Tag Archives: guide to Dickinson North Dakota

The Danger Of Getting Towed In Dickinson, North Dakota

About five days ago I had a bright orange ticket from the Dickinson Police Department left on my vehicle windshield.  This ticket was for having my vehicle parked on the street in one spot for more than 48 hours.  The ticket was only $15, but there was a notice that my vehicle would be towed away in 48 hours if I did not move it.

Since I bought this vehicle, I have had a fear of it getting towed.  It is a full-time four-wheel-drive vehicle, similar to an all-wheel-drive vehicle.  If my vehicle is towed the wrong way, the damage that is caused to the transmission costs over $4,000 to repair.

Jeep Grand Cherokees with Quadra-Trac, AWD Audis, AWD Mercedes, AWD BMWs, AWD Subarus, and Range Rovers, have all four wheels permanently linked to the transmission and transfer case.  If a tow truck driver lifted one end of one of these vehicles with a wheel cradle, and towed it with the other set of wheels on the ground, it would break the linkage in the transfer case.  For a Jeep Grand Cherokee the linkage is a chain in the transfer case, and this repair costs about $2,800 from what I have read, but for all the other vehicles mentioned above the linkage is a viscous coupler, and the repair is more than $4,000.

Would a tow company admit to causing $4,000 damage to a vehicle from towing it the wrong way?  If you watch The People’s Court on television, the answer is no, tow companies do not usually admit to towing a vehicle the wrong way.  You would have to file a small claims court case against the tow company and you would have to prove with evidence that the tow company caused the linkage in the transfer case to break, which they would deny.

Another problem that I worry about now that I see that I am going to get ticketed for leaving my vehicle parked on the street for more than 48 hours, is what kind of parking rotation procedure am I going to use every 48 hours, to where my vehicle doesn’t end up in the same exact spot six days later.  I could move my vehicle three times in a six day period, and the Dickinson Police Officer who ticketed my vehicle would be back on duty, and he would say, “I am going to call to have this vehicle towed, it is in the same exact spot where I ticketed it six days ago.”

I telephoned the manager of the apartment building where I live, and I said that in the 1-1/2 years that I have lived in this building, I have parked on the street, because I realized that there is a shortage of parking in front of the building, but since I am going to get ticketed now for parking on the street, can I have an assigned parking space?  The apartment manager said that they can not assign a parking space to everyone, there are not enough spaces for everyone.  I asked if they had a garage available, and the manager said that they might have a garage available, and it would cost $60 per month.

On the same day that my vehicle was ticketed about five days ago, the vehicle behind me was also ticketed.  The owners of the vehicle behind me, I don’t think that they understood the ticket or the threat of being towed, because they are from a foreign country, and they did not remove the bright orange ticket from their vehicle, or move their vehicle.  About one day ago, their vehicle got towed.

Today, as I was walking up the stairs, the owner of this vehicle was walking down the stairs.  I asked him if his vehicle got towed, and if there was something wrong with it.  He said, yes, that it had a dead battery.  I asked if there was anything else wrong with it that it would not run, and he said no.  I asked him if he was going to get it out of the tow yard, and he said, “Probably.”  I couldn’t understand why he let it get towed in the first place.

I asked him, and he told me that he was willing to sell this vehicle, and how much he wanted for it, about $500.  I don’t know if there is something else wrong with it, or if he does not have a Title for it in his name, because if it runs O.K. it should be worth at least $1,500.  I don’t think that he knew how much the tow fees and storage fees were going to be, because if he did, he probably would have pushed it or dragged it to a different spot, to prevent it from being towed.

I called the tow company to ask how much the tow fees and storage fees were, and the tow company said $125 for the tow, and $40 per day for storage.  This is the second day that the tow company has had my neighbor’s vehicle, and if it goes just a few days longer, there is almost no chance that he will ever get this vehicle back.  After just a few more days, the tow company fees will be equal to one month’s rent for the apartment that he lives in.

Poor people, are poor because of their life circumstances, mental problems, emotional problems, health problems, accidents, bad decisions, lack of education, lack of understanding, irresponsibility, and so forth.  All they may be able to afford is a studio apartment in an old building downtown with not enough parking in the parking lot, so they park on the street.  All they may be able to afford is an old vehicle with some mechanical problems, that sometimes doesn’t run, that maybe they can’t even drive because they can’t pay for insurance.  So it gets ticketed by the Dickinson Police and towed away a few days later.

At $40 per day storage fees, a poor person is very likely not going to ever get their vehicle back.  They do not understand how quickly the storage fees will accumulate.  The first day $165, in one week $405, in two weeks $685.  What are these fees all about?

