Imagine with me for a minute…a state in the union where right now, even in this time of recession, the following was true:
- Microsoft is building a $70 million campus…and hiring.
- New car sales are up 27%.
- Unemployment is only 3.4%
- The state government has a $1.2 billion surplus and is a little mystified as to what to do with it.
Oh yes, housing is still ridiculously affordable (by nation-wide standards), crime of most kinds is measured in single digits, and your kid has a more than good chance of playing varsity ball in high school with friends from your neighborhood.
Impossible, you say? Not according to the New York Times. Of course, this wonderland is a Winter Wonderland – my home state of North Dakota.
The State that Time Forget (it was 1967 when I graduated in 1985) is also the state that the recession missed, as a convergence of the Bakken Oil Field (larger than the Saudi’s biggest oil field), a good year for farmers, and the residents’ natural tendency to not spend every dime they make has formed a robust economy even in a time of adversity.
Part of this is cultural, to be sure. The article quotes one leader as saying “We didn’t make all these goofy loans….”. From first hand experience, my guess is that the trade-ins offered for the 27% car sales increase were probably half ton pickups build in the early 90’s…and they traded their good truck because the sprayer was still mounted on the old one.
As more and more people become knowledge workers – and broadband finds it’s way to places like Buffalo Springs – people will be weighing the balance of financially lucrative living with 40- temperatures and lakes you can drive across for months out of the year.
So…for a great salary and a low cost of living, would you move?
Thanks to fellow Nor’ Dakotan Darrin Rodgers for the tip off to the article. There’s a package of lutefisk and tickets to the Valley City Winter Show coming your way. OK, not really…
LATE EDIT: Another plus in moving to North Dakota? All the abandon Minuteman Missle Silos. I remember farming around these as a kid. Read an interesting article about them (and what they want to use them for) in the USA TODAY.
Filed under: Uncategorized |