North Dakota: Very Small

About a month ago Business Week posted an article titled What's North Dakota Doing Right? After reading and considering the article, I have suggested an alternative headline in this blog title.

Turns out Bismarck only has 60,000 people and homes cost an average of $160,000. It's freaking freezing there and it's got 90% farmland, "making it the most rural state in the nation" according to BW. Well, then. May I suggest that if your entire state has fewer people than Fresno (650k) it is not so tough to manage your budget. The recession never affected ND and its 3.6% unemployment because the economy's boom hardly affected the state beforehand - its GDP of $29.4 billion is roughly equivalent to Turkmenistan.

And now to close with a scene from the West Wing:

Donna: Eliminating the term north from North Dakota is an important state issue and the President feels it should be resolved on a state level. While the President is sympathetic towards the cause and understands the large economics ramifications of this name change, he feels the issue is not yet ripe for national attention. The President wishes you well on your endeavors and thanks you for your support.

Man:Uh, Miss Moss? Are you aware that studies clearly show the word 'north' leaves the impression that this state is cold, snowy and flat, significantly depressing tourism and business startup.

Donna: With due respect, sir, your average temperature is 7 degrees. Your average snowfall: 42 inches, and a name change isn't going to take care of that.

Woman: We enjoy roughly the same climate as South Dakota. We took in 73.7 million in tourism revenue last year. They took in 1.2 billion. They have the word south.

Donna: Also Mount Rushmore.


  1. This is way too big of a front page footprint for a North Dakota post... sorry about that. We should really get the 'after the jump' thing sorted out.

    On the flip side, I am crazy entranced by images of North Dakota. It looks so bleak and wide open. Every time I see a photo of the place my imagination starts racing.

  2. How have we not had more West Wing comments? From now on, whenever I hear anyone mention North Dakota, I automatically think of that scene in West Wing.

    Second, I think of a woman from San Diego who bought a vacation home in North Dakota. For $10,000. She put in on her credit card.

  3. Wow, can you elaborate on that? She just went and bought a $10k house in ND for kicks? When does she actually vacation there?

    And yes the West Wing is great... more quotes!

  4. She had family there, or visited often or something. You ask the wrong questions.

  5. I want elaboration on using a credit card to buy a house - that's just awesome...

    If you start West Winging it up, I might have to boycott...

  6. OR... Mikael or myself will let you borrow the seasons, you will marathon through them and become addicted, just like us.

    PS. Mikael, I want to thank you for lending season 1-4 to me and Jessica. We have since bought them for ourselves, and then bought seasons 5-7. We will return 3 & 4 to you sometime, maybe at the Halloween party. It's not that we're trying to be malicious, we just tend to be forgetful.