07 June 2009

North Dakota Still Alive and Ticking

Even though Obama has said we've "stepped back from the brink", unemployment statistics suggest that 1) there ain't gonna be a Christmas this year, and 2) we might be eating Soylent Green by next year. But there's one state in the union where people aren't living like a bunch of hobos (which unfortunately is home to less than 1% of the population). Despite a flood in Fargo earlier this year, North Dakota continues to do well. WSJ reports their secret:

High prices help North Dakota in myriad ways. State revenues rise thanks to taxes on oil production and extraction. Energy-industry workers and farmers pay more in income taxes and spend more, boosting sales-tax receipts.

Chiefly because of the commodities boom, North Dakota had the fastest-growing economy in the nation last year, as the state's gross domestic product increased 7.3%, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

The state also missed much of the bubble in housing prices and dubious lending practices that bedeviled much of the nation, so it isn't struggling as much with foreclosures.

Republican Gov. John Hoeven likes to credit his administration's efforts to diversify the economy, including fostering "value-added" agriculture, such as food-processing plants, and alternative-energy production, from wind to ethanol and other biofuels. "Jobs and opportunities change, and we have to be developing these new industry areas," he said.

Wow! A state that actually supplies something people want to buy instead of cranking out legions of overpaid, grad-school, think-tank weenies writing about "Synergy Approaches to Social Capital". What a concept.


Kath said...

Interesting picture of frolicking people in ND. Don't you have relatives there?