Topic: Planning (20)

Dead Or Alive?  Schrödinger’s Public Banking Bill

Physicist Erwin Schrödinger devised a thought experiment described here:

Schrödinger's cat: a cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source are placed in a sealed box. If an internal monitor (e.g. Geiger counter) detects radioactivity (i.e. a single atom decaying), the flask is shattered, releasing the poison, which kills the cat. The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that after a while, the cat is simultaneously alive and dead. Yet, when one looks in the box, one sees the cat either alive or dead, not both alive and dead. 

 

Like the cat in this experiment, SB 5188, the Public Financial Cooperative bill, did not see further action prior to the House concluding its business for this year's legislative session. So for the moment, SB 5188 has, like that cat, been placed in a virtual box leaving the bill in a situation that is unknown. Is it alive or dead? It appears to be dead, but at the beginning of the next legislative session the box will be opened for citizens to see. After all, much hard work was done over the past year to get this bill passed; but for now it remains in stasis, in a version of its own quantum uncertainty - dead/alive.  

On a brighter note, across the nation, public banking bills are being considered in many state legislatures as shown on the map above. For a more detailed list of public banking actions in various states,  there is a list at the Public Banking Institute site. An interesting piece on public banking in the U.S. was published in December 2020 on the site Project Censored (The News That Didn't Make The News). The article, entitled The Public Banking Revolution, had this to say: 

"In July 2019, The Hill reported on how public banking could help fund the Green New Deal, the policy proposal to address climate change and environmental deterioration. Skeptics have argued that strapped federal and state governments lack the financial resources to take on the Green New Deal’s multi-trillion-dollar costs. However, as Eric Heath explained, state banks, such as the BND  [Bank of North Dakota], “free the financial resources needed to fund vital investments in the planet’s future.” Public banks’ mission to serve the public interest could allow them “to extend financing to projects that other banks would not consider”—not because green investments are unprofitable, but because “their profits slowly accumulate and are widely shared across a community.” A September 2019 study, published by the Northeast-Midwest Institute, recommended the adoption of public banks by all Northeast and Midwestern states, not as “a panacea” but as one important move for “addressing critical investment gaps and realigning state resources with state interests.”

It has been over 100 years since the BND was created in the aftermath of an impasse between Democrats and Republicans (sound familiar?). So, the people created the Non-Partisan League which won the ND 1916 election and, in turn, established the BND which helped the farmers by allowing them to stay and work on the land after foreclosure and to buy their farms back after the Depression. ND also weathered the 2008 economic collapse by continuing to lend while the private banks shut their doors to lending for all intents and purposes.  Recent years have seen record profits with the BND all of which comes back to the residents of state.  You would think we would have had enough time already to get it right with public banks and quit shoveling our money into private coffers.  

About Dick Conoboy

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Dead Or Alive?  Schrödinger’s Public Banking Bill

By Dick ConoboyOn Apr 18, 2021

Physicist Erwin Schrödinger devised a thought experiment described here:Schrödinger's cat: a cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source are placed in a sealed box. If [...]

Boulevard Park And Infrastructure: Another COB Missed Opportunity

By Jon HumphreyOn Apr 05, 2021

[The following article is a modification of a piece by Jon Humphrey that appeared in change.org on March 30, 2021 entitled “Boulevard Park And Infrastructure (131 years and the COB still refuses [...]

4 comments, most recent 2 weeks ago

COB: Go Ahead, Discuss All You Want…

By Jon HumphreyOn Mar 23, 2021

3/26/2021 Update: Thanks to public pressure the COB has finally started to post the BAG meeting recordings. While it takes them an uncommonly long time to post the videos, they date [...]

3 comments, most recent 3 weeks ago

The Battle for Bellingham’s Tiny Homes

By Guest WriterOn Mar 20, 2021

[Douglas Gustafson guest writes. Doug is Chairman of HomesNOW! Not Later, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization operating in Bellingham and Whatcom County. HomesNOW operates Unity Village, the first tiny home community [...]

26 comments, most recent 2 weeks ago

State Public Banking (Cooperative) Bill Moves To The House

By Dick ConoboyOn Mar 07, 2021

After a decade long effort on the part of State Senator Bob Hasegawa, a bill for a Washington State public bank (cooperative) has been passed by the Senate and moved [...]

