Tag Archives: living in Williston North Dakota

For Those Of You Who Don’t Understand The Oil Boom, Read The Book, Moby Dick

This past weekend, when the HBO channels were free, I watched the movie “In The Heart Of The Sea”, about the whaling ship the “Essex” from Nantucket.  The story of what happened to the whaling ship the “Essex”, inspired Herman Melville to write the novel Moby Dick.

I recommend reading the novel Moby Dick, written by Herman Melville, and also watching the movie “In The Heart Of The Sea”, about what happened to the whaling ship “Essex”.  They both tell the same story, but in slightly different ways.

The final voyage of the whaling ship Essex took place in 1820.  The town of Nantucket where the Essex sailed from, was one of the largest docking ports for whaling ships in North America.  North America was experiencing a “Whaling Boom”, which was an Oil Boom.  The whole point of whaling, was to boil the whale blubber to reduce it down to whale oil.  Whale oil was the biggest source of oil in the world at that time.

The book and the movie portray the ship owners in Nantucket as greedy capitalists, in the middle of an Oil Boom.  In the movie, it shows that the wealthy local people, would insist and make sure that their sons were captains of the whaling ships, whether they were qualified or not.  (This scenario is similar to the Oil Boom in Dickinson.)

The First Mate, had to be highly competent, to make up for the shortcomings of the ship captain who was in his position due to his family.  The harpooner, also had to be highly competent, because they wouldn’t get any oil without a good harpooner.  The First Mate, and the harpooner, stood to make a lot of money if they produced a great many barrels of oil.  (The First Mate and the harpooner are kind of like a drill rig boss or a tool pusher in this North Dakota Oil Boom.)

All the men on the whaling vessel would be away from home for one to three years.  And there would be no good food, and no women out at sea.  (Just like going to work in Williston, Watford City, or Dickinson.)

The men who manned the whaling ships, would experience great danger on the job, and great physical hardship.  The men who manned the whaling ships, did it because they had no viable economic opportunity where they had come from.  The men had some hope and expectation that they would strike it rich.  (This is exactly the same as what happened in Williston, Watford City, and Dickinson during this Oil Boom.)

Scenes in the book, and in the movie, where a whale gets harpooned, and the whale drags the men in the whale boats, sometimes smashing the whale boats, this is the same as riding in crew trucks on Highway 85 and Highway 22 during the Oil Boom in North Dakota, it was the same thing and equally as dangerous.

In the book Moby Dick, and in the movie “In The Heart Of The Sea”, there is a great white whale that attacks the ship Essex, and sinks it.  Later, when the men are stranded in their smaller whale boats, the great white whale follows the men and attacks them again.

I like to compare this great white whale to the Catholic Church in Dickinson, the great evil beast.

Then, the men end up cannibalizing each other.  This same thing is going to happen in Dickinson when all the businesses close, and there is no money in Dickinson, the people here will begin cannibalizing each other.

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear And Everything You Read In Dickinson, Watford City, And Williston, North Dakota

The Oil Boom is over in North Dakota.  It has been over for at least a year and a half.

I did not like it when lies were told in order to lure people here during the Oil Boom, and I don’t like it when lies are told now in order to prop up businesses and real estate.

The Big Lie that was told to lure people here during the Oil Boom was, “Everybody is making $100,000 per year in the oil field.”  I have lived in Dickinson for over four years now, and I only ever met three people who made close to $100,000 per year in the oil field:  a drill rig boss, a wireline operator, and a union electrician.

The second Big Lie that was going around was, “This Oil Boom is going to last for twenty years.”  This lie was told in order to get the out of state workers to bring their families here and buy a home here.

These two Big Lies hurt people.  I met many truck drivers that were never paid during the Oil Boom, and they left North Dakota worse off than when they came.  I met many other out of state workers who left North Dakota broke.

