Defending North Dakota

I just read an article on Yahoo titled “North Dakota has funds to fight over abortion.”

Basically it’s about how both houses passed very restrictive abortion laws, and they’re anticipated to be signed by our governor. The article also mentioned other “problems” our state is having. Not only did the article rankle me, but so did the comments.

As a NoDakian, I couldn’t let those comments pass.  I don’t normally get into politics in this blog, because that’s not the point of it. I had to make an exception in this case because I honestly liked my response and didn’t want to lose it. Yes, admittedly I am bragging a little.

First, read the article (North Dakota Abortion Fight), then read my response.

I live in ND, so I will address some of the misconceptions both in the article and some of the comments here:

1. Crime rate. Is it up? Yes, but that’s par for the course when population goes up. It’s still far lower than most other states. Heck, I still don’t have to lock my doors at night if I don’t want to.

2. Housing shortage. Again, yes, but we can only build so fast due to the sudden influx of people moving here. I say by the end of this construction season — certainly by the end of 2014 — we will be mostly caught up. We’re also taking a conservative approach to building. ND had a similar boom in the 80s, but the bottom fell out of the market. It wasn’t long before many of those new homes and businesses sat empty and some towns nearly went bankrupt. We don’t want to endure that again, especially considering we have so many in Washington that hate any kind of oil/energy independence unless it’s “green.”

3. Infrastructure. This ties to — again — to the sudden rise in population. This oil boom was a surprise to everyone. We can only build and maintain our roads so quickly to meet the sudden increase in demands on them. Overall our roads and other infrastructure are still in good shape. And we have the funds available to take care of all of that and more. It’s not one or the other. We just need the time to catch up.

4. Construction costs. This is basic economics: Supply and demand. When supply is up, costs drop and when demand is up making supply drop, costs go up. In general there is NO PRICE GOUGING! I work in the construction industry, so I know.

5. Forcing “personal beliefs.” We voted those people in, and they are representing us well. If not, we can always vote them out and get those laws repealed. Unlike some politicians, they listen to their constituents. And if you don’t live in ND why the hell should you care if we want to make getting abortions difficult. People determined to do so only have a 4-hour drive to get it done.

6. Schools. Our schools are top-notch, both public and private. Granted there are some complaints that teachers don’t get paid enough, and we’re working on bills to set the minimum salary to 1-1/2 times what it is now. We have the funds to cover that as well. Also, in my community alone, we’ve voted to raise our mill-levy (property taxes) twice in the last four years to build both a new elementary and middle school. Don’t tell us we don’t care about our children — especially by basing it on one Yahoo article.

In short, if you don’t live here, what we do is none of your concern (unless you see that we’re doing many things right and want to emulate). Stick to trying to solve problems in your own states and communities, and we will do the same.


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