In Dickinson, I have some vehicles in storage, and I pay $45 per month.  At the Dickinson Airport, I believe that it costs $8 per day to leave your vehicle inside of their fenced, access controlled parking lot.  However if you are a poor person, with not very good understanding, the Dickinson Police will help to make sure that you get charged $40 per day for your vehicle so that they can take it from you.

To be clear, if you are wealthy enough to own a home, where you can park your vehicle in your driveway, garage, or yard, you won’t have the Dickinson Police bothering you.  But if you are very poor, and you live in the poorest area of Dickinson, and your car doesn’t always run, the Dickinson Police have this scheme where they will take your car and you won’t be able to get it back.

Being so poor, having nothing left, and making poor decisions, the only way that these desperately poor families have to come up with $405 to $685 to get their vehicle back, is to sell their children to sex traffickers.

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Why I Turned Down An $85,000 Job Recently In North Dakota

On Thursday morning of this past week, a former supervisor telephoned me and said that he would like for me to come and work with him.  He said that he could offer to pay me $25 per hour, twelve hours per day, Monday through Friday.  I quickly did the math in my head, the first forty hours would be $1,000, and the next twenty hours of overtime would be about $740, so that’s $1,740 per week.  For easy math, at fifty weeks per year, that’s a little over $85,000 per year.

I told him that I already had a job, that this job was going O.K., but that I would consider it, because his job offer was more money than I was currently making.  My current job is not very difficult, this job offer that he was making would be a more difficult and more unpleasant job.  It would involve working in an area of North Dakota where there is nothing, driving a crane truck, and working on oil wells.

I told him that I was not ready to give up my apartment in Dickinson yet, that he would need to find me a place to stay Monday night through Thursday night, just a place to sleep.  He said O.K.

After I got off the phone with him, I realized that I had a cat now.  What was I going to do with this cat?  I decided that I would get a second litter box, a cat food dispenser, and a cat water dispenser.  The cat would probably be O.K. by himself in my apartment in Dickinson Monday through Friday, but he wouldn’t like being alone.  This cat was an abandoned cat that I took home from a job site, so he wasn’t having that bad of a life, living in a warm and dry apartment with food and water, though he was going to be alone.  Maybe I would leave the television on for him, and find someone to check on him.

Soon I was going to have to give my current employer not much more than one week notice that I was going to work someplace else due to being offered a lot more money.  I wasn’t looking forward to having to explain this to him, and causing him to have to find a replacement for me on short notice.  I was also uneasy and apprehensive about giving a notice of resignation when my current job was an O.K. job that I liked, that was not difficult.

At the end of the day on Thursday last week, my former supervisor called me back, he said that everything had been worked out, the company owner had agreed to pay me $25 per hour, pay for health insurance, provide a trailer for me to stay in, that we would be working seventy to eighty hours per week.  He said there was some pre-hire paperwork for me to complete, take my drug test, and did I still have my Class A Commercial Driver’s License?

I said that I never had a Commercial Driver’s License, though I had driven vehicles at work that required a Commercial Driver’s License, I didn’t have one.  He said, “Oh shit, that was the whole basis of getting hired right away at $25 per hour, that you had a Class A CDL.  What to do you want to do?  Oh fuck it, we won’t tell him right away, you’ve got the job anyway.”  I said, I don’t want anyone to have a fit when they find out that I don’t have a CDL, just tell him that I passed all of my written tests for a Class A CDL with the air brake endorsement, tanker endorsement, double and triple trailer endorsement, that I had a Class A CDL learner’s permit from Idaho, but that I let it expire before I took my driving test.

I agreed that I would call the North Dakota DMV Friday to find out what I had to do to get my Class A CDL in North Dakota.  Thursday night, I looked at the North Dakota DMV website to see what the requirements were.  One of the things that was going to be a problem for me, which I never encountered before in my life, was that due to this new “Real ID” or “Enhanced Driver’s License” program in North Dakota, I was going to need to provide either a valid U.S. passport or a certified Birth Certificate.

Up until August of 2017, I had a certified copy of my Birth Certificate, until Lowell Kern Jr. of Belfield stole my truck and took everything out of my truck, including my original Social Security Card and my certified Birth Certificate.  How was I going to get another certified Birth Certificate from Florida where I was born 49 years ago, and how long was this going to take?

I was beginning to become angry, I don’t want a fucking Class A CDL, I don’t want to have to jump through a bunch of hoops with the North Dakota DMV.  Once you have a CDL, the legal blood alcohol limit is no longer 0.08%, it drops down to 0.04%, and you have to report any traffic citations to your employer immediately.

And what is this about working seventy to eighty hours per week?  This means you would be working six to seven days per week, every week, having only one or no days off per week.  What would I do with my cat then, I guess I would have to get rid of him.  When would I do laundry, when would I do personal errands, when would I pay my bills?

