Optimism about future gives state optionsThe economic future of North Dakota recently received a remarkably positive review from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It put the state first in the nation for short- and long-term growth, gross state product growth, per capita income growth and the number of jobs in science, technology, engineering and math.
By: The Bismarck Tribune, The Jamestown Sun
The economic future of North Dakota recently received a remarkably positive review from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It put the state first in the nation for short- and long-term growth, gross state product growth, per capita income growth and the number of jobs in science, technology, engineering and math.
Thank goodness we’re not superstitious.
Success like that foreseen for the state by the U.S. Chamber will only come if North Dakota continues its present strategy of maintaining a positive climate for business and industry. That means common-sense regulations, investments in education and infrastructure, development of public-private partnerships and a conservative philosophy of government.
And there are economic trends outside the regional economy that can have a profound impact on the state. The same goes for actions by the federal government. The state cannot control these trends and actions beyond its reach. What it can control is here at home.
Oil must be a part of this bright future. But the state’s strategy goes beyond oil. The state, first under then-Gov. John Hoeven and now under Gov. Jack Dalrymple, has been supportive of coal technologies as well as wind energy and other alternative energy systems. The state has made efforts to capitalize on work by the state’s research universities. North Dakota has become a more aggressive trading partner in global markets.
People should not ever forget that much of the state economic prowess comes from agriculture.
North Dakotans have a pretty good idea that things are going their way. Many people in the state have been a part of a long climb from tougher times. They haven’t forgotten. All it takes is a look at the headlines in other states where unemployment has crushed communities, real estate foreclosures have left neighborhoods abandoned and stagnant economies remain stagnant. This state has good cause to remain focused on the business of diversifying the economy and growing jobs.
There will be challenges along the way. We plainly see them in western North Dakota, where growth related to a rapidly expanding oil industry has put pressure on local infrastructure and services, as well as state inspectors and regulators charged with overseeing the industry. Those challenges need to be met head-on.
Meanwhile, North Dakotans can take a moment to relish their good fortune.