It has been a while since I have mentioned the Dickinson Mafia in one of my blog posts, probably more than a year. There may come a time, when circumstance arise that may cause me to identify the members of the Dickinson Mafia by name, there are about eight of them. But at this time, it would be more trouble than it is worth.
For the newcomers to Dickinson, the Dickinson Mafia are a group of business owners, land owners, and political office holders who try to control what goes on in Dickinson. They tell themselves, and each other, that what they try to accomplish is good for Dickinson, but these things coincide with what benefits them.
A reader may think, so what, what is wrong with this, what is the problem? I will give you a couple of examples. One of the ways in which Dickinson is controlled, is by controlling who is hired. Often times, hiring in Dickinson is not a matter of selecting the most experienced and qualified applicant. Hiring involves selecting the applicant that has been selected ahead of time due arrangements being made on the basis of family connections, seeking to win favor with someone, promise of being compensated, threat of being punished, or outright being told to do so.
Another way in which Dickinson is controlled, which people learn when they live here, is by: who gets stopped by the Police and who gets let go; who moves forward with being criminally prosecuted and who has charges dropped; who gets a long sentence and who gets a short sentence, or no sentence; who gets a building permit and who does not; who receives building code violations and who does not; who receives a bank loan and who does not; who keeps their job and who gets laid off; who gets awarded contracts and who does not; who gets good publicity in the newspaper and who does not.
Myself, and other people who live in Dickinson, would like to be treated fairly, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. It is upsetting, when steps are taken to interfere with your being hired, your work, being stopped by the Police, attempted entrapment by the Police, or not being able to get a bank loan.
For the readers who still don’t know what I am talking about, you can read my previous blog posts titled “They Hide Jobs In Dickinson, North Dakota”, “The Disputed Termination Of David Armendariz”, “Not Being Paid By Employers In Dickinson”, “Being Stopped By The Police In Dickinson, North Dakota”, “Almost Getting Caught By The Drug Task Force In Dickinson, North Dakota”, “Legal Entrapment Of Manish In Dickinson, North Dakota”.
In understanding Dickinson, it is like pealing back layers of an onion. After studying things for a while, you may think that you understand Dickinson, but then you realize that there is another layer below what you have already found.
Here is one way to look at these layers of Dickinson:
The first thing that a newcomer to Dickinson will likely experience, is contact with their employer and the Police in Dickinson. This is what is on the surface of Dickinson. If you have any sense, you will quickly realize that you are better off saying very little to your employer, your co-workers, and the Police in Dickinson, because they are all trying to find fault with you, and something to charge you with.
The next layer down, the socialization in Dickinson, will be the people that you meet and interact with at grocery stores, retail stores, businesses, restaurants, bars, school, the West River Community Center, etc. You may come to understand that the socialization in Dickinson is heavily influenced by the German, Ukranian, and Catholic ancestry of the local people.
The next layer down, the economy in Dickinson, you may find out about the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd oil booms in Dickinson, the history of the settlers and agriculture, the history of the poverty and wealth, the historical prices of land, success and failures of businesses and industries, coal mining, Uranium mining, etc.
The next layer you may come to in understanding Dickinson, is the Dickinson Mafia layer. You may begin to learn about the influence and control of the Dickinson Mafia, what businesses they own, what they are involved in, who they are related to, what they are trying to accomplish.
Unfortunately for me, the next layer that I came to understand about Dickinson, is the crime and illegal drug activity. Someone a little older than me, who moved to Dickinson twenty years ago said to me, “If everyone in Dickinson knew the truth about the crime and the illegal drug activity in Dickinson, 80% of the people would leave Dickinson.” You would probably leave Dickinson, if you knew the truth about what is going on.
The furthest layer down, that I have seen, is the Bank owners in North Dakota. They are invisible, they were invisible to me, until a couple of things made me realize that they were there. This is funny, and embarrassing, because ultimately, they own everything, far surpassing anyone else or any entity in control and importance.
I read this factual statistic recently, and I have heard and seen this statistic about five times previously, that was uncovered by economists and financial experts, and reported by journalists:
1% of people…………..own or control 80% of the wealth in the U.S.
19% of people…………own or control 12% of the wealth in the U.S.
80% of people…………own or control 8% of the wealth in the U.S.
The two most important things to see, are that the top 1% wealthiest people own 80% of the wealth in the U.S., and that the vast majority of people, the bottom 80% own only 8% of the wealth in the U.S.
I had thought that the Dickinson Mafia control things in Dickinson. It is true, that they try to control things in Dickinson. But the Bank owners in North Dakota, have much more control. However you don’t see, hear, or read very much about the Bank owners in North Dakota, and that is the way that they want it to be.
In Dickinson, there may be griping, complaining, debate, lobbying, protesting, and politicking over such things as: the permitting of man-camps, people sleeping in their cars, shortage of housing, arrival of street gangs, drug trafficking, prostitution, new housing developments, new business developments, damaged roads, end of the oil boom, people leaving, low occupancy rates, fewer jobs, lower wages, Sears closing, JC Penny closing, Herbergers Closing, new refineries, etc.
Out-of-state workers have their opinions about what they want, which may not be the same as the opinions and what the local people want. The Dickinson Mafia, have their opinion about what they want, which usually they are able to persuade the local people that this is what they want too, which inevitably is what gets done in Dickinson.
It appears to me, that the Bank owners in North Dakota, do not waste their time and energy paying attention to the daily, weekly, or monthly squabbles and goings on in Dickinson, as if they are of no consequence to them, though they are the biggest land and resource owners in western North Dakota.
I don’t know if the Bank owners figure that whatever gets decided, whichever way things go, either way they will make money. Or, if when something matters to the Bank owners in North Dakota, when something affects them, that they decide to intervene. If they do intervene, I have never seen, heard, or read about it.