Sunday, December 07, 2008

Looky Here: A State Budget SURPLUS!

Coincidence, of course.

On the same day that the JSOnline runs an article about a proposed expansion of the Murphy Oil refinery in Superior, WI., (the GreenGooGoos don't like that), another item pops up in the blogosphere.

The NYTimes starts it:

...as some states’ unemployment rates stretched perilously close to the double digits in the fall, North Dakota’s was 3.4 percent, among the lowest in the country.

...one of the state’s biggest worries right now is precisely the reverse of most other states: North Dakota has about 13,000 unfilled jobs and is struggling to find people to take them.

Yes, there is a difference between Wisconsin and North Dakota:

Gov. John Hoeven of North Dakota gathered with lawmakers at the State Capitol to talk, in part, about the $1.2 billion budget surplus — the result, in part, of increased revenues from oil, and a sum that is all the more astonishing given the size of the state’s total budget, $7.7 billion over the next two years.

Yes, North Dakota is an oil-producing state--which is very significant to State revenues.

But there's another difference:

...a conservative, steady, never-fancy culture that has nurtured fewer sudden booms of wealth like those seen elsewhere (“Our banks don’t do those goofy loans,” Mr. Theel said) and also fewer tumultuous slumps.

Here, Murphy Oil proposes a $7 BILLION retrofit/expansion of its refinery (that's about 5x today's entire property value of Superior, WI.,)--and you can bet that it will be a tooth-and-nail (and endless courtroom) fight to prevent it.

I know. Refining is not extraction. But we have agriculture, too...and P-Mac notes that we (still) export machinery at a profit.

Think that just possibly, just maybe, it could be the GreenGooGoos? Or maybe State spending?

3 comments:

HeatherRadish said...

North Dakota has about 13,000 unfilled jobs and is struggling to find people to take them.

In the days before LBJ, people moved from places with high unemployment to take jobs. But why move to a rural area to work when the government will pay you to stay poor and unemployed in your current city? (Someone's going to call me a racist for even thinking people should do like they did in the early 20th century.)

Deekaman said...

Wisconsin will never have a budget surplus. In fact, I argue that the majority of Wisconsinites love high taxes. They keep electing the same taxers. They never seem to (really) protest high taxes. Must be ok with it.

asianbadger said...

Doyle saw that NoDak had a surplus (along with SoDak, Alaska, Montana and others) and moved to throw them out of the governor's club. Said they weren't living up to his model of destroying the state being governed.