Tag Archives: would you move to Dickinson North Dakota

Dickinson, North Dakota Could Have Had Permanent Growth If….

In this blog post, I am going to try to explain one of the mistakes that has been made in Dickinson that has prevented permanent growth.  No, I am not going to write about local people in Dickinson being unfriendly, uncooperative, not helpful, and hostile for the 100th time, I am going to write about something that I have not covered yet.

I will illustrate what I am trying to explain using a real life example of a woman named “Trudy” who moved to Dickinson with her husband approximately two years ago.  Trudy and her husband are in their late forties, and they moved to Dickinson because of her husband’s job.  They had moved to different towns more than several times during their marriage because of her husband’s job.

Initially, when they moved to Dickinson two years ago, they rented an apartment.  They wanted to look for and try to find the right house for them.  With the sale of their previous home and their financial situation, they could have afforded to buy the most expensive home listed for sale in Dickinson if they wanted to.  But they were really only looking for a nice looking, comfortable, modest home that was the right size for them.

Trudy and her husband did not like paying the very high apartment rent that was the result of the oil boom that began in 2007 in western North Dakota.  The rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Dickinson was typically $2,000 to $3,000 per month.  Most people recognized that if you are going to pay $24,000 to $36,000 per year in rent, you would be much better off financially by using that amount of money to purchase a home.

Trudy liked Dickinson, and she liked the people in Dickinson.  She was looking forward to buying a house and making a home here with her husband.  She was looking forward to getting out of their apartment, this was only supposed to be a temporary arrangement.

Trudy looked, and looked for a house in Dickinson.  She looked at every on-line listing, she looked at all the printed real estate guides, she went to real estate offices, she drove around Dickinson looking at homes “For Sale By Owner” and to look for any house for sale that she wasn’t already aware of.

Trudy looked for a house in Dickinson for 1-1/2 years.  Though from time to time she found a house that would have been O.K. for her and her husband, everything was overpriced.  It was as if the home owners and the real estate agents did not think that anyone else was aware that the oil boom was over, and that the oil field was not going to pick up any time soon, and possibly not for a long time.  It also appeared that the home owners and the real estate agents believed that there were people “with a lot of money”, that would just go ahead and buy a house for $250,000 to $450,000 without even thinking about it.

Most people that are capable of purchasing a home for $250,000 to $450,000 are financially shrewd people, who are not in the habit of losing money.  These people don’t willingly over-pay for anything.  But in Dickinson, there seemed to be this wide-spread belief that there were vast numbers of home buyers that didn’t know how much homes were worth, and that the thought never entered their mind, “What could I expect to re-sell this home for in the future?”

Dickinson began to lose its charm for Trudy and her husband.  The people didn’t turn out to be that friendly or very helpful after all.  They could not find a reasonably priced home, and living in their apartment was unpleasant.  There was not a lot to do in Dickinson.  Eventually, both Trudy and her husband agreed that they would be happier and better off if they just moved to a different state.

I used this story up above to illustrate that both the excessive gouging on housing during the oil boom, and the current and continuing over-pricing on houses, has made about 90% of the people who came to Dickinson in the past ten years make up their minds that they would never stay in Dickinson.  I am not saying that 10% of the people decided to stay, I am saying that 90% of the people made up their minds that they would never stay.

Of the 10% of the people who came to Dickinson in the past ten years who didn’t make up their minds that they would never stay, many or most of this 10% had to leave anyway because they lost their job, or they could not find a reasonably priced house.  Trudy and her husband would be in this 10%.

In other words, Dickinson drives almost everyone who comes here away.  The population of Dickinson is going to continue to decrease every year, for years to come.

Businesses Closing In Dickinson, North Dakota

I want for everyone, local people, people from out of state, and people who are considering moving to Dickinson, North Dakota, to know what is going on here.  The oil boom is over in North Dakota, it was over by the end of 2014.  Since then, everything has become less busy with each passing month in Dickinson, North Dakota.

During the morning work rush hours in Dickinson, 6:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., traffic is not heavy.  From 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., traffic is very light.  After 8:00 p.m. in Dickinson, the streets are almost empty.  After 8:00 p.m., there are only three to six people in each of the downtown bars on a week night.  After 8:00 p.m., it is the same thing in each of the grocery stores, only about three to six customers.