Currently, the local people who own property like to say, “Things are starting to pick up again, the oil field work is coming back.”  No, it is not. The local people keep saying this because they don’t want all the out of state workers to leave, and cause the local businesses to fail and real estate prices to collapse.

The local people, business owners, and real estate agents don’t like what I have to say and what I write.  I think, “Don’t try to save yourself from going broke by tricking other people.  What you are doing is no better than picking someone’s pocket or perpetuating some kind of fraud on other people.  Don’t think that there is no harm in it, because there is.”

What I have seen in Dickinson and Williston for the past several years, is that a business will make a big deal about advertising jobs or announcing a job fair.  Often times, this is mostly propaganda in order to promote a business or make a business appear to be doing well.  My room mate falls for this every single time without fail.

If you want free advertising, because your business is doing so poorly that you can’t afford to pay for advertising, contact the chamber of commerce, North Dakota Job Service, and the newspaper, and say that you want to have a job fair.  All the stupid people in Dickinson and Williston get so excited when there is a job fair, just like when a state lottery jack pot gets big, they think “This is my big chance!”

If you are a good mechanic, good crane operator, good heavy equipment operator, good plumber, good electrician, or good auto body person, you already know that you can walk into any business and talk to the owner or manager, and probably get a job in Dickinson or Williston within a couple of days, if you are good at what you do.  This does not work if you are an idiot, a drug fiend, or so severely overweight and out of shape that you have a hard time walking and standing upright.

The people that get excited about a job fair, are people that normally can’t get hired, and they think of a job fair as an occasion where the normal rules don’t apply:  “They’re giving away free jobs!”, “My brother got a job, my sister got a job, my mother got a job, that guy that pushes his shopping cart around town got a job!”, “They want to fly me out to Denver for two weeks to swamper school, then when I get out I get a $1,000 bonus, and I start out at $30 per hour, they told me it didn’t matter about my hemoroids, I even showed them!”

Throw in some free hot dogs and free hamburgers, and your business will be the most widely known and successful business in town in the minds of the idiots and people who can’t get a job.  They will not realize no one got hired or one or two people got hired to work in the warehouse.

Refugees Coming To Western North Dakota Whether You Wanted Them Or Not

Sometimes, because of my anger about how I and other out of state workers were treated in western North Dakota, I have thought about schemes to get even with North Dakotans.  All I had to do was point out to Democrats and Liberals in Minneapolis, New York City, and Washington D.C., that a tremendous amount of new housing just got completed in Williston, Watford City, and Dickinson, and that 60% of this new housing was sitting vacant.  What a good place to bring thousands of Syrian refugees, don’t you think?  There are thousands of job openings in western North Dakota, right?  That’s what the Chambers of Commerce and North Dakota Job Services keep saying all the time.

I know how loving, kind, and welcoming the North Dakotans were to me and the other out of state workers, so I know that they would love to have thousands of Muslims from the Middle East moving in.  Thousands of hard core militant Muslim refugees straight from the Middle East brought to your neighborhoods and the companies where you work.

I didn’t contact anyone about Syrian refugees and the tremendous amount of new unoccupied housing in Williston, Watford City, and Dickinson, because I knew that some Liberal organization probably would think that it was a good place to send Syrian refugees.  Can you imagine what a disaster it would be?  The hostile, hateful, mean, scowling Catholics having to cohabitate with thousands of hostile, hateful, stubborn, militant Muslims that have no intention of assimilating?

Too late!  Somebody else thought of it!  It is going to happen!  A few weeks ago when I was half-way paying attention, I heard that Lutheran Social Services in Minnesota was trying to bring in thousands of Syrian refugees.  Tonight, I was looking at the internet website Indeed.com, and I saw a job advertisement for “Relocation Consultant” in Watford City.  At first, the job advertisement tries to say that the “Relocation Consultant” will be helping corporate employees relocate to Watford City.  But when the job advertisement started talking about having to drive the “corporate employee” around in your car and help them get an apartment, open a bank account, and get a social security card, I knew that they are talking about refugees.  Any non-developmentally disabled working adult in the United States can obtain an apartment, open a bank account, and they sure as hell already have a social security card.

