I am still angry after reading Jessie Veeder’s website, “Meanwhile, back at the ranch…”. Jessie Veeder is from Watford City, she writes weekly newspaper articles about living in Western North Dakota. She is sometimes a guest on Prairie Public Radio.
I am angry with the comments women have posted to Jessie’s website. Women from all over the United States have posted comments about how nice it must be living in North Dakota, from what Jessie writes about it.
Jessie writes about living on a ranch, and she takes photographs of horses, flowers, fields, and dogs. Women read what she writes, look at her photographs, and comment that living in Western North Dakota must be so nice. Attention Women!, if you are getting the impression that it might be nice to live on a ranch, not have to pay rent, not have to worry about being evicted, not have to go to a job every day, this is not how the fuck it is in Western North Dakota!
Imagine that you are man, you have a wife, a one year old and a four year old. You have a lease for a two bedroom apartment that costs $2,000 per month. Your wife does not work because she has to stay home with the kids. Fisher Industries right now has a job advertisement for welders, paying $18 per hour, yes $18 per hour. I don’t know if they are working any overtime right now, let’s say they work five, ten hour days. That’s $990 per week before taxes, about $800 per week after taxes, about $3,200 per month after taxes.
Rent $2,000, utilities $150, cable TV $75, cell phones $50, car insurance $100, car payment $200 (piece of shit car), leaves $625 left over for a family of four, for food and gas each month, if nothing goes wrong. That’s $21 a day total, for a family of four, for food and gas! No money for clothes, birthday presents, Christmas presents, vacation, or savings!
Before you try to get smart and say, “You can get a two bedroom apartment now for $1,500 per month.”, people aren’t getting overtime now either, so $18 per hour, 40 hours per week, is $720 per week before taxes, $580 per week after taxes, about $2,320 per month after taxes. After your $1,500 rent, utilities $150, cable TV $75, cell phones $50, car insurance $100, car payment $200, leaves $245 for food and gas, for the family of four, for the entire month!
On the internet, when you do a Google search for “living in Watford City” or “living in Dickinson”, you get search results back for websites titled, “Watford City, Living The Good Life”, and “Dickinson, Living The Good Life”. The vast majority of the people in Watford City and Dickinson are struggling financially, and are worried about losing their jobs.
As far as the ranching life goes in Western North Dakota, most of the ranchers that I have known, and currently know, they are struggling financially. One of these ranchers borrowed money from me several times, and a friend of mine several times, when he was broke. He had asked to come to work with me. Other ranchers that I personally know, they have had to rely on their jobs to support their families, and have become broke when they lost their jobs.
I wish that Jessie Veeder would go and talk to the wives that live in the new apartments in Watford City and Dickinson, and talk to them about what their lives are like. Anyway, I told you, and I am going to keep telling everybody what living in Dickinson and living in Watford City is really like.