Where I was going, there are no grocery stores and there are hardly any restaurants.  You end up eating horrible gas station and oil field truck stop packaged food, day after day after day.

Why would I want to live like this?  Living like this there is really no reason to be alive, working every day, being tired and filthy dirty all day, being excruciatingly cold, with only horrible rotten food to eat, and only seeing fat, ugly, ham-fisted, mean nasty battle-axe North Dakota women every day.  I would make $100,000 per year, but I would pay about $30,000 in income tax right off the top.

I told him that I was not currently physically or mentally able to work like this.  I have done this before, like many, many people who came to North Dakota to work during the Oil Boom, and I don’t really want to do this again, it is not worth it, living like this.

I talked to a friend of mine on Friday of last week, and he said that it was good that I didn’t take this oil field job, the price of North Dakota oil is currently down to $20 per barrel.  What this means is, with the price of oil this low, is that oil companies will suspend all oil field work at this time, and there will be many oil field worker layoffs very soon.

I felt very bad that I almost resigned from my O.K. job that I like, for a very miserable job that I wouldn’t be able to do for long, or wouldn’t have for very long with oil field work being shut down due to the very low price of oil.

Dickinson’s New Campground Ordinance Limiting RVs’ Stay To 270 Days

I have worked in the oil field in Texas, Utah, and North Dakota.  For some occupations, especially welders, pipe fitters, electricians, equipment operators, and Union workers, it is sometimes easier and more practical for the workers to own and live in RVs and travel trailers because work project duration can last from two months to two years.

Other factors that make owning and living in an RV or travel trailer more practical are that some projects require a peak amount of welders, pipe fitters, electricians, equipment operators, and other workers at certain times to get a particular phase of construction completed, then once this phase of construction is completed, the number of welders, pipe fitters, electricians, etcetera is greatly reduced.  No one knows ahead of time, which welders, pipe fitters, electricians, equipment operators, and workers will get to remain on the project, which ones will be let go, and when exactly the layoffs will happen.

With some people working in occupations where they really do not know if they will get to work on a project for two months, two years, and when exactly they will be laid off from a particular project, these people have found that it is more practical to own and live in RVs and travel trailers.  It would be foolish and a mistake to sign a lease for an apartment or a house when you could very likely get laid off in a couple of months.

Try to think about this and realize this, though real estate agents, appraisers, accountants, and city employees may remain in their job in a town for five, ten, twenty years, people who make their living working on pipeline construction, oil storage terminal construction, refinery construction, and other large industrial projects, they no longer have a job once their pipeline, oil storage terminal, or refinery construction is completed.  They have to move on to the next large industrial project, where again they will not know if they will get to work on this project for two months or two years, because the number and type of occupations needed for each phase of construction varies and changes.

Welders, pipe fitters, electricians, equipment operators, and Union workers may purchase a new or newer RV or travel trailer for as much as $80,000.  They may expect this RV or travel trailer to last them eight to ten years.  One of the benefits of living in an RV or travel trailer, is that your personal possessions, important paper work, clothing, cookware, food, bed, furniture, TV, stereo, computer, is all right there, and you don’t have to pack everything up, and carry it down stairs out to a moving van, every time you move.

But in cold climates, there are a few laborious and time consuming things that RV and travel trailer owners have to do when they park in a campground.  They have to install tight-fitting insulated skirting along the bottom perimeter of their RV or trailer in order to keep their grey-water tank, black-water tank, and fresh water lines from freezing.  They will likely have to install electrical heat tape on both their sewer line and their fresh water line.  They may need to construct a 6 ft x 6 ft mud room at the entrance door to their trailer in order to be able to take off muddy boots, and muddy overalls before entering their trailer, and also to keep from letting all of the heat out of their trailer when there are high winds.

But the City of Dickinson, the City Commissioners, the residents of Dickinson, and the property owners in Dickinson do not care about what is convenient or practical for other people.  They don’t care, and in fact, the property owners, property managers, and real estate agents like the idea that by putting a limit of 270 days on living in an RV or travel trailer, that this would potentially force workers to rent an apartment, rent a house, or buy a house.

I have tried to point out again and again, that when Dickinson “does things to people”, like quadrupling the price of rent during the oil boom, over aggressive stopping of everyone for DUI by Police, over aggressive following of people by Police, trying to convict people for a 20 year sentence for seeking sex, a Civil Service Commission that has never once decided in favor of a City employee, and generally treating out of state workers like shit, no one wants to come to Dickinson or stay in Dickinson once they find out what it is like.

Limiting the amount of time that a person working in Dickinson can stay in a campground in their RV or travel trailer to 270 days, is not going to turn all of these people into apartment renters, house renters, or house buyers in Dickinson.  Many of them, who may have spent up to $80,000 on their RV or travel trailer, will just plan on moving on in nine months.  Not only not renting or buying a home in Dickinson, but not renting in a campground or living in Dickinson at all.

