an article in The New York Times on August 19th titled “The North
Dakota Miracle,” Catherine Rampell writes:
to new data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics today, North
Dakota had an unemployment rate of just 3.3 percent in July—that’s
just over a third of the national rate (9.1 percent), and about a
quarter of the rate of the state with the highest joblessness
(Nevada, at 12.9 percent). North Dakota has had the lowest
unemployment in the country (or was tied for the lowest unemployment
rate in the country) every single month since July 2008. Its healthy
job market is also reflected in its payroll growth numbers. . . .
year after year its payrolls grew by 5.2 percent. Texas came in
second, with an increase of 2.6 percent. Why is North Dakota doing
so well? For one of the same reasons that Texas has been doing well:
could explain it, but it doesn’t, because many of the states with oil
have suffered the same downturns as the rest of the country.
Alaska, which has about the same population as North Dakota and twice
as much oil has an unemployment rate of 7.7%. Other states with oil
have suffered as well. The difference is that North Dakota has a
State Owned Bank. Yes, I have written what is a dirty word in the US
for people who like to say that everything that supports the people
is communism– a state owned bank that does not compete with other
banks, but works with other banks to help them. The bank works as a
Mini Fed that gives loans to small businesses, farmers, and for
special green projects, and technological programs within the state.
Dakota’s money and banking reserves are being kept within the state
and invested there. The Banks of North Dakota (BND’s) loan
portfolio shows a steady uninterrupted increase in North Dakota
lending programs since 2006. It is a smart program that works within
the capitalist society in order to help local communities continue to
be creative, competitive, and productive. For this reason the state
has not suffered from the downturn that the rest of the country and a
large part of the world suffers.
are often so locked in this false dichotomy of communism vs.
capitalism when no economy has ever been completely communist or
capitalist. When countries have tried to create such extreme
economic systems, Capitalism in the US and Communism in the Soviet
Union, disaster has always followed. Now unregulated capitalism has
brought us and much of Western Europe to the brink. South American
countries who have opted out on IMF loans and World Bank strategies
are the ones who have turned their economies around.
It is time for
this nation to become wiser and think more clearly so we can do what
is necessary, taking the best course of action, so that everyone can
prosper. Every so often a light shines on a certain nation or state
that is engaged in creating financial security for it citizenry.
They all have one thing in common: financial promotion of the general
welfare through loans and incentives in preference to small business,
small loans, and individuals.