Letter: State-owned banks create jobs



North Dakota has a state-owned bank. The state had no budget deficit and a $1 billion surplus in 2011. They have the lowest unemployment in the U.S. The Bank of North Dakota returned more than $500 million to the state general fund since 2000. This lowered taxes and increased funding for schools. Since 2000, North Dakota’s GDP has grown 56 percent, personal income has risen 43 percent and wages have risen 34 percent.

In Washington, our mega banks use our tax money for risky investments and fund jobs in other countries. A Washington state-owned bank would work with local banks and credit unions to fund local business, college loans, farmers, infrastructure, and other investments to benefit the people of Washington. This could create between 7,400 to 10,700 jobs. Interest would be lower because there would be no executives, stockholders or bonuses to pay. The state bank would be run by a professional banker on a salary.

Twelve other states are now working on starting a state bank. You can verify this information and learn more at http://wapublicbankproject.org.

Jane McAlonan