Growth In Florida, Texas, Arizona, And Exodus In Western North Dakota

I grew up in Florida, and lived there until I was 32.  My first memories of towns like my small hometown, Orlando, and Tampa, before I was eight years old, by the time I graduated from high school, all these towns had doubled in population.  By the time that I left Florida when I was 32, the populations of these towns had doubled again.

Florida was not a perfect place.  It was hot and often nearly 100% humidity.  The mosquitos were very bad.  Traffic became very bad.  People’s income was lower than income in northeastern states.  But people kept moving there.  It was possible for people of all education levels, skill sets, and background to find employment and housing.  The continual migration of people to Florida made the economy grow:  new schools, new hospitals, new roads, new housing developments, new shopping malls.  Development kept pushing out into the farm land and the swamps.

Everything that I just wrote above about Florida, happened in Texas and Arizona.  Life was not perfect in Texas and Arizona, it was hot, sometimes 118 degrees Fahrenheit during the day for weeks at a time.  There was a lot of dry desert.  But people kept moving to Texas and Arizona.  People of all education levels, skill sets, and background could find employment and housing.  The continual migration of people into Texas and Arizona made their economies grow: new schools, new hospitals, new businesses, new roads, new shopping malls, new housing developments.  The development just kept pushing out into the desert.

About 100,000 workers moved to North Dakota during this past oil boom. To Williston, Minot, Watford City, Killdeer, and Dickinson.  Life was not perfect in North Dakota, it got very cold, and there was not a lot of things to do.  But 80% to 90% of these workers didn’t plan on staying in North Dakota because the price of housing was just too high.  The price of housing increased by 400% within about three years of the beginning of the oil boom.  The workers could barely afford the cost of housing working at a high paying oil field job and working a lot of overtime.  How could they afford to stay in North Dakota with an oil field slow down?  They couldn’t.

You can drive around Dickinson and Watford City and look at the newly completed apartment communities.  Many of these new apartment communities are at 40% occupancy, even at recently greatly reduced rents.  Most of the oil field workers left North Dakota.

Florida, Texas, and Arizona could have killed their growth too if they would have raised housing prices 400%.  All of the retail merchants in western North Dakota: tire stores, hardware stores, lumber yards, clothing stores, grocery stores, furniture stores, appliance stores, car dealers, motorcycle dealers, and all of the service businesses: barbers, beauticians, mechanics, insurance agents, attorneys, chiropractors, printers, and all of the restaurants have the realtors, property managers, property investors, and property developers to blame for gouging the workers so bad that 80% to 90% of them left North Dakota, they couldn’t afford to stay here.

The enormous greed of the realtors, property managers, property investors, and property developers was like “Killing The Goose That Laid The Golden Eggs.”  The goose laid one golden egg per day, but the owner of the goose was so greedy, he cut the goose open to try to get all the gold right away, but this killed the goose, and there were no more golden eggs.

The Rumor, “Everyone Was Making $100,000 Per Year In North Dakota”

In 2011, 2012, and 2013, I read newspaper articles, magazine articles, heard it on the radio, and heard it on television news, that workers from all over the United States were moving to North Dakota and were making  $100,000 per year.  Getting rich.  Making so much money, that they didn’t know what to do with it.

I have lived in western North Dakota for a little over four years now, met many local people and workers from out of state.  I have only ever met three people who came close to making $100,000 per year in the oil field.  One of them was a drill rig boss, one was a wireline operator, and one of them was a Union electrician.

The wireline operator told me, that a few months, with both working a tremendous amount of  overtime hours and bonus pay, he made $15,000 in a month.  But in several years of working as a wireline operator, he made $70,000 to $80,000 per year.

