Thursday, December 11, 2008

Reflecting on My State.

North Dakota recently topped a list as the most politically corrupt state in the nation. Sigh. And while that was pretty depressing info, it also reminded me of another article I'd read in the NY Times about effect of our nation's recession on ND. Check it out.

A Placid North Dakota Asks, Recession? What Recession?
Published: December 6, 2008

FARGO, N.D. — As the rest of the nation sinks into a 12th grim month of recession, this state, at least up until now, has been quietly reveling in a picture so different that it might well be on another planet.

A slow afternoon at the Fargo branch of Job Service North Dakota, where the state employees outnumbered the job seekers.

The number of new cars sold statewide was 27 percent higher this year than last, state records through November showed. North Dakota’s foreclosure rate was minuscule, among the lowest in the country. Many homes have still been gaining modestly in value, and, here in Fargo, construction workers can be found on any given day hammering away on a new downtown condominium complex, complete with a $540,000 penthouse (still unsold, but with a steady stream of lookers).

While dozens of states, including neighboring ones, have desperately begun raising fees, firing workers, shuttering tourist attractions and even abolishing holiday displays to overcome gaping deficits, lawmakers this week in Bismarck, the capital, were contemplating what to do with a $1.2 billion budget surplus. And as some states’ unemployment rates stretched perilously close to the double digits in the fall, North Dakota’s was 3.4 percent, among the lowest in the country.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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