I don’t know when, if ever, the people in Dickinson will realize that they are driving people out of Dickinson to such an extent that Dickinson will eventually look like Belfield, Richardton, Taylor, Gladstone, New England, Dodge, or Haliday.  To the property owners that are so greedy, what will your property be worth when no one wants to come to Dickinson and more and more people leave Dickinson?

Ape Creatures And Prime Rib At The Paragon In Dickinson, North Dakota

I have gotten into or nearly gotten into more trouble at the Paragon Bowling Alley & Diner in Dickinson, North Dakota than the sum total of everywhere else I have ever been in my entire life.

There are only two reasons now why I ever go to the Paragon Bowling Alley & Diner: if one of my friends is there, or if it is Prime Rib night on Saturday.

This Saturday I spent working on one of my vehicles at my friend’s house, and going to Mac’s Tool, Tractor Supply, and Menards to get parts.  Once it got dark at about 5:30 p.m., I couldn’t see what I was doing anymore, so I called it quits for the day.  I was hungry, and I was planning on going to the drive-thru of a fast food restaurant on the way home, when I realized that it was Saturday, and it was Prime Rib night at the Paragon.

I decided that I would drive by the Paragon, and if one of my friends was there, I would eat there.  I didn’t see any of my friends’ vehicles in the parking lot, but I parked my vehicle, and I went inside to see who was in the diner.  There were not very many people eating in the diner, it was not crowded, maybe a total of ten people at three different tables, so I thought that I would eat here.

I sat at the counter in order to not take up a table in case other groups of people came to eat.  The Prime Rib dinner at the Paragon on Saturday night is $16.95, and it comes with a baked potato, and your choice of soup, or a bowl of lettuce.

John Mueller who is in his late fifties, is the manager of the Paragon Bowling Alley & Diner, which was established by his father, Dick Mueller, in the 1960s or 1970s.  John’s mother Bernice, who is in her eighties, still works in the diner sometimes.

If you ever watched the television show “Fantasy Island” in the 1970s, where all of the guests were greeted by the character “Mr. Roarke”, who always wore a white three-piece suit, John Mueller is kind of like Mr. Roarke, in a way.  You see, just as Mr. Roarke planned out an elaborate fantasy for each one of his guests, John Mueller hires your fantasy waitresses, if your fantasy happens to be being waited on by drug addict women from Couer D’Alene, Seattle, or Spokane, or women from the county jail, or women from prison, or the latest fantasy, female Ape Creatures.

When I went to the Paragon on Thursday morning this week to see a friend of mine, and when I went to the Paragon this Saturday night, I saw that John Mueller has hired a whole entire clan of Ape Creatures.  On Thursday morning, one of the big female Ape Creatures who weighed about 300 lbs, she had orange hair, and she was fairly well trained, as she could do most things, but in a blunt kind of way.

On this Saturday night, there was a different 300 lb female Ape Creature with very short light colored hair waitressing, along with a smaller female Ape Creature weighing about 225 lb, with dark hair.  Both of these creatures were going through the motions of waitressing, though they appeared to be a little confused.

I watched these two Ape Creatures for about five minutes.  It was taking all of their effort and concentration to bring things to the three tables of customers who had already been seated.  What appeared to be causing some confusion, and posed a dilemma for them, was that they didn’t grasp the concept that they didn’t have to stand in front of the cook’s window waiting for food to be put out, that they could go and do other things.

Partly because of their fascination with the cook’s food window where they remained standing and staring, or perhaps because I reminded them of someone who had once shot and killed one of their family members, neither of the two Ape Creatures came over to take my order.

I went looking for John Mueller who I had seen when I arrived, to tell him that his Ape Creatures were not taking my order, but apparently John had gone to the other side of the island, as he was no where to be found.

If you know anything about me, you might think that getting to see Ape Creatures up close and eating Prime Rib would be an enjoyable night for me.  It turns out that I only want to see Ape Creatures in the wild, and that they do not make very good waitresses.  I never did get any Prime Rib to eat.

I Wish That I Could Force You To Understand Dickinson, North Dakota

I have been writing about Dickinson, North Dakota on this blog website for a little over four years now.  For those of you who don’t know why I started writing about Dickinson, it was because Dickinson, Williston, and Minot, North Dakota were the towns in the middle of the Oil Boom in North Dakota that occurred from 2007 through 2014, and I was living in Dickinson.

