice to see one state has held the independence this way as it really should have been all along.
...


Why is it so hard to understand that something that is not designed as profit-oriented, is controlled by the state or federal government, and works for the benefit of all is Socialist?

And yes, a lot of things that the "Founding Fathers" did was based on the Common Good - and it was Socialist. We also started with Mercantilism and only people with money and real assets paid taxes; import tariffs, large land owners, and farmers (they had the money in those days). Sales taxes and corporate subsidies were a British thing -- and we kicked them out.



posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 11:04 PM
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Originally posted by anton74
This is an interesting topic but, I think when it comes to this topic people miss 2 key points.

1. Social programs are not Socialism.

2. Most countries that call themselves Socialists are only socialist in name or are partially socialist. There are only a few truly socialist countries.

Socialism is like other forms of government, in its pure form it doesn't work so well.


Sounds like you are trying to rationalize liking something but then finding out that it's that dreaded Socialism you are supposed to hate. Look; no country is purely any ideology. The USSR was a poor example of Communism, but it was called one just the same.

The US acquired a lot of Socialist-type policies after FDR -- right up to Nixon.

Social programs are of course part of Socialism -- or do you have any examples that are socialism, but don't require redistributing something to benefit everyone? Collective action with Democratic controls is Democratic Socialism.

It's not the dirty word we were brought up to think it was.



posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 11:15 PM
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Originally posted by VitriolAndAngst

Originally posted by anton74
This is an interesting topic but, I think when it comes to this topic people miss 2 key points.

1. Social programs are not Socialism.

2. Most countries that call themselves Socialists are only socialist in name or are partially socialist. There are only a few truly socialist countries.

Socialism is like other forms of government, in its pure form it doesn't work so well.


Sounds like you are trying to rationalize liking something but then finding out that it's that dreaded Socialism you are supposed to hate. Look; no country is purely any ideology. The USSR was a poor example of Communism, but it was called one just the same.

The US acquired a lot of Socialist-type policies after FDR -- right up to Nixon.

Social programs are of course part of Socialism -- or do you have any examples that are socialism, but don't require redistributing something to benefit everyone? Collective action with Democratic controls is Democratic Socialism.

It's not the dirty word we were brought up to think it was.


Social programs can be part of a Capitalist Nation. Having "Socialist-type Policies" doesn't make a country Socialist.

I'm trying to get people to understand the difference between Social Programs and a Socialist government.

It sounds like you are confusing me for a Ultra-right wing conservative.



posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 11:22 PM
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reply to post by VitriolAndAngst
 



Why is it so hard to understand that something that is not designed as profit-oriented, is controlled by the state or federal government, and works for the benefit of all is Socialist?


Well, first... That approach to opening dialogue on the topic turns people against you before you've even finished the first sentence and well before you get to your point.

Second, I am well aware of the definitions of socialism. As I noted to someone else. It isn't what YOU and I want it to be, think it is or wish it were. It's a well defined, well known and very clearly established ideology of Government and political control over a population. Every Ism is that same thing and Socialism is no different but how is accomplishes the end result.

It IS about the only one I commonly hear people fight over the meaning to though... You'd think dictionaries just weren't accessible to the common man, as that really is a definition people seem to 'adjust' on the fly, to fit whatever debate they are in. Calling something what it is, is wrong now?



posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 11:25 PM
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I think there are some areas of the economy the government should control, known as public assets. Roads, water ways, the water supply, the money supply, the military, courts, and stuff like that.

The rest should be private owned, where people are free to engage in a market system for the exchange of goods and services with an evenly enforced set of rules to maintain order.



posted on Mar, 30 2013 @ 11:32 PM
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reply to post by Trolloks
 


In the UK, the Trains (British Rail) were once Nationalised (state owned) as were Coal Mines, Electricity, Telephones, Gas, Water. Most were sold off during the 1980's and 1990's. Now some could argue that these companies are now raking in the £££'s and so should be Nationalised again. The truth was though, that when state owned, most of the above were a 'drain' on our coffers.

If you look at the history of UK railways, then you will see that they started off in the first place as private companies (Southern Railway, LNER, LMS, GWR, etc), then Nationised to become British Rail and then full circle again to privatised.

Nearly all of the European countries have some form of Socialism within their Governance, some more than others. The problem that a lot of people have is that they confuse Socialism with political ideals. Socialism, like Capitalism is an Economic model, NOT a political one as in Government. You can still have Socialist policies but have a Monarchy, Republic, Federalism and have a Democraticilly elected Government and still have some aspects of Capitalism - Normally called a Socialist Democracy or the European Model.

I know that for many Americans, anything that has a hint of Socialism in it, they find abhorant. But please remember, that for many of the European Nations, socialistic policies have not all arrived over night. They have taken a few hundred years to develop and be implemented by various legal and social reforms and are still ongoing and ever changing. For the UK, many of these started during the Industrial Revolution - The culmination of which was at the end of WW2 and the creation of the Welfare State, namely the National Health Service (prior to this all healthcare was private). If you were to read of the UK's history during the 18th Century, then you will realise why social programmes were implemented and maybe understand why we find abhorant a purely Capitalistic society.






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