Monday, April 04, 2011

The North Dakota Way is not the Chicago Way

Ever since Chuck Schumer commenced his campaign to taint the Tea Party as extremist, I have been attempting to conjure up an image of a government run by like minded 'extremists'.  North Dakota might be a good place to start.  Every major statewide elected office is run by a Republican.  Also, Republicans control the state Senate 35-12 and the state House 69-25.  In other words, there aren't too many politicians like Chuck Schumer running the show.  What are the results of such an extreme Republican government?  Here is a great summary from Carla Fried, posted at Yahoo Finance:

Lowest unemployment rate among the 50 states. North Dakota's 3.8 percent unemployment rate is less than half the national rate.• Statewide GDP growth of 3.9 percent ranked third in the nation in 2009 behind Oklahoma and Wyoming (2010's figures are not yet available.)
Best job growth last year. A Gallup survey reported that North Dakota businesses had the best ratio of hiring to firing among the 50 states.
Stable housing market. Across the nation, nearly 1 in 4 homeowners with a mortgage are underwater. In North Dakota, just 1 in 14 have negative equity, the fourth lowest negative-equity ratio among all the states. The state also has the third-lowest home foreclosure rate. Affordable homes are a big part of the story here; let's just say you don't need to overstretch to own. According to Zillow, the median home price in North Dakota is below $150,000. That's less than three times the state's median household income. By comparison, even after sharp post-bubble price declines, the median priced home in California is still about five times median household income.
Low violent crime rate. The incidence of violent crime per 100,000 residents in North Dakota in 2008 (latest available data) was the fourth lowest in the country and nearly 60 percent lower than the national average.
Lowest credit card default rate. According to TransUnion, North Dakotans seem to have a handle on spending within their means.
Add that all up and you have the makings for a pretty contended bunch. In fact, Gallup recently concluded that North Dakota is the third happiest state in the U.S., trailing only Hawaii and Wyoming.

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