During the Oil Boom years, there was a great amount of chaos, confusion, development, excitement, optimism, hype, misinformation, and people being taken advantage of.  For those of you who don’t remember, have forgotten, or never knew what happened from 2007 through 2014 in Dickinson, here is a short synopsis:

Most people did not know that 2007 through 2014 was North Dakota’s third Oil Boom.  There was an oil discovery boom in the 1950s, and there was an oil market shortage boom in the late 1970s.  Dickinson had experienced an influx of oil field workers and oil companies before, in the 1950s, and the 1970s.  Well-informed people, well-educated people, and intelligent business people in Dickinson knew from past experience that these Oil Booms last about seven years, that’s why they are called a “Boom” in the first place.

However, even though there were very wealthy people, moderately wealthy people, influential people, politicians, elected representatives, large land owners, and community leaders in Dickinson who all knew from the previous two Oil Booms in North Dakota, that these Oil Booms last for about seven years, rather than trying to manage this Oil Boom in the most effective way for everyone, they either tried to benefit personally at the expense and suffering of others, or they did nothing to stop the taking advantage and suffering of others.

For those of you who were not here, or do not know what I am talking about when I write about the taking advantage of others and the suffering of others, I will explain:

All over the United States, television, radio, newspaper, and magazine media frequently announced that everyone working in North Dakota was making over $100,000 per year due to the Oil Boom.  This was not true at all, the average wage rate in western North Dakota was about $15 per hour at the time.

Believing that they were going to make $100,000 per year in North Dakota like they heard about, people who were struggling financially, or who were broke, used the very last money that they had to travel to Dickinson or Williston.  When they got here, one-bedroom apartments that had once rented for $300 per month, were now $1,500 per month.  With $3,000 due at lease signing for first month’s rent and security deposit, for the cheapest apartments available, most people could not afford a place to live.

Though business was booming in Dickinson, and many wealthy people were becoming even wealthier, there was deliberately and intentionally no homeless shelter in Dickinson.  The people who had been lured to North Dakota by the announcements that everyone was making $100,000 per year, ended up sleeping in their cars in the parking lot of WalMart or the Tiger Truck Stop.  Or, if they arrived in Dickinson by bus or by hitch hiking, they slept under bridges, in the bushes at Patterson Lake, or in the bushes behind businesses.  In the winter, it gets down to -30 degrees Fahrenheit in Dickinson.

When quick, short-term housing solutions, such as the permitting of temporary housing called “man-camps” were proposed, the building permits were denied, due to citizens of Dickinson supposedly fearing “rape” from all the men.  However, the permits for many, many large apartment complexes were approved, even though the occupants would be the same men who would have lived in the man-camps, who were feared for “rape”, but apparently not if they paid $2,000 per month rent for a new apartment.

During the Oil Boom of 2007 through 2014, I witnessed many, many people arriving in Dickinson who were financially broke, who had been lured here by television, radio, newspaper, and magazine announcements about everyone making $100,000 per year in North Dakota.  This was not true, even after living in Dickinson for six years, I have only ever personally met about three or four people who made $100,000 for even one year, working in the oil field.

One of the very first things that I tried to do when I started this blog website four years ago, was to try to get the information out there, that most people were not making $100,000 per year in North Dakota or the oil field, that this was a lie.  I tried to explain what the employment situation was really like.  I tried to explain that only young men between the ages of 18 to 30 years old, who were able-bodied, in good physical condition, with no physical defect, would even be considered to start out working on an oil drill rig, where they would work 12 hours per day, for fourteen days in a row, at about $23 per hour, and make nearly $100,000 per year.

I tried to explain in my blog posts that the vast majority of the job openings in North Dakota were not on an oil drill rig, some were in the oil field, what these other oil field jobs were, what skills and abilities these other oil field jobs required, what it would be like working in the oil field, and what other jobs there were in Dickinson.

I also wrote blog posts explaining that there was a shortage of housing in Dickinson, and that housing was very expensive.  I tried to counter what the television, radio, newspapers, magazines, Chamber of Commerce, North Dakota Job Services, business owners, and politicians were saying in order to try to get people from all over the United States to move to Dickinson or Williston, not knowing what they would be getting into.

During the Oil Boom, I had jobs where I was paid $12 per hour, $15 per hour, $16 per hour, $17, $18, $19, and $20 per hour.  But I had a college degree in engineering, management experience, experience operating heavy equipment, experience in construction, experience in heavy mechanical equipment assembly, and I was able-bodied.  From what I saw, from the people that I worked with, and my experience living in Dickinson, the average hourly wage was about $15 during the Oil Boom.

There were times when the local WalMart paid $15 per hour.  But many businesses paid less than $15 per hour for store clerks, front desk people, customer service people, retail workers, fast food workers, restaurant workers, drivers, general laborers, caregivers, and many other jobs.  For instance, the TSA at the Dickinson airport paid officers $14 per hour.