About one person in a thousand who came to North Dakota could be a wireline operator.  You had to have a commercial drivers license to drive a very large tractor truck that contained about $150,000 in special equipment.  You had to be the farthest thing from an idiot or dumb ass, in order to be able to operate and understand the equipment.  You had to be able to stay in one spot and work for maybe 24 hours straight or more, being filthy dirty, tired, and cold.  And when you were filthy, tired, and cold, you had to load, rig, and detonate explosives.  Most people are not capable of doing this job.

The Union electrician that I knew, he and his co-workers would sometimes work seven days a week, ten hours a day, for months at a time.  At $40 per hour, that’s $3,400 per week, about $14,000 per month.  After working about four months like this, a project would be over.  Not all projects were like this.  Some projects were fewer hours per week, and only a month or two in duration.  Neither my friend or his co-workers were willing or able to work ten hours per day, every day of the year.  The best year that my Union electrician friend had was $90,000.

About one worker in a thousand who came to North Dakota was a Union journeyman electrician.  About one worker in a thousand who came to North Dakota could be a wireline operator.  These two highest paid oil field workers that I ever met, almost made $100,000 per year.  So why was there this popular widespread rumor going around the world that all of the people who came to work in North Dakota were making $100,000 per year?

One reason why there was this rumor, was because the reporters and journalists from Los Angeles and New York would get sent to Williston for three days to do a story about the oil boom, they would go to a bar and start talking to everyone, ask people how much money they were making, ask them to prove it.  There were many people that could show a one week pay check for over $2,000, including me. Many people worked seven, twelve hour days in a row, I did.  But I didn’t do this every week.  Most people aren’t going to be boasting in a bar in Williston about making $600 a week, and run and get their pay check to show a reporter.  The reporters who got sent to Williston from the west coast and the east coast for three days to cover the oil boom here, seldom if ever saw how things really were in western North Dakota.

I could write several pages about all of the truck drivers that I met in western North Dakota that were broke because they had not been paid for the work that they had done.  (I will write about it in a future post.)  I could write several more pages about all of the people that I met in western North Dakota that were broke and living in their cars.  Why was there this rumor going around the United States that all of the workers who came to North Dakota were making $100,000 per year?

Here is what I think about the reporters and journalists who came to North Dakota.  They might not have wanted to be in North Dakota at all, and would have preferred to have been back home in Los Angeles or New York where they were comfortable, and it is civilized.  After getting off one of the fifty passenger jets that land in Dickinson and Williston, they were probably ready to do some reporting at the nearest bar.  In a bar, a new school, a new prison, you don’t trust the people that run up to you and start talking to you.  But the people who came up to the reporters and started giving them the story about how things were, were the people the reporters got their information from, (though these people that came up to the reporters running their mouth might have arrived in Williston a week before.)

The next day, it was probably a big relief for the reporters and journalists to find that the Chamber of Commerce was so willing to give them all kinds of information about the oil boom, and was so considerate to hook the reporter up with a local real estate developer who very graciously drove them around in his Chevy Suburban.  Can you imagine how difficult it would have been for a reporter or journalist to rent a car, drive around in the snow in an unfamiliar area, and possibly make a wrong turn into one of those truck stops or Walt-Mart with all of those wretched looking people?  Who were those wretched looking people?  They looked like they were living in their cars or something.  It was a lot easier to be driven around by some business person in their Suburban and be taken to meet their business associates who worked in real estate and development, who provided them with more than enough information to write their story over lunch at a nice restaurant.

It was in the interest of the real estate agents, property investors, real estate developers, and business owners, to get the story out, that everyone who came to work in North Dakota was making $100,000 per year.  There was already a shortage of housing, more people relocating here would mean being able to raise housing prices and rents even more.  An over abundance and surplus of workers would mean that the wage rates would go down, and business owners would make more money if they could pay lower wages.  Newspapers, magazines, radio, and television helped lure and trick people into relocating to North Dakota by spreading rumors that weren’t true.

