• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Socialism that works!


DP Veteran
Jul 26, 2009
Reaction score
Ft. Campbell, KY
Political Leaning
I read an article in a Newsweek about a state owned bank in North Dakota, the bank is 100% owned and operated by the state and legally is the state government doing business as a bank under the name Bank of North Dakota.

New Attention Being Paid to Bank of North Dakota - Newsweek.com

The bank operates as a central bank for the state and is a for-profit venture, putting roughly half its profits into the state budget giving the state as well as issuing student loans, funding state projects, etc.

So would you support something like this in your state? It is the very definition of socialism, the state owns and operates a business which can compete with other banks or investors who may want to fund state projects primarily, although the Bank is not limited to investing only in state projects as it is for-profit. However the Bank does not compete with other banks for consumer services like checking accounts, personally investing, etc.

So like I said, its certainly socialism, but it seems to be working well for North Dakota since 1919. Personally I think people use "socialism" too often as a dirty word and anything which the word is applied to, either accurately or inaccurately, instantly becomes negative to many people. I'm interested in stuff that works, socialism or not, and this bank clearly really helps out with the budget.

Bank website
That bank don't sound very socialist to me. Although it is state-owned I don't think there is much proletarian control with the bank and I don't know how you can reconcile a profit motive in a capitalist economy with being socialist. It sounds more like a state capitalist enterprise to me.

Depending on hos the state use the bank it can be a good tool for providing investment for projects that has more than blind profit as the goal but who also takes into account effects on communities, job creation and environmental responsibility.
I wish I could run a for-profit by forcing others to give me the funding to do so. That's a cool trick.

I'm interested in stuff that works, socialism or not

Scary! Think through that statement in a wider context though.

Much of human history has people who came to power by doing some things that really worked....for a time. Hitler (and backers) really got the country mobilized and almost succeeded at becoming the world power....surely they were just out for results and not some more...ethical ideals. A kidnapper can clean your house routinely, it works sure...but you have to have a better position than that.

Or take a look at Chavez:
The Chávez government has pursued a series of Bolivarian Missions aimed at providing public services to improve economic, cultural, and social conditions. A 2010 OAS report[49] indicated achievements in addressing illiteracy, healthcare and poverty,[50] and economic and social advances.
Great right? He's getting **** done? At what price milord?

The 2010 OAS report also found concerns with freedom of expression, human rights abuses, authoritarianism, press freedom, threats to democracy,[55] political intimidation, and "the existence of a pattern of impunity in cases of violence",[56] as well as erosion of separation of powers, the economic infrastructure, and "chronic problems including power blackouts, soaring crime, and a perceived lack of investment in crucial sectors".
The European Parliament passed a February 2010 resolution[61] expressing "concern about the movement toward authoritarianism" by Chávez.[62]

What do you think those who seek power will purchase that power with? They will offer to save you, help you, raise you up, and only ask for the authority to do so. I don't believe in devils and gods and ghosts, but if you want to call that a deal with the devil...OK.
Firstly, this bank has been in existence since 1919 and was created via popular consensus and could have been removed any time during its 91 year history by popular consensus. As for the comment about people coming to power by doing things that work only for a time. Well again, the 91 year history is more than "for a time" in my opinion and so for no dictators have appeared from a state bank funding student and farm loans. But seriously a Hitler comparison really works here, I can totally seen the similarities of Nazi Germany and North Dakota.

Fact is this thing has existed for 91 years and in the worst recession since the 30s this Bank has done great things for North Dakota, and just because its State owned you are comparing it to Chavez and Hitler policies.
That bank don't sound very socialist to me. Although it is state-owned I don't think there is much proletarian control with the bank and I don't know how you can reconcile a profit motive in a capitalist economy with being socialist. It sounds more like a state capitalist enterprise to me.


Very peculiar for me to find myself in agreement with this gentleman, but in this case I do. It isn't exactly socialist, though it is in the ballpark. It would be socialist if it were the only bank in the state.
North Dakota is the least populated state in America. Show me where this is being done in New York or California and I'll give it a thumbs up.
alright, i'm interested in the workings of the bank. as i read your blurb, it was funded by the taxpayer, and loans money strictly to students and the taxpayers, from whom it has a guaranteed rate of return? so, basically, this is a way for North Dakota to funnel deficit spending while hiding the source of the funds (i think that is also called "money laundering"); while benefiting from the ability to coercively collect funds from its' debtors.

From the BND website:

About BND
Deposit Base
In contrast to most commercial banks, Bank of North Dakota (BND) is not a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). North Dakota Century Code 6-09-10 provides that all BND deposits are guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the State of North Dakota.

The deposit base of BND is unique. Its primary deposit base is the State of North Dakota. All state funds and funds of state institutions are deposited with Bank of North Dakota, as required by law. Other deposits are accepted from any source, private citizens to the U.S. government.
Policy and Governance

The state Industrial Commission oversees Bank of North Dakota, as mandated by the 1919 state legislature. Members of the Industrial Commission are the Governor, who acts as chairman, the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Agriculture of the State of North Dakota.

The Bank also has a seven-member Advisory Board appointed by the Governor. The members are knowledgeable in banking and finance. The Advisory Board reviews the Bank's operations and makes recommendations to the Industrial Commission relating to the Bank's management, services, policies and procedures.

So it acts like the Federal Reserve, except just for North Dakota, so it can prop up its own industries if hard times comes as well as use the state to invest directly in itself. As for the potential money laundering point, legally The State of North Dakota is doing business as the BND, so the two groups are legally the same body. So there still potential for laundering, its just easier to find it illegal. If they were separate it would akin to one company giving another money, and then that company giving it right back and both of them claiming profits. However as the same entity, it would akin to two departments in a company trading money and both telling their boss, who'd be the same guy, they are coming in cover budget.

I'm not sure if that answers your questions.
Top Bottom