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Discussion: (19 comments)

  1. Vic Volpe

    Silly me. When I saw America’s economic miracle state, I thought you were going to talk about California. Has anybody been to Williston? Or North Dakato for that matter? I was in Williston in the ’90’s; and, I’ve been in North Dakota a few times. Drove by Lawrence Welk’s birthplace in Strasburg. I know they’re doing well there right now; but, let’s not rush to move.

    1. Blue Eyed Indian

      Do not rush to come back, Vic. We are doing just fine without you,thanks.

  2. Benjamin Cole

    I wonder if the oil industry is as important as federal outlays to North Dakota.

    The federal government spent more than $25,000 per capita in North Dakota. (FY2010–it might be more now).

    Net federal spending in North Dakota is more than $20,000—per capita!!!!

    Imagine, when a family of four sits down at the table in North Dakota, there is $80k in federal lard piled up on pink plates.


    Really, should such an unpopulated area as North Dakota get two Senators (who inevitably are reduced to pulling down lard to North Dakota in exchange for votes) or should it be converted back to BLM rangeland?

    1. Mark Evans

      Converted back to BLM? There is such a tiny amount of BLM land now or ever, what are you talking about. And we only get one Congressman due to our population, now you want to take away our Senator(s)? Are you from Minnesota?

      1. Liberals usually think of North Dakota as a vast federal land preserve. Fortunately for ND, it’s not. Only 3% of the land is controlled by the federal government. In contrast, 40% of California is federally owned.

      2. Fortunately for North Dakota, only 3% of ND land is federal property. Surprisingly, 40% of CA land is federal.

    2. Blue Eyed Indian

      The $ 20 grand you speak of is for the operation of two B52 Air Force bases and most of the ICBM in the U.S. arsenal. If you are so envious of the money, you can have it along with the missle silos and B52s in your back yard. You are welcome to them. Ignorance is bliss to some.

      1. This federal money that goes to “North Dakota” mostly goes to the cost of isolated military bases in a sparsely populated state. The housing is usually on the base. The PX and commissary handle much of the personnel’s shopping — relatively little of this federal expenditure makes it into the ND economy. Contrary to the ignorant assertion of Benjamin Cole, $20,000 checks per person are not annually sent out to the ND populace.

        Contrast this with the Iowa crop and ethanol subsidies — well, that’s a different matter.

  3. Benjamin Cole

    Net federal spending per capita in North Dakota was more than $20,000—per capita (in FY 2010)!

    Really, does the oil industry leave behind $20,000 per capita?

  4. Well congrats to North Dakota enjoy the boom while it last.Last time I checked oil is a finite resource,so while the black gold pours the people will come.But when the black gold stops pouring the tears will take over.California added more net payrolls in 2012 than Texas/Ohio,and W.Virginia combined,don’t believe the hype about Texas stealing jobs from CA.California for all its high taxes and supposed regulation deterrents has one advantage other states drool over,perfect weather,beautiful landscape,hot chicks.North Dakota has cold damp weather,and oil.

    1. “California added more net payrolls in 2012 than Texas/Ohio,and W.Virginia combined”

      I would appreciate a link or reference information on were you found this data on California. Thanks

    2. The fact that CA had a big NUMERICAL increase in net payrolls in 2012 ignores two factors:

      1. CA is BY FAR the most populous state in America. It has roughly 38 million people, considerably more than Texas, which has 26 million.

      2. CA’s one year slightly superior NUMERICAL job gain comes after a HUGE loss in jobs since 2007. Naturally the biggest rebound often occurs where the most damage was first suffered. Witness Las Vegas real estate prices.

      2. As late as 2005 CA unemployment was about the national average. Today CA has the 3rd highest state unemployment rate. (December, 2012) – 9.8%. National unemployment rate 7.8%. National unemployment rate not including CA is only 7.5%, making the CA unemployment rate 30.2% higher than the average of the other 49 states.

      Using the more accurate U-6 measure of unemployment (includes involuntary part-time workers), CA is the 2nd worst at 19.6% vs. national 15.0%. National U-6 not including CA is 14.4%, making CA’s U-6 36.4% higher than the other 49 states.

      And that increase in the “Golden State” unemployment rate comes IN ADDITION to the people fleeing CA for other states such as Texas, which has a 6.1% unemployment rate in spite of the influx of hundreds of thousands of economic refugees from other states.

  5. we only need 51 more miracles

  6. Brady Sneath

    This is an extremely enlightening post. The multiplier effect extends far beyond job creation, even including higher property tax and transaction tax revenues to pay for government services.

  7. Yes, North Dakota is blessed with an abundance oil and gas to extract. But then, so is California, which as “Saudi Arabia” reserves!

    The difference is, one state encourages such extraction, the other state effectively prohibits it. California politicians CHOOSE high unemployment and low economic activity. It’s no accident of natural resource availability.

    It’s the environmentalists against everyone else, including the CA public and private labor unions. I suspect this state prohibition will change — to what degree is yet to be determined.

  8. Actually what is happening in North Dakota is typical of what happens in a resource boom, look at Beaumont Tx after spindletop, Oklahoma a bit later, the east texas field. Or on a smaller scale any number of towns in the west with gold and silver. Or indeed one could have written the same thing about Houghton and Handcock MI, about the turn of the 20th century from boom copper. (Calument was so overloaded with money they built a big opera house. Its population was 60k in 1900, today its at best 6k) Or take Virgina City, Austin or Eureka, NV or for a bit longer life Butte Mt or Ely Nevada.

    1. Don’t forget Texas, that oil boom-bust state that today offers only squalor, mass unemployment, subsistence wages, misery and poverty.

      Remind me — how long ago did their oil boom start?

    2. “Or take Virgina City, Austin or Eureka, NV or for a bit longer life Butte Mt or Ely Nevada.”

      Are you talking about Austin, Texas? The one with the December 2012, 5.1% unemployement rate? If so they are probably quite happy with this bust cyle that you mention.

  9. The economic success of North Dakota demonstrates the potential growth our nation can achieve by increasing the domestic production of oil and natural gas.

    North Dakota’s state population has increased to record high levels, the unemployment rate is the lowest in the nation and wages throughout the state are significantly higher than the national average.

    By modeling the comprehensive energy plan that North Dakota officials established over a decade ago, the United States can successfully recover from the recession.

    More info here:

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