Maggie McNeil, The Honest Courtesan, Part II

In my previous blog post I wrote about the website “Maggie McNeil, The Honest Courtesan, frank commentary from an unretired call girl”.

Maggie McNeil is not her real name, it is a pseudonym that she chose for herself to protect her identity.  Maggie McNeil received her B.A. in English, and her M.S. in Library Science.  She became married after graduating and began working as a librarian.  When she became divorced after four years of marriage, she began working as a stripper in New Orleans to pay off debt that she was left with.  While working as a stripper, she found out that she could make more money as a prostitute, so she became a prostitute.

Maggie McNeil writes about all aspects of her life, but mostly she writes as an advocate for women’s rights, especially the right for women to earn their living by having sex for money, without being persecuted and treated like a criminal.

Maggie McNeil came from a stable family, was mentally and physically healthy, completed her education, and was not destitute.  She chose to become a prostitute, she was not forced into it.  She writes that she enjoys having sex and she likes being a prostitute.  She has always been able to manage her own affairs, she has always been in control of her life.  She was never under anyone else’s control, and she was not victimized.

Maggie McNeil writes that there are many women throughout the world that are just like her.  There are many women throughout the world that are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves, and they to chose to have sex for money as a profession.  Maggie McNeil has written more than a thousand blog posts on the subject of people working as prostitutes.  She reads research, studies, and news articles from around the world related to prostitution daily, and she posts links, summaries, and commentary.

I am writing about Maggie McNeil on my blog website, because I would like for people in North Dakota to consider some things in a rational, logical way.  When you have 20,000 male oil field workers move to Williston, North Dakota, there are not enough local women for the oil field workers to court, become engaged, and become married like you Catholics would like.  The ratio of men to women was probably 10:1.

Throughout the history of the world, in most parts of the world, there has been the situation where there were great numbers of men, and very few women.  Wars in remote locations, mining and lumber operations in remote locations, settling of frontiers and far away countries, gold rushes, oil booms.  There has been prostitution everywhere that there has been great numbers of men and few women.

Readers probably have images in their heads of dirty, filthy, diseased women working as prostitutes near battle fronts and mining towns.  The truth is, if these women working as prostitutes didn’t have access to clean lodgings, bathing facilities, and medical care, they might be dirty and diseased.  The best thing for women working as prostitutes and the men using these prostitutes, would be that these women have a clean, safe, regulated environment to work in.

What the North Dakotans should have done, was acknowledge and understand that there were going to be way more men than women due to the oil boom.  There was going to be prostitution.  When prostitution is illegal, and law enforcement and the judicial system seek to find and arrest all prostitutes, prostitution is conducted as a criminal enterprise, by criminals.  No normal woman is going to want to come to North Dakota to work as a prostitute when law enforcement is determined to arrest all prostitutes.  So instead what you get in North Dakota is, gangs, pimps, and criminals in other states get girls and women addicted to drugs, keep them high on drugs, beat them, threaten them, and drive them to North Dakota and force them to work as prostitutes.  These women are so drug addicted, so high on drugs, so coerced, that they have no control over how many men they have sex with, take no health precautions for their own safety, and take no health precautions against spreading disease to men.

If North Dakota would have allowed prostitution to be conducted as a legal business, there could have been normal, healthy, safety conscious women working in safe, clean places of business, with good access to health care, and some regulation.  Instead with North Dakotans vilifying and criminalizing prostitution, you have gangs and pimps drugging girls and women, holding them against their will, and forcing them to have sex with as many men as possible with no regard for their own health, for their customer’s health, or for spreading diseases.

Maggie McNeil, The Honest Courtesan, Part I

“Maggie McNeil, The Honest Courtesan, frank commentary from an unretired call girl”.

Maggie McNeil is probably the best writer that I have ever read.  Maggie McNeil is not her real name.  She grew up in New Orleans, and went to Catholic school.  In 1987 she graduated from the University of New Orleans with a Bachelor of Arts in English.  In 1993 she graduated from Louisiana State University with a Masters in Library Science.