At the same time that the average hourly wage in Dickinson was about $15 per hour, some of the cheapest old one-bedroom apartments rented for $1,500 per month.  If a person worked for 50 hours each week at $15 per hour, with overtime pay that comes out to about $820 per week before taxes, about $700 per week after taxes, and a take home pay of about $2,800 per month.

Starting out with a take home pay of $2,800 per month, and subtracting rent $1,500; utilities $150; cell phone $50; car insurance $100; car payment $200; fuel $150; leaves $650 left over for the entire month for food, clothing, and everything else.  That’s less than $20 per day that you could spend on food.  What if you had a child, a medical emergency, or a major car repair?

I wondered, and I wrote about, what kind of people would double, triple, and quadruple the rent and housing prices in order to gouge and take advantage of the out-of-state workers who came to Dickinson, many of whom were struggling financially to begin with or were completely broke?

You need to know and keep in mind, that outside of Dickinson there is more vacant, barren, flat, undeveloped land than almost anywhere else in the United States.  There is no scarcity of land to build on. The land outside of Dickinson is almost as vacant as the deserts of Arizona, Nevada, or Utah.  Though the land outside of Dickinson is not as dry as the desert, it is very, very cold in North Dakota from October through April, that’s seven months out of the year, and this is one of the reasons why there are less than one million people living in the entire state of North Dakota.

With such an abundance of vacant, barren, undeveloped land, why were the rent prices in Dickinson and Williston higher than any place else in the United States, higher than even New York City and San Francisco?  The local people liked to say that it was a matter of supply and demand, low supply of housing, and a high demand for housing.  But like I just got done explaining, there is more vacant, barren, undeveloped land outside of Dickinson, than almost any place else in the United States.

Keep in mind, that the well-informed people, well-educated people, the intelligent business people, the wealthy people, and the large land owners in Dickinson knew about the oil discovery boom in the 1950s, and the oil market shortage boom in the 1970s that occurred in North Dakota.  They knew from these previous two Oil Booms, about all the workers and oil companies that come to North Dakota during the Oil Booms.

The doubling, tripling, and quadrupling of the rent and housing prices that occurred in Dickinson, was not merely a matter of supply and demand.  There was more to it than that.  If you have foreknowledge that something is going to occur, where people will experience a scarcity or lack of some necessity, and you seek to take advantage of this scarcity, and even take steps to keep this scarcity from being alleviated so that you can personally benefit financially, you are unethically taking advantage and gouging other people.  I will give a couple of examples for you to think about:

When a hurricane was approaching the east coast of the United States, and everyone needed to prepare for an emergency, some businesses used to sharply increase the price of fuel, drinking water, plywood, generators, and other emergency supplies.  Do you know that this practice is now illegal, and that business owners are now criminally prosecuted for this?

What if you and your business associates created or helped form a retirement community in Nevada, an isolated community consisting of modest, inexpensive, single-wide manufactured homes on 50 ft. x 100 ft. lots, for sale for about $50,000.  Once each of these modest manufactured homes had been sold, what if you doubled, tripled, and quadrupled the price that you charged for water, knowing that there was no other water service available, and that the cost to drill a well would be about $20,000, which these low-income residents would be unable to afford?

Just because someone can see a way to take advantage of and gouge other people on the price of a necessity that they will need, this in no way means that this is ethical, moral, or even legal.

What was actually going on in Dickinson and Williston, was that the wealthy people, the business owners, the property owners, elected representatives, politicians, community leaders, spokespeople for the oil industry, and spokespeople for the North Dakota Job Services continued to perpetuate the lie that everyone who moved to North Dakota for work was making $100,000 per year, even though they knew that this was not true, that they would make much less money than this, and that more than half of their pay would be spent on housing because they had quadrupled the price of housing in North Dakota.

The reasons for spreading this lie all over the United States and luring people to North Dakota were:

  • To bring as many people as possible to the state to be able to rent, lease, and sell all property available.
  • To bring as many people as possible to the state to occupy or buy all property available, to cause a shortage, and be able to greatly increase rents, leases, and property prices.
  • To cause the need, the requirement, or the perception, that there needed to be new apartments constructed, new housing constructed, new retail stores constructed, new grocery stores, new schools, new hospitals, and new infrastructure like water towers and roads.
  • To lure property developers and business entrepreneurs to the state build developments and start new businesses.
  • To bring customers to the state to increase business and sales.
  • To greatly increase tax revenue to the state in sales tax, personal income tax, and property tax revenue.
  • To bring a surplus of workers to the state to try to keep wages low.

After writing about all of this for four years, I realized or discovered several surprising, sinister schemes.  What is even more surprising, and kind of funny, is that most of the people who sought to take advantage of others and be predatory, have been set up for financial ruin, and they don’t even know it yet.  I will explain.