Outside of town in the industrial areas, there are many commercial buildings and warehouses that have become vacant.  In town, there are many commercial and retail spaces that have become vacant.

The Sears store has sold most of its inventory, there is hardly anything left in the store, and they are permanently closing in just a few days.  The Family Fare grocery store on highway 22 is closing in just a few days, much of their inventory is already gone.

In downtown Dickinson, there are two family owned businesses that were very rude to me, and several other people that I have spoken to.  I spent about $500 at one business, and about $1,000 at the other business, yet the owners were shitty with me when I came to their stores to buy more equipment.  I enjoy driving by their stores now at various times throughout the day, and I see that they have zero customers.

I am not going to list every tenant from every retail, commercial, and industrial building in Dickinson that has left, because it would take too long and it would be difficult to include every one.  In general, in buildings where there are five or more tenants, it has gone from one vacancy, to two, then three, and so on as the months have passed in Dickinson.  What I want for people to understand, is that more and more business will continue to close in Dickinson.

I have had a couple of discussions recently with two men who are my age, late forties, who have lived and worked all over the United States, who came to Dickinson right when the oil boom began in 2007.  They lived and worked through the housing shortage, and the worker shortage in Dickinson.  One of these men is an electrician who has had his hours reduced more and more, as other workers are let go.  One of these men is a roustabout foreman who has had his wage rate reduced by $7 per hour, as other workers are let go.  Both of these men admit to there being a scarcity of jobs right now, and every indication that things will get much worse in employment.

All three of us, do not like it when uninformed people in the area say things like, “Things are starting to pick up again.”, “The drill rig count is up.”, “Its starting to turn around now.”, and “People are going back to work now.”  These statements are absolutely not true, although the drill rig count may go up from time to time.  It is not helping anyone to give them false information, it is actually harming many people.

There are many people who have reduced work, have lost their jobs, or have been unable to get a job, who should do everything they can to plan on leaving North Dakota.  They need to look into what things are like in Minneapolis, Denver, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, what kind of job can they get there, where can they live, and how are they going to get there.

It is about to get cold again in North Dakota, and there will be a winter work slow down.  It is wrong, and it is harmful to mislead people who have lost their job or who have not been able to get a job, into believing that if they wait here, the oil field is getting ready to pick up again, it’s not.

It would actually be better for everyone in Dickinson to know and to say, “The oil field is not going to pick up any time soon.  More people will probably lose their jobs.  It’s time for people to start thinking about where else they could live, and where else they might go to earn a living.  It is not going to be good to encourage people to stay in Dickinson, there will end up being many unemployed people in Dickinson if some of these people don’t try to go someplace else.”

Downtown Dickinson Preservation And Revitalization

In my previous blog post titled “Downtown Dickinson Association Seeking Executive Director” where I offered some proposals for downtown Dickinson, some of my ideas were better than others.  I should not be a nuisance to the Downtown Dickinson Association.  I should be helpful and supportive because what they are doing will make Dickinson a better place to live.

If you didn’t think very much about it, and jumped to conclusions, you might think that the Downtown Dickinson Association seeks to gain attention for downtown Dickinson in order to bring customers to businesses and tenants to the property owners.  Yes, it does do that, this is part of the plan.  A healthy and attractive downtown benefits all of Dickinson in many ways, not just the downtown business owners and property owners.

In most cities and towns that have grown, shopping centers and shopping malls were built beyond the old sections of town.  With one massive multi-acre parking lot, people would park their car, enter the shopping center or mall, and walk from store to store.  Later, without people really noticing, Wal-Mart and Target began to replace the shopping centers and the malls, because people could buy everything very cheaply inside just one store.

The shopping centers, shopping malls, and Wal-Mart are very formatted and controlled according to what corporations want.  There are no shade tress, benches, or tables outside, because they do not want their parking lots to be comfortable, attractive, and appealing.  They want there to be nothing in their parking lots to distract, delay, entertain, or amuse their customers, such as a shady spot or comfortable spot where customers going in, might meet and talk to their friends coming out.

Inside the shopping centers, malls, and Wal-Mart, there are aisles and lanes for shoppers, that are not really conducive to stopping, standing still, or sitting.  There are designated food courts, that are minimal, and not very comfortable.  The shopping environment is very controlled with bright lighting, generic music, neutral decor, standardized layout, uniformed employees, and store rules.