After graduating, she got married to her boyfriend that she met in college, and began working as a librarian.  After about four years of marriage, her marriage did not work out, she got a divorce, and her husband left her with a large amount of debt.  In 1997 she began working as a stripper in New Orleans in order to be able to pay down her debt.  She found out that she could make even more money as a prostitute, so that is what she did.

In about 2006, she married her favorite client, and retired from being a stripper and a prostitute.  She began writing about her life and about prostitution on her website “Maggie McNeil, The Honest Courtesan”.

In 2011 when I first came to Dickinson, North Dakota to work, there was a shortage of women, and lack of attractive women.  For the first time in my life, in my early 40s, I began looking at internet dating sites.  Though I began looking at five different internet dating sites each day, there were still very few attractive women in Dickinson.  Older workers told me to go to the website “Backpage”, and look under “Escorts”.  There were some attractive women advertising in the “Escort” section of “Backpage”, and at $250 per hour, that is way less money, less time, and less effort than trying to have a girlfriend.

However, the police in Dickinson, Williston, and Bismarck were creating fake “Escort” profiles on “Backpage”, and they were arresting the men when they went to their appointment with the “Escort” they contacted.  I was angry, and I still am angry, that everyone in Dickinson and Williston knew that there were way more men than women, the ratio was probably 3:1 in Dickinson and 10:1 in Williston.  Everyone knew that all of the housewives, waitresses, and store clerks were tired of being propositioned ten times a day by truck drivers, construction workers, and oil field workers.  I blame those God damn ignorant scheming Catholics in western North Dakota for not allowing and interfering with men trying to have relations with women in a way that did not harass the housewives, waitresses, and store clerks.

In trying to look for women on the internet, and reading about prostitution on the internet, I found the website “Maggie McNeil, The Honest Courtesan”.  I was impressed with Maggie McNeil’s writing.  She was very logical, organized, and coherent in her writing, it was very professional.  Actually, it was beyond professional, she was a very good and talented writer.

I wrote Maggie McNeil a fairly long e-mail complimenting her writing, explaining my thoughts, and asking her some questions.  She e-mailed me back saying that I should read Ayn Rand if I didn’t think women could be logical.

I have read about one hundred of Maggie McNeil’s blog posts, though she has written more than a thousand.  Some posts tell about her childhood, some are about her education, some about her marriage, being a librarian, a stripper, a prostitute, a writer, and about legalizing prostitution.  Most of her writing is about legalizing prostitution and decriminalizing prostitution.

The reason that I am writing about Maggie McNeil, is that I want other people to read her blog posts, especially women, especially women in North Dakota.  Sometimes she explains very thoroughly that she likes having sex, she always has, even from when she was a teenager, that she sees nothing wrong with it, and is unashamed about it.  I hope that her writing and explaining will help many readers in North Dakota realize that sex is completely normal, it’s not like some terrifying animal escaping from the zoo, which is how North Dakotans look at sex and nudity.

Also, I would like for women, community leaders, elected representatives, Senator Heidi Heitkamp, judicial officers, and law enforcement to read Maggie McNeil’s blog website in order to understand more than they do now about why some women want to get paid to have sex.  Maggie McNeil is very intelligent and well educated.  She realized when she was in financial debt, that she could make more money as a stripper, than at her job as a librarian.  Then, she realized that she could make more money as a prostitute, and that she liked being a prostitute.  This is what she wanted to do as a profession.  She is not a drug addict or a criminal.  There are many other women like her, that want to be paid to have sex, because they can make more money this way, and like it better than other employment options.

I will write more about this in my next blog post Maggie McNeil, The Honest Courtesan, Part II.

