A Dickinson Resident’s Justification For The Greed In Dickinson, North Dakota

I finally heard from a Dickinson resident’s own mouth, the justification for the greed in Dickinson, North Dakota.

I have known an older retired gentleman in Dickinson for a year.  He and his family are from Dickinson.  He owns several properties in Dickinson through inheritance.

This older gentleman discusses religion with me most of the times that I see him.  I don’t mind discussing religion with people, though I am beginning to change my mind.  I am beginning to see that often times when people are eager to discuss religion, they are interested in trying to persuade you to their way of thinking.

Jehovah’s Witnesses have tried to tell me that when someone dies, they are dead in the ground until the resurrection.  Other Christians say that when someone dies, they go to heaven.  Other Christians say that you can’t go to heaven unless you are Baptized.  Some Christians say that the Sabbath day must be observed on Saturday instead of Sunday.  The people expressing their opinions on religion, are often so certain that they are right, that they feel they need to convince everyone else to believe what they believe.

I listen to the older gentleman from Dickinson, who tries to point out a truer interpretation of some of the passages from the Bible, because I don’t mind hearing what he has to say.  The past several times that I have met him, I have tried to discuss what he thinks about how Dickinson has treated out of state workers.  He recognizes that there was a lot of greed in Dickinson, and that the Bible addresses greed over and over again.  I think that he even said that the term “usury” in the Bible, does not just mean lending out money at interest, it means any manner of taking advantage of someone else, which is what I believe.

However, it was very illuminating when this older gentleman began to express the view, “These people that came here from out of state that aren’t doing well, you can kind of tell that they have brought it on themselves, can’t you?  By the way they were living, the things that they were doing, they weren’t right with God.”

At this point, what I was thinking in my mind, was that in 2009, the economy got bad in the area of Idaho where I lived.  The young male workers, and the older male workers who had wives and children, thought that they could support themselves and their families better by going to work out of state.  The economy got bad in many places in the United States in about 2007.  That is why you see vehicle license plates from Florida, Texas, California, Arizona, Utah, and Idaho in Dickinson, North Dakota.

The older gentleman from Dickinson continued to explain himself, he had the belief that all of the out of state workers that came to work in North Dakota, must have done something wrong in order to deserve their financial difficulties.  I said, “Don’t you remember the Book of Job in the Bible?  Job was a good person in the sight of God, though he allowed Satan to test Job with every type of torment and calamity.  The human witnesses to Job’s problems, believed that Job must have done something wrong to deserve all the bad things that happened to him.  But this was not the case.”  I said to the older gentleman from Dickinson, “I thought that that was the point of the Book of Job, to let people know that you can’t assume that bad things happen to someone because they must have done something wrong.”

I gave some examples of people that I have known for a many years, who are honest, hardworking, moral, and ethical, yet their life has been a constant struggle and difficult since childhood.  Other people that I have known for many years, are less hardworking, lazy, selfish, and inconsiderate, yet they have had easy lives since childhood.  What kind of life you get, is not based on how “good” a person you are.

I said that it was very illuminating what this Dickinson resident elaborated on.  Because he and his family were doing well financially, he and his family were righteous and good, whereas these people who came from out of state to work in Dickinson who were not doing well financially, must have been living immorally.

The only difference that I am aware of, is that there was an Oil Boom in North Dakota, instead of Arizona, Utah, or Idaho.  If it would have been the other way around, North Dakotans might have had to travel out of state to go work in Idaho.

What I finally heard from a Dickinson resident’s own mouth, was why they felt they were entitled and justified in treating out of state workers so badly in many different ways.  To take advantage of them so egregiously in the price of housing.  To disrespect and mistreat the workers with experience, training, and education.  These people from out of state were not “good” people, they must have done something wrong in order to cause the financial need for them to have to go work out of state.

2 thoughts on “A Dickinson Resident’s Justification For The Greed In Dickinson, North Dakota

  1. I’d like to think that conversation is missing at least some context. Otherwise, that man certainly sounds terrible. At the very least, your latest post provides food for thought. The best man I’ve ever known is an old family friend of my parents, a farmer, cowboy, and truck driver. I’ll call him Joe. Joe will pull over his rig if he sees you stranded and he’ll climb under your car and try to fix it. If you’re broke, he’ll give you whatever he can give you. Joe is absolutely terrible when it comes to managing his finances, he might be the worst with money I have ever known. I don’t gamble, but if I had to wager, I’d put everything I’ve got on Joe’s getting into Heaven. God knows each of us better than we know ourselves and nothing escapes his sight. In the end, He will judge each of us.

    Regarding folks coming here because they were (paraphrasing your friend’s commentary as you related it to us) not living right, well, that’s just a silly and really disgraceful thing to say.


    1. I have been having conversations with this gentleman for a year. Two things that have stood out are:
      1) Because he is doing well financially, he believes that he is right, correct, favored by God, and doing what God wants. (I think that he is doing well financially because there was an Oil Boom in Dickinson.)
      2) Because someone had financial problems where they were, and had to travel out of state to work in Dickinson, they must have been doing something wrong. (I think that if there would have been an Oil Boom where these people lived instead of North Dakota, they might have been doing well financially, and the people in Dickinson would have been having financial difficulty.)

      Living here in Dickinson for over four years now, I could kind of tell that this is what people were thinking, they just didn’t come out and say it.

      Another thing that I think the people in Dickinson were thinking, “We are not about to let you people come over here and do better than us. We are not going to let you work 12 hours a day, seven days a week, and buy a home here and pay for it in five years, oh no, we’re not going to let that happen. We’ll be taking most of your pay, just short of the workers having to leave because so much is taken.”


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