4 comments, most recent 1 month ago

The Importance of Our Public Fiber Optic Infrastructure

By Guest WriterOn Mar 03, 2021

[ Guest Writer Atul Deshmane, a PUD Commissioner, County Planning Commissioner, and Broadband Advisory Group (BAG) member, outlines some of the biggest infrastructure issues facing Bellingham today.]This article is [...]

7 comments, most recent 5 days ago

Emergency Management

By Guest WriterOn Feb 27, 2021

[Guest Writer Garrett O’Brien is a lifelong resident of Bellingham and lives with his wife Brittany and their three children in the Birchwood neighborhood. Garrett has worked in the [...]

5 comments, most recent 1 month ago

Cruising And Tourism: Wretched Excess

By Dick ConoboyOn Feb 10, 2021

A friend in Juneau, Alaska sent me this article, “Towns and businesses across Alaska brace for a second summer without cruise ship tourists” which states in part: “[Alaska] saw more [...]

4 comments, most recent 2 months ago

COB Puts The BAG In A Box

By Jon HumphreyOn Feb 07, 2021

Since the City of Bellingham decided not to broadcast or record the first meeting of the Broadband Advisory Group in an open manner, I think it’s important that we [...]

3 comments, most recent 2 months ago

Public Banking Bill Gets A Warmer Reception In Olympia

By Dick ConoboyOn Jan 30, 2021

A hearing was held on “An act relating to the creation of the Washington state public bank” (SB5188) before the Business, Financial Services & Trade Committee of the Washington State [...]

State’s Telecom Standards Full of Loopholes

By Jon HumphreyOn Jan 27, 2021

Some say Senate Bill 5511 is a big leap forward for new Washington state broadband standards. However, after analyzing the bill, I suggest that it does what our leadership consistently does [...]

Will City Double-Down to Kill Public Trail?

By Tip JohnsonOn Jan 24, 2021

Somehow an application to abandon the public’s right to a 26-year old trail in Happy Valley got through the Technical Review Committee (TRC), made it to Hearing Examiner Sharon [...]

3 comments, most recent 2 months ago

New Public Banking Bill Introduced in Olympia - Hearing On January 28th

By Dick ConoboyOn Jan 21, 2021

While several public banking bills are cooking in the legislative ovens of the U. S. Congress, a new bill (SB5188) to establish a Washington State Public Bank has been introduced [...]

5 comments, most recent 2 months ago

The Fix is in the BAG

By Jon HumphreyOn Jan 07, 2021

Well, the fix is almost official. Sadly, Public Works Director Eric Johnston, with the help of council-member Michael Lilliquist, did exactly what we expected them to do: They created an [...]

14 comments, most recent 3 months ago

The Need to Shift Housing Policy

By Guest WriterOn Jan 05, 2021

[Guest Writer Garrett O’Brien is a lifelong resident of Bellingham and lives with his wife Brittany and their three children in the Birchwood neighborhood. Garrett has worked in the [...]

4 comments, most recent 3 months ago

Comcast Rate Hike: Getting Less for More

By Jon HumphreyOn Dec 11, 2020

Comcast is raising the rate on your service by $3/month for most customers starting on your next bill. Their promos state, “This has required investment in our high-capacity network, which [...]

4 comments, most recent 4 months ago

The Face of the Planning Commission on January 1st

By Dick ConoboyOn Dec 08, 2020

The Planning Commission is probably one of the most important of all the city’s commissions and boards. The commission reviews and makes recommendations on the city’s Comprehensive Plan [...]

4 comments, most recent 4 months ago

The Douglas Avenue Trail

By Guest WriterOn Dec 02, 2020

Daniel Kirkpatrick guest writes. He lives in the Happy Valley neighborhood and is one of several community leaders on the south side who are respected and supported by most residents. [...]

3 comments, most recent 4 months ago

Dirty Deal at Douglas and 21st

By Tip JohnsonOn Dec 02, 2020

Update Dec 8: Last night the Bellingham City Council did not give final approval to the street vacation request, but sent it back to the Hearing Examiner for further review. I [...]

10 comments, most recent 4 months ago

City Drags Feet On Creation Of Broadband Committee

By Jon HumphreyOn Oct 18, 2020

This is an update on the selection of the Broadband Advisory Group. A few days ago, I was informed by Public Works Director Eric Johnston that selection of this group, [...]

2 comments, most recent 5 months ago