1st National Bank at 1st and Main Streets

1st National Bank at 1st and Main Streets

note taken by Marshall Mayer on June 4, 2023 at 9:06 AM at 1st Street and Main in Marmarth, ND USA (map)

Image and text above Copyright © Marshall Mayer. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Marshall Mayer
Marshall Mayer says:
Dec 10, 2023 08:44 PM
"How, and why, did people abandon this place?" It's a title I had originally put on the photograph that used to occupy this privileged position among those now seen in "Related Content" above. I'm still trying to understand the answer to that question, so I looked at this photograph, among the others, a bit closer.

Notice the far lower left corner, the stumpled ramp to help people in wheelchairs (among others) onto the sidewalk level from the street, affording more equal access. Iowa's U.S. Senator Tom Harkin's Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) made this possible.

I grew up in Tom Harkin's Iowa. Harkin started as a New Deal Democrat and delivered the ADA: a watershed democratic extension of civil and economic rights.

But Harkin was not always a saint: he was a key vote that has long subsidized the production of ethanol from Iowa's already federally subsidized corn crop, effectively making Iowa akin to a petro state. Ultimately Harkin succumbed to this capitalist contradiction, as did this North Dakoa bank.

If only Iowans lived up to their legacy to disown "favorite son" Herbert Hoover (among ALL other Republicans, let alone fascists like Trump and his MAGAts) and neoliberal Democrats.

The tradition that produced that outcome defines humanity by its very dependency—our only "human nature"—on getting along with each other (we fundamentally fear the alternative, from whence it comes). I call that true democratic governance, that produced that outcome, one beginning definition of socialism in America.
Marshall Mayer
Marshall Mayer says:
Dec 14, 2023 09:52 AM
P.S. North Dakota has a public bank, the first and only state to charter one. Founded at about the same time as this bank was, it now only has one location and does not issue credit cards or offer online banking: its policy is to not compete with private banks. That's why it wouldn't be empowered to keep community banks like this one open. Recently, the Bank of North Dakota was the largest investor in the Dakota Access Pipeline. So much for public investment.
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