Why I Keep Writing About Dickinson, North Dakota, Part III

In the states affected by hurricanes, there are laws against price gouging by businesses on supplies when a hurricane is approaching.  Businesses can not double the price of plywood and gasoline, among other things.  There are criminal charges, fines, and publicity in every newspaper about who took advantage of people.

North Dakota has just gone through its third oil boom.  The first one was in the 1950s, the second one was in the late 1970s, and the most recent one started in about 2007.  Note that each of these oil booms lasted about 7 years, and that each of these oil booms were about 30 years apart.  From everything that happened, I wish that the North Dakota State Legislature would enact “The North Dakota Boom Rush Law”.

“The State of North Dakota hereby enacts The North Dakota Boom Rush Law,  whereby the Governor acting alone, or by vote of 2/3 of the State Legislature, a condition of a Boom or Rush is officially recognized as occurring somewhere in the state, and the following protections are taken:

No business, or individual, may increase the price of necessities to more than double what the price was during the year prior to the declaration of the Boom or Rush condition.  Necessities include food, fuel, housing, hotel, transportation, vehicle repair, vehicle towing and recovery.  To do so is a crime, punishable by up to one year in jail, and $5,000 fine.

Further, it shall be unlawful for any business, individual, or government entity to interfere, impede, or delay the construction of housing, for the purpose of creating or causing a scarcity of housing, or for creating or causing high housing prices.  To do so is a crime, punishable by up to one year in jail, and $5,000 fine.

Additionally, the State of North Dakota shall be responsible for actively contacting all national news services with accurate truthful information regarding the Boom or Rush condition, and taking an active role in not allowing misrepresentations in work, working conditions, and rates of pay.

The purpose of this legislation it to prevent the hardship and suffering of both the residents in the affected areas, and the migrating workers.”

I thought that just about covers it.  Then I realized that neither the Governor nor the Legislators would allow this legislation.  The truth is, they are probably greedy also, or they are accountable to a bunch of greedy business people back home.  The real estate agents, property managers, and property investors would scream, “Are you crazy!”

Where did I ever get these ideas about treating people fairly, treating people like you would want to be treated, not taking advantage of people, not harming people, helping people?  There has got to be something wrong with me.

 

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