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Pragmatism on the Prairie

April 3, 2012
By GRETCHEN DYKSTRA, Op-Ed Contributor: NY Times – excerpt

REPUBLICANS often accuse Democrats of being socialists. But in North Dakota, socialism has been thriving for decades. It is the only state with a state-owned bank and a profitable state-owned grain elevator and flour mill, both of which the good people of North Dakota, who mostly vote Republican in presidential elections, embrace and value. Both institutions began embroiled in controversy. With all the vitriol about socialism and radicalism in the national debate today, is there anything we can learn from North Dakota?


I am working on a transcript of a North Dakota Banker’s Roundtable discussion, so the concept of Republican Socialist bankers caught my eye. I am not voicing any opinions on this. Just taking note of labels being applied by the New York Times to a group of bankers. Read it the article and decide for yourself.

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