New Jersey Public Bank
Back in 2016, Candidate Phil Murphy floated the idea of a NJ Public Bank. Last November, he signed an Executive Order creating a board that would oversee this taxpayer funded institution. This board will report at the end of the year and will assess how this institution would exist and meet the needs of NJ residents and businesses.
The American dream is becoming a pipe dream.
I support Murphy's idea and want to expand on it. Not only do I think a public bank will provide a better option to NJ residents who don’t have access to banking, but I think it can be a tool to increase home-ownership and provide New Jersey residents with access to more and better financial options. Every homeowner knows that awful feeling when you are filing your tax returns and look at your year-end statement. It tells you exactly how much you paid in interest, principal, and taxes. For most of us, the interest is by far the biggest number and you realize just how little of your home you actually paid off during the year with most of your money going to the bank. This only applies to those of us lucky enough able to get a mortgage. For many of our younger generation, having enough money for a down payment is a pipe dream when they are weighed down by excessive student loans and the rising cost of homes. We need more and better options for Americans to bank.
Here in NJ, most mortgages are held by just a handful of large national banks and their system is set up so that it takes decades to pay off your loan. I think that can be changed. I believe it is possible to re-write mortgages that will change the formula so that the majority of your payment is applied to principal sooner and your loan is paid off within 10-15 years. You would be paying off your loan as your children are headed to college and you would be able to save more towards retirement. Homeowners who are incentivized to pay their mortgages are attractive to investors. This is something that CAN be done and will bring much needed relief to homeowners and provide better options for those who want to own a home but can’t because they don’t have thousands of dollars in the bank, but have to pay as much or more than a mortgage in rent. This does not make sense.
Remember when you could bank at the Post Office?
Postal Banking existed for almost 50 years (1911-1967) in this country and there is a substantial movement to bring it back.
Not only do I think we should have a Public Bank, but I also think NJ residents also should return to financial options previously offered by an existing organization that is currently under attack. The United States Post Office.
Over a quarter of households in America do not have access to a bank, forcing them to rely on predatory lending companies to cash their paychecks and handle their finances. These “banking deserts” primarily effect low-income minority communities who are forced to pay excess amounts to access their own hard earned money. This extortion of our already vulnerable communities is unacceptable. There is a post office in every community in America and we can use them to offer a non-profit banking service so many Americans desperately need.
Big banks are influencing other candidates and our current politicians to completely overlook postal banking. It is a remedy I will work hard to get started. After the housing bubble in 2008 and the new rent bubble that is forming, we need to offer our citizens and communities other options that serve their banking needs and increases access to home ownership for communities that have been historically denied a fair chance. At the same time we can also support an essential public institution being ransacked that has been serving Americans for centuries.