Shopping centers, malls, and Wal-Mart have their purpose, which is to get in, buy as much as you can, and get out, quickly.  I don’t enjoy going to shopping malls or Wal-Mart, because they have the barren no-mans land parking lots, and inside they are somewhat bland, generic, dull, uninteresting, crowded, and full of stressed out people who are in a hurry.

As cities and towns grow and expand, there are more and more chain or franchise restaurants that are owned by corporations, shopping centers that are owned by corporations, and apartment communities that are owned by corporations.  All these corporation owned restaurants, shopping centers, and apartment communities look the same, and are built the same.  To minimize costs, for ease of construction, for ease of maintenance, standardized accounting and management, lease-ability and re-sale ability, everything is built the same.

A relief from the monotony and drudgery of everything looking the same and being the same, the barren parking lots of the shopping centers and Wal-Mart, are the old downtown historic areas.  Where every house and yard is different from the one next to it in a thousand different ways, every building is different, and every city block is different.  A variety of different businesses, professionals, and services.  Wealthy homes, middle class homes, lower middle class homes, all mixed together.  Old people, middle aged people, families, and children all mixed together.

In downtown Dickinson, the residential neighborhoods surround the schools, churches, municipal buildings, and gradually give way to the businesses in the center of town.  Traffic is not bad downtown, and it is very pleasant to walk or bicycle in the old historic section of town.  It is an oasis of green with many kinds of large tall trees, hedges, shrubs, flowers, and lawns.  Home to many birds, squirrels, and cats.

In the afternoon the downtown bars and restaurants open.  Most of them have seating and tables outside on the broad sidewalks.  There are many attractive women who work downtown, you can go and look at them, and leave them money.

In the Spring, Summer, and Fall there are outdoor events and concerts in downtown Dickinson.  There are a few locations that have enough space inside to host events and live music in the Winter.

Downtown Dickinson is the most social area of Dickinson due to the blending of residential, municipal, business, bars, restaurants, events, and concerts.  All kinds of people, every type of person comes downtown.  It is the Downtown Dickinson Association that is not just promoting the businesses and the property downtown, but it is also preserving the character and social aspect of downtown Dickinson.

82,000 Views And 54,000 Visitors

I feel a sense of accomplishment with my blog website because of the number of people that I have been able to inform about Dickinson, North Dakota.  When people anywhere in the world perform a Google search for “living in Dickinson”, “moving to Dickinson”, “relocating to Dickinson”, “people in Dickinson”, “guide to Dickinson”, “what is Dickinson like”, “would you move to Dickinson”, “economy in Dickinson”, “women in Dickinson”, “police in Dickinson”, “entertainment in Dickinson”, “chamber of commerce in Dickinson”, “Catholic Church in Dickinson”, “corruption in Dickinson”, my blog website comes up near the top of the first page of search results.

I get to tell everyone in the world what Dickinson, North Dakota is like, what went on here, and what is happening now.  I have such a sense of purpose, direction, and conviction in doing this.  I feel that there is so much I have to repay Dickinson for, almost every step that I have ever taken in Dickinson, I have been mistreated or cheated, like nowhere else I have ever been.

The people in Dickinson are hostile, hateful, unfriendly, uncooperative, angry, greedy, mean, and treacherous.  I have written before that if someone wanted to know what living in Dickinson, North Dakota is like, they should watch the movies “Deliverance”, “The Grapes Of Wrath”, and “Planet Of The Apes”.  Though these three movies have cruelty in them, they don’t have nearly the level of hate.

I have held back for two years from saying this, but what I have felt truly describes the level of hate that these German Catholics here have for people, is what I have seen in watching documentaries on Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and Dachau concentration camps.  First, there is this unshakeable belief here in Dickinson in each individual that they are better than other human beings.  Second, the individuals in Dickinson proceed to act on this belief by treating others with hatred, hostility, unfairness, usury, and treachery.  Third, the individuals in Dickinson will deny to the end that they have done anything wrong.  Fourth, they have no remorse or shame in what they have done.

I can’t apply for a job, work at a job, open a bank account, purchase equipment, get a tire repaired, shop at a grocery store, ride my bicycle, without experiencing hatred, hostility, anger, unfriendliness, and treachery from local people.  Living in Dickinson is like being in prison, you learn to expect the worst things from people, and this is what you deal with every day.