The ordinary people in Dickinson, whether local people or from out-of-state, each of them are aware of only a fraction of what is going on.  They are often very susceptible to lies and misinformation, their circumstances in life change greatly when their rent is increased, their hourly wage rate is increased, or they lose their job.  They are practically slaves or livestock, and they don’t even know it.  They were likely to parrot the phrases that they were taught, such as “This Oil Boom is going to last for the next 20 years”, and then later “The Oil Boom is coming back” or the ever perpetual phrase “Things are starting to pick up again.”

The business people, business owners, property owners, property developers, elected representatives, Chambers of Commerce, oil industry spokespeople, and North Dakota government agency spokespeople, were or are, kind of like the herders, shepherds, shearers, fleecers, milkers, and egg gatherers of the ordinary people, who are like slaves or livestock.

The business people, business owners, property owners, property developers, elected representatives, Chambers of Commerce, oil industry spokespeople, and North Dakota government agency spokespeople thought that they were all in agreement, all with the same program, of continuing to encourage people to move to North Dakota because it accomplishes their goals of having customers, making sales, having properties rented or leased, having properties sell, keeping property values high, and keeping tax revenue coming in.  So they all keep making announcements that there are thousands of high paying job vacancies in the oil field of North Dakota, even though there aren’t.

But when I, and several of my friends were unable to get home loans from banks in Dickinson recently, I discovered something odd.  Eventually I realized that there is an entirely different plan in place, that is unknown to 99.95% of the people in Dickinson.  The wealthiest 0.05% of the people in Dickinson, which includes the local Bank owners, have a completely different plan.

Despite what the business owners, property owners, property developers, Chambers of Commerce, oil industry spokespeople, and North Dakota government spokespeople are saying about the thousands of high paying job vacancies in the oil field in North Dakota currently, in order to try to keep the economy going, the Bank owners and the wealthiest 0.05% are preparing for an economic collapse.

When I and several of my friends were denied home loans recently by Banks, even though our income was sufficient to make the mortgage payments, and we had each been at our present jobs for more than four years, it was like the Banks were saying, “Even though you currently earn enough money to make the mortgage payments, and you have been at your present job for more than four years, we don’t believe that you will keep your job, or be able to get another job in Dickinson, and we don’t want to foreclose on a property that will be worth much, much less than your mortgage with the bank.”  In other words, the Banks are preparing for an economic collapse in Dickinson, where many people will lose their job, be unable to get another job, and property values will fall.

I began to realize that what the Bank owners know, what the wealthiest 0.05% of North Dakotans knew all along, was that these Oil Booms in North Dakota last about seven years.  You can make money on the way up, you can rent properties, lease properties, sell properties, build some properties and sell them, but you need to sell or hold during the way up, don’t buy anything, unless it is very early on.  The real money to be made, is when the economic collapse comes, then you can buy businesses, equipment, buildings, houses, and properties for 10% of what they cost.

The funny thing is, that the business people, business owners, property owners, property developers, Chambers of Commerce, oil industry spokespeople, and North Dakota government spokespeople, all believed that they had the same goal, were on the same page about growth, and keeping the economy going, when all along the wealthiest 0.05% of North Dakotans were just eagerly awaiting the economic collapse that was inevitable.

The business people, business owners, property owners, and property developers that were kind of the herders, shearers, fleecers, milkers, and egg gatherers of the ordinary working people, taking advantage of them and gouging them on rent, leases, and real estate, once the economy in Dickinson collapses, they will be broke or in a very bad financial position.  The wealthiest 0.05%, who knew this was coming years ago, have been waiting for this.

Business people, business owners, property owners, and property developers that once took advantage of other people, will then be taken advantage of.  Whatever they built, created, bought, or owned, they will end up losing it, and perhaps be paid 10% of what it cost them.

Truth About The Work Situation In Dickinson, North Dakota

In the past two weeks, I have written three blog posts about three different couples that I have seen moving out of the low rent older apartment building where I live in downtown Dickinson, North Dakota.  Each of these three couples had moved to Dickinson about six months ago, and now they are leaving Dickinson.

Every day there are radio advertisements from local companies in Dickinson about how they offer competitive wages, paid family health insurance, and $3,000 to $6,000 sign-on bonuses.  About once each week, there is a representative from North Dakota Job Services talking about hundreds of job openings in Williston, Watford City, and Dickinson.  Yet when I log on to the North Dakota Job Services website and I search for jobs in Williston, Watford City, and Dickinson, there are fewer than forty current job openings in each of these towns, and one third of them are for medical professionals.