North Dakota White Trash Hall Of Fame, Williston, North Dakota, Part I

Just like The North Dakota Cowboy Hall Of Fame located in Medora, North Dakota, the North Dakota White Trash Hall Of Fame should be located in Williston, North Dakota.  Williston was probably the number one destination for White Trash, and  Williston is trying to attract people, businesses, and development now, so Williston is the perfect place for the North Dakota White Trash Hall Of Fame.

Just like The North Dakota Cowboy Hall Of Fame in Medora, North Dakota, on the ground floor, there should be the museum, exhibits, displays, and movie theater, and on the second floor there should be the photographs and placards listing all of the merits of the individual inductees.

On the ground floor of The North Dakota White Trash Hall Of Fame, one of the exhibits could be a beat up Kia compact car with a Florida license plate, showing how the White Trash typically got up here to North Dakota.  One of the windows would be broken with plastic and duct tape over the opening, the tires would be mis-matched, half of the hub caps would be missing, in the back seat there would be clothes and belongings packed in plastic grocery bags and plastic garbage bags, and in the front seat would be several half-completed employment applications for local businesses written with mis-spellings, incorrect grammer, and things that don’t make sense.

Some of the displays would have to be all the newspaper and magazine headlines telling people all over the United States, that everyone who comes to North Dakota, makes $100,000 a year, with no job skills, experience, or education.  Then in the vicinity of these headlines about how everyone was getting rich in North Dakota, you could have photographs of the beat up shitty cars with out of state license plates, with all their belongings in plastic bags in the back seat, parked in the Wal-Mart where they were trying to sleep in their cars, parked near tents in camp grounds or people’s back yards, parked in vast expansive trailer parks.

Some of the displays would be the Police Blotter sections of the newspapers in Williston, Watford City, Minot, and Dickinson.  One of the displays would be clothing that the White Trash wore, pajama pants, hoodies, etc.

In my next blog post, I will give an explanation of the point system that would be used to determine if an individual qualifies for induction into the North Dakota White Trash Hall Of Fame.

Very Good Article In Dickinson Press Newspaper About Williston, North Dakota

In the Dickinson Press newspaper on Thursday morning, May 19, there was a very good article about Williston titled, “In North Dakota’s Oil Patch, a humbling comedown.”  The article was written by Ernest Scheyder with Reuters news service.  What I liked about the article so much, was that it was honest, truthful, very thorough, and had many, many specific examples to back up what was stated.  On the internet, you can go to the Dickinson Press website, and read the entire article.

I also want to thank the editor of the Dickinson Press, Dustin Monke, for including this lengthy article, which took up half the front page, and then another half page in the newspaper.  I am very glad to see that Dustin Monke is going to run a newspaper where the truth gets told, and he is not going to succumb to the pressure from business people, real estate agents, property investors, and property managers to print stories that incorrectly state current conditions here in North Dakota.

I have noticed that it is not just out of state people that fall victim to misinformation about what is happening in North Dakota.  Whether it’s local or national television news, local or national newspapers, a journalist interviews some state official who says, “Things are looking good”, and then many people in Dickinson actually believe that the economy is good.  I don’t know what you can do to try to explain to these people what the truth is, other than asking them to read an article like, “In North Dakota’s Oil Patch, a humbling comedown.”

The writer of this article described at least four workers that he interviewed in Williston.  He learned where they had come from, what the oil boom was like for them, and what their situation is now.  There was a stripper, a retail worker, an oil field contractor, and an oil rig worker.  All of them were making very little money now.

At least four different business owners were interviewed.  A bar owner, a pub/brewery owner, a mail/shipping store owner, a safety training company owner.  They all described what their business was like.

The closure of many businesses was discussed.  The vacancy in retail space, industrial buildings, hotels, and apartments was discussed.  The current population, and the number of students enrolled in schools as compared to what it had been.

I don’t really want to continue writing an overview, because you really should read the article yourself.  The value of the article is in the details, and I can’t give you all the details in an overview.  If you really want to know and understand what is going on in North Dakota right now, you should read this newspaper article.