Will I Ever Be Done Criticizing Dickinson, North Dakota?

Will I ever be done criticizing Dickinson, North Dakota?  Yes, I see an end to this.  I think that I see how everything is going to unfold, play out, and finish up in Dickinson.  I never could have planned and orchestrated life making such a complete, perfect, and just full circle.

I had a home and everything that I ever wanted in Idaho.  But the economy in Idaho kept getting worse and worse.  If I didn’t do something, I would go broke, and lose everything that I had.  I heard about the oil boom in North Dakota, so that is where I went in May of 2011.

I had never been to North Dakota, and I didn’t know anyone in North Dakota.  When I got to North Dakota, I slept in my vehicle.  There was no affordable place to stay.  Even though I had a degree in engineering and had worked in many types of construction as an engineer, estimator, inspector, superintendent, and project manager, the North Dakota employers treated me as if I didn’t know anything, though they relied on me to do work at a much higher level than they treated me.

It has been difficult and unpleasant living in Dickinson.  I have written about it.  The lack of affordable housing, there being nothing to do, the shortage of women, the scarcity of attractive women, the hostility, hatred, unfriendliness, and lack of cooperation from the local people.  But I will be able to quit writing about all of this soon.

There is an economic collapse that is going to happen in Dickinson, that is just now beginning.  Every unkind thing that the people in Dickinson did, is going to come back on them.  What they derided the out of state workers for, they will now experience fully for themselves.

In Dickinson, local people will begin to lose their jobs.  Local people “who didn’t do anything wrong and don’t deserve this” will not be able to pay for their vehicles, their homes, and their necessities.  The local people in Dickinson made fun of and mistreated the out of state workers who came here after losing everything, now the local people will have a chance to experience losing everything themselves.

I won’t have to write about it.  The local people in Dickinson will live every day in uncertainty, with anxiety, fear, and worry.  It will be difficult to pay bills, and then they won’t be able to pay bills at all.  For the able-bodied, it will come to the point where they pack what they can into a vehicle and head for some place like Denver, Oklahoma City, or Salt Lake City, without enough money or barely enough money to make it there.  Not knowing anyone where they are going, with no money, and no place to stay.  When they are sleeping in their cars in the below freezing weather, maybe they will remember how the local people in Dickinson treated the out of state workers who came to Dickinson.

The majority of the absolutely broke local people won’t leave Dickinson because that’s just the way they are, unable and unwilling to change, adapt, or adjust.  They won’t understand and refuse to understand no matter how many times the Sheriff deputy explains that they are being evicted and have to leave their home.  The local people who have been evicted from their homes will be packed shoulder to shoulder in the basements of the Catholic Churches.

One of the final, final pieces of justice for the local Dickinson people who are packed shoulder to shoulder in the basements of the Catholic Churches, with one toilet, will be that the local people in Dickinson refused to build a homeless shelter.  Millions and millions of dollars have been paid to Catholic Church in Dickinson through tithes, offerings, and bequests but no one wanted to build a homeless shelter.  In the end, the homeless people who will suffer the most in wretched filth, stench, and squalor will be the local people.

The People In Dickinson Don’t Know What They Are Going To Experience

Since moving to downtown Dickinson a couple of months ago, I have been able to ride my bicycle more than when I was living outside of town north of Dickinson.  Now, it is easy for me to ride my bicycle to the Post Office, grocery store, hardware store, and restaurants.

While zigzagging my way through the old downtown neighborhoods in Dickinson on my bicycle, I had a chance to pay more attention to the houses than when I was driving.  I was sorry that I hadn’t noticed before how many interesting old houses there are in downtown Dickinson.

I wanted to take photographs of some of the old homes in downtown Dickinson.  I thought that it would be easier and safer for me to do this on a bicycle ride, rather than driving one of my vehicles.  I was aware that it would probably upset a homeowner if they saw someone taking a photograph of their home, and that no amount of explaining would make it O.K. with them.  I tried to think of the best time for me to photograph without upsetting anyone, but there really was no best time.