What is really going on?  To explain, I want to write about an experience that I had yesterday on Saturday November 10, 2018, in Dickinson:

I went to a gas station in Dickinson that I normally do not go to.  Working at the cash register, was a man that I had worked with in Dickinson seven years ago, back in 2011.  He is about 6′-3″, 300 lb, able-bodied, fairly intelligent, and he is from Dickinson.

In 2011, this man was the operations manager for the small oil field service company where I worked.  He was in charge of the crew trucks, equipment trailers, skid steers, backhoe, scissor lifts, snorkel lifts, lull, generators, compressors, compactors, and other tools.  He operated equipment in the company yard, and at the job sites where we worked.

This company where we worked constructed pump jack concrete foundation pads at oil field locations, salt waters disposal facilities, steel warehouse buildings, and performed work at several different refineries.  The operations manager ordered material for the work that was performed, and he sometimes supervised the work that was performed.

The operations manager did a pretty good job over all.  He worked at this small oil field service company for several years, before going to work for a supplier of oil field tools and equipment for several years.

Why is this big, strong, able-bodied, fairly intelligent, competent, local person, with ten years of experience working in the oil field, working as a cashier at gas station in Dickinson, if there are supposed to be hundreds of job openings in Williston, Watford City, and Dickinson?

In my recent blog posts titled “The Truth About Living And Working In Dickinson, North Dakota”, “Truth And Lies About Living And Working In Dickinson, North Dakota”, and “Even More Truth And Lies About Living And Working In Dickinson, North Dakota”,  I have tried to explain that business people, property owners, property managers, and oil field companies are trying to “keep things going” by spreading false information.  They want to keep people moving to Dickinson to do business, so that the value of their properties remain high, to rent or lease properties, and to have a large pool of skilled labor in order to keep wages low.

Even More Truth And Lies About Living And Working In Dickinson, North Dakota

Today, Saturday November 10, 2018, I am yet again watching a couple move out of the low rent older apartment building in downtown Dickinson, North Dakota where I live.  No, this is not an across town move, because they have a pickup truck and a U-haul trailer, and they are very carefully trying to fit absolutely everything they own into this truck and trailer, because they are leaving Dickinson.

In the past thirty days, I have written two previous blog posts about two other couples who were moving out of the older apartment building where I live in Dickinson.  Both the first couple, and the second couple, the husband was truck driver.  Both of these two couples moved to Dickinson about six months ago.

On the radio in Dickinson, North Dakota for the past several months, there have been advertisements from local trucking companies about how they need truck drivers, they offer competitive wages, paid family health insurance, and a $3,000 to $6,000 sign-on bonus.

Why is it that truck drivers come to Dickinson for work, then they leave about six months later?  No, they didn’t make so much money that they are leaving.  I talked to them, I saw how they were living, I saw that they had very little, I sometimes saw and heard these couples arguments that continued through the parking lot and into the building, the kind of arguments that people have when money is scarce.

Also on the radio in Dickinson during the past sixty days, I have heard representatives from North Dakota Job Service talk about the great need for workers in Williston, Watford City, and Dickinson, about several hundred job vacancies in Williston.  Yet when I log onto the North Dakota Job Services website, and search for job openings in Williston, Watford City, and Dickinson, I see that there are less than forty current job openings in Williston, and less than thirty current job openings in Watford City and Dickinson.  One third of these job openings are for Registered Nurses, Travel Nurses, and Medical Doctors, more job openings in the medical professions than there are in the oil field.

What is going on?  I know exactly what is going on, and what is happening.  Business owners, property owners, property managers, and oil companies want to “keep things going”.  The business owners want customers, the property owners want their property to continue to be worth money, the property managers want tenants, and the oil companies want to have a large pool of skilled trades people so that they can keep wages low, have the threat of easily replacing workers, and being able to replace skilled trades people like they were shop rags when they get worn out.

In my previous blog post, I found a short way to put it, if you are not from this area, you are treated like a migrant worker.  No matter if you have a college degree, management experience, or a great deal of work experience, if you are not from this area you are treated like a migrant worker.

What does this mean, being treated like a “migrant worker”?  It means that you will be followed more, stopped more, and treated with more scrutiny by the local city Police.  You are a good candidate for a DUI, a good source of revenue for the city when you pay your court fines, and how the local attorneys stay in business with the $3,000 retainer fee you will pay.

If you are not from this area, you will be treated like a migrant worker in many businesses, establishments, city, county, state, and federal offices in Dickinson.  At work, you will be disliked, mistrusted, mistreated, and undermined by your local co-workers, local administrators, local managers, and local company owners.

The truth is, that there are some job openings in Dickinson, and the wage rates are still above average, because no one wants to live or work in Dickinson.  The local people are unfriendly and hostile, the real estate prices are way too high, there is not a lot to do, there are very few places to go, and the local employers and the local co-workers treat out of state workers like shit.