Reawakening the Nonpartisan League

Inflation is a poor person’s tax that is ultimately the source of massive wealth inequality due to decades of compounding inflation. Prices go up to match inflation and wages won’t. Creating a pipeline of wealth to the stock market, which by its very nature is to absorb wealth to maintain constant profit growth. These practices started in the 70s and have slowly escalated. Our deficit spending, for decades, is coming to a head in a debt-ridden nation. These stimulus packages, while needed, actually make the problem worse. Because it’s through a deficit rather than through available wealth. It ramps up inflation tremendously and funnels that wealth into the stock market. And the first people to feel the economic squeeze are always the disenfranchised. People of color, women, people with disabilities, Indigenous groups, LGBTQ, and all working people that actually produce wealth such as farmers and factory workers.

Democratic and Republican politicians seem to ignore that the economy is meant to distribute resources to people for the benefit of a society, rather than for the hope of campaign contributions. Democratic politicians treat symptoms with welfare programs with a more balanced economy but fail to address the source of the issue, namely, wealth inequality and uneven distribution of wealth through money systems. Meanwhile, Republican politicians think Democratic leadership’s approach is the issue and believe cutting government tools like taxes and welfare helps, even though welfare only accounts for roughly 10% of our deficit. Thus, Republicans make the deficit worse by cutting available funds while actively ignoring side effects of a broken economy. Neither Democrats nor Republicans address the key issues that encourages desperation on all sides and ideologies. Massive wealth inequality, and financial market bubbles such as housing, stock market, loan programs, and currency boom and bust on various timetables creating financial burdens we all feel and see. This economic struggle forces a primal need to react and respond, inflaming the partisan divide issue.

Costs for housing, transportation, and medical expenses are on the rise leaving many people destitute, these issues manifest into societal decay. Forcing actual working people to seek for assistance despite working in industries generating profits. Economic bubbles expanding and popping around boom and bust cycles along with civil unrest and pockets of extreme desperation create many of the political and financial struggles we are seeing. This encourages heavy law enforcement and retribution systems due to an increase in societal stress, mental health issues, criminal activity, and practices of escapism like entertainment, drugs, and alcohol. We need more resources for mental health, but more than that we need to realize how desperate the majority of people have become due to costs, the unavailability of wealth, and access to resources.

When the stock market bubble pops, it will likely pop along our currency bubble. Those with tangible wealth will be the ones to weather the storm that follows. Land for food and resources, labor to produce, and defense means to protect and maintain systems. North Dakota is a pivotal state in its ability to handle all three of these things independently and we have been exploited in the past. This exploitation is why the historical Nonpartisan League (NPL) was created – to protect farmers and working families from banks and predatory lending practices.

The trade war recently hurt some farmers, and the complex markets holding farmers hostage to massive market manipulation – and massive oversight – is meant to create barriers and restrict access to family farms. These markets are further being taken over by industries that force farmers to sink into massive debt to afford equipment, chemicals, and seed that large farm corporations can easily handle financial burdens. Farms owned by families must gamble year by year, buying supplies to function, adding to their stack of debt. With climate change and more unstable weather patterns, the increased cost of fuel, and other struggles, this applies a lot of pressure on family farms.

Moving forward, it is important we find ways to address economic concerns to protect farmers, working families, and address the many struggles causing many disenfranchised people to suffer. The NPL is an opportunity to focus on policy over ideology, to address these concerns, for families, farmers, and to protect the interests of North Dakota moving forward into the future in a unified way.

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