On this past Sunday afternoon when I went on a bicycle ride in order to take photographs, I found that the inhabitants of the old downtown neighborhoods in Dickinson didn’t even like me riding through their neighborhoods.  They were watching me with suspicion even before I came to a stop and took out my camera.  From the way that they were behaving, I sensed that photographing someone’s home half a block away from them would have caused some of these residents to go berserk.  I had to pass by many nice homes without being able to photograph them.

I tried to look at it from their point of view.  There have been a lot of thefts from garages and vehicles in downtown Dickinson.  The thefts are probably committed by scraggly meth addicts on foot and on bicycles.  I can understand this, I have felt the same way about passersby in the places that I have lived.

There was really nothing that I could say or do to not make these homeowners uncomfortable.  They would have been just as suspicious or even more suspicious if they saw me come to a stop in front of their house in a vehicle, take photographs, and then drive off.  I understand that they are concerned about their house, their possessions, and what is going on.

Later on Sunday, I went on another bike ride for exercise and for something to do.  This time I rode through the blue collar worker, lower middle class neighborhoods just beyond the oldest downtown neighborhoods.  The residents of these blue collar neighborhoods acted suspicious of me too, and as if they didn’t like me riding through their neighborhoods.  It seemed like these blue collar workers were probably just as concerned about their new expensive vehicles, as they were about their homes and other belongings.

In the old downtown neighborhoods, and in the blue collar neighborhoods, I got the impression that the homeowners are proud of what they have, protective of what they have, and fearful of losing any of what they have.  So much so, that even a person riding by on a bicycle is a threat to them.

I believe that these homeowners don’t know what is going to happen in Dickinson.  From my reading and learning about what happened in Dickinson during the oil boom of the 1950s, and the oil boom of the late 1970s, these two previous oil booms each lasted about eight years, and after they were over, there were massive job losses, jobs were scarce, jobs were low wage, housing prices dropped by 60%, and people walked away from their houses because they owed so much more than their houses were worth.

In Dickinson, the retirees and the people who were planning on retiring, to live off a combination of savings, investments, social security, and pensions, these people will be O.K.   The non-retired homeowners with mortgages and expensive vehicle payments, they will not be O.K.  These people will have a difficult time making their monthly payments because they may lose their job, or their wages will become lower and lower.  At the same time they are having difficulty making their monthly payments, they will find that they still owe $140,000 on their house, and it is now worth $100,000.

House payments of $1,100 to $1,600 per month on a house that is worth way less than you owe, truck payments of $900 to $1,100 per month on a truck that is worth less than you owe.  And the best job you can get, if you are lucky, take home pay is $2,500 per month.  I don’t think that the people in Dickinson know what is going to happen.


The Police Are Trying To Encourage People To Leave North Dakota

I first came to North Dakota to work in the oil field in May of 2011.  For the first two years, I primarily worked around Dickinson, North Dakota.  I realized very soon after arriving in Dickinson, that the police were very eager to stop people for DUI.

There is very little to do in Dickinson, North Dakota.  Especially if you are not from Dickinson, don’t have friends, don’t have family, and don’t own a home here.  There is very little to do here, except go to bars and restaurants.  The police drive around and around the downtown areas, waiting to try to get a chance to stop someone.

The police have already driven past the Paragon, the Spur, the Rock, Bernie’s Esquire Club, the Eagles Lodge, and Applebees several times, and noticed what vehicles were parked outside.  When a customer has to drive home on Villard, State, or Main, the police already know where the person just left.

I don’t call this policing, or law enforcement.  Policing and law enforcement would be to deter and detect crime.  This is more like harassment and corruption, starting out with the intention of making an arrest, pulling over as many motorists as possible, and trying to come up with something illegal that you can accuse them of.

Over the past three years, I have written several blog posts about getting stopped by the police in Dickinson, North Dakota, and Watford City, North Dakota.  I try to not ever drink alcohol at bars and restaurants in North Dakota, because I know that the police are very aggressive in stopping people for DUI.  When I have not been drinking alcohol, and have not been speeding, I have gotten stopped by the police more than several times in North Dakota.   The police are hopeful that once they get you pulled over, they will find something that you can be arrested for.

Beginning this spring, the police and Highway Patrol in North Dakota have become much, much more aggressive in trying to stop motorists for anything they can possibly come up with.  I would say, that this behavior of the police and Highway Patrol in Dickinson now amounts to violating people’s Civil Rights, and constitutional rights.

I have been a licensed driver for 30 years.  In my first 15 years of driving, I got two moving violation tickets, and had one accident.  In my second 15 years of driving, I have gotten no moving violation tickets, and had no accidents.  I got stopped by the Montana Highway Patrol in March of this year, and I was given a “failure to wear seat belt” citation.  I got stopped by the North Dakota Highway Patrol last weekend, and I was given a “failure to wear seat belt” citation.  In both of these stops by the Highway Patrol, I was going under the speed limit, and I was towing a trailer.

Let me repeat, and point out again, that prior to being stopped by the Montana Highway Patrol in March of 2017, and by the North Dakota Highway Patrol in June of 2017, I had not had any moving violations or vehicle accidents in the past 15 years.  During the past 15 years, I have driven to Florida, through Utah many times, and I lived in Arizona, Texas, Idaho, and North Dakota.

I am writing this blog post because I have had enough of the police in Dickinson and the Highway Patrol in Dickinson trying to stop me for something.

In the beginning of June, I rented an apartment in downtown Dickinson.  In mid-June I got stopped by the Highway Patrol when I was towing a trailer from the north side of Dickinson across town to where my new apartment is.  The following weekend, I was continuing to make trips to move things to my new apartment.

I was driving west on Villard, driving the speed limit, 25 mph.  My police radar detector started beeping just as I was passing through the stoplight at 3rd Avenue.  I saw the front end of a Dickinson Police vehicle sticking out beside the wall of the Sax Motor Company building.  He was hiding.  There were very few vehicles on Villard, it was approximately 9:00 a.m.  As I passed the police vehicle that was parked, the police vehicle did not pull out onto Villard.

After I had driven three blocks further, I looked in my rear view mirror, to see if the police vehicle had pulled out onto Villard, and it had not.  I did not want to get stopped by the Dickinson Police.  I did not want them following me.

Just before I reached the west end of Villard, just before the very last stop light beside the gas station, I needed to change into the left lane, because the road narrows from two lanes to one lane.  I didn’t plan on using my turn signal to change lanes, I just looked in my rear view mirror and my side mirror to make sure that there were no vehicles beside me.  Whoa!, there’s that Dickinson Police vehicle, he got behind me and he stayed back three blocks behind me, for about a mile, with his radar turned off so that I didn’t know he was there.

Attention Dickinson Police, this is beyond ridiculous, this is going too far.  First, you are hiding behind the wall of the Sax Motor Company building with speed detector radar on, and then you are pulling out behind passing motorists on Villard, and then following them for one mile, hoping to be able to stop them for speeding, changing lanes without signaling, turning without signaling, failure to come to a complete stop, not maintaining lane, expired registration, brake light not working, etcetera.

This is not policing and law enforcement, this is harassment, and interfering with people’s Civil Rights, and constitutional rights to travel freely, and not be required to explain and prove that you are not engaged in any illegal activity.   I don’t know if the Chief of Police in Dickinson has instructed the police officers to stop, question, and ticket every vehicle with an out of state license plate, or if the police officers in Dickinson have decided to do this all on their own.

Whenever I have to drive in Dickinson now, I have to try to find a way to not get stopped by the police.  I have to watch out for where the police are hiding, and watch out for them trying to sneak up behind me.  Figuring out ahead of time, that there is a temporary construction zone ahead, where you have to change lanes and reduce speed, and that this is why the police are trying to follow behind me right here, without me noticing them.

To answer a question, why do I have an Idaho license plate on my truck?  I have two trucks with North Dakota license plates, and two trucks with Idaho license plates.  I own a home in Idaho, which is my primary residence.  I have the full amount of income tax withheld from my pay checks by the State of North Dakota, and, I have to pay Idaho income tax too.  I pay motor vehicle registration, and income tax, equally to both North Dakota, and Idaho.

I purchased two trucks, thousands of dollars in construction equipment, thousands of dollars in personal property, paid thousands of dollars in truck repairs, and paid $25,000 in rent, all in North Dakota.  I wish that the police would leave me the fuck alone, instead of trying to harass me and try to get me to leave North Dakota.

I think that the police are trying to force people from out of state, to leave North Dakota, so that the less able and less qualified North Dakotans will be able to gain employment.  Also, I think that this is part of a strategy to get the people in North Dakota back under control.