|Photo: Blake Ellis/CNNMoney|
Come and listen to a story 'bout a man named Jed. Poor mountaineer barely kept his family fed. And then one day he was shootin' at some food. And up from the ground came a bubblin' crude.In the midst of the clamoring for attention by Liberal Progressives across America, hammering home the message that "income inequality" in this nation will be our ruin, there is something remarkable happening in small towns in "flyover country". That something is remarkable because it is a concrete testament to the wonders of Capitalism, and it must be making the Progressives elites insane with envy.
Oil, that is...black gold...Texas tea
The setting is Watford, North Dakota, a place that has seen its population more than double in recent years, and rents skyrocket above the ritziest cities in America. Some would say that that is no reason to cheer, and on its face, they would be correct. But this isn't a case of landlords raping their tenants -- something all too familiar to inner city folks -- but rather the free market doing what it does best; make ordinary people some money.
One such ordinary person was Nathan Pittman, who was about to retire from the trucking company he owned in Indiana. Pittman put his plans on hold when he heard about the oil boom in North Dakota. According to CNN, "Pittman quickly landed at a trucking company in Watford making $20 an hour with 'a lot' of overtime. In all, his salary more than doubled to about $2,225 a week in Watford". But the wealth gets spread -- a poor choice of words, I know -- even further down the line, as places like Taco Johns, trying to keep their employees from bolting into the oil fields, raised their salaries to hold onto people.
Taco Johns raised their pay from $8.50 per hour to $15.00 per hour, also trying to compete with the Subway and Hardee's in town. Waitresses and waiters in town also make about $25.00 an hour when tips are factored in.
Housing is also booming as a result of the oil boom, with rents rising to $3000.00 for family accommodations, while the building industry is struggling to keep up, failing as it falls behind. Some have seized on the fact that people are sleeping in their cars as a result, trying to find a downside to all this economic activity, but the people living in North Dakota are not complaining.
The only people complaining are the Liberal Progressives who see the "income inequality" in this and shriek ever more loudly. For example, Harold Hamm is the Chairman of Continental Resources, one of the biggest oil producers of Bakken Shale. He made $10,204,283 in 2012. My God, you might say, that is a lot of money, and you'd be right, but so what? If Mr. Hamm wasn't there earning his big bucks, the other people in town would not have the opportunity to make their not-quite-as-big bucks. I doubt they would like that very much.
Like John F. Kennedy said: A rising tide lifts all boats. The Liberal Progressives would prefer that all boats be secured tightly to the bulkhead so none may rise and may possibly have their hulls damaged if they dare try. I say let the big dogs make all the money they can, while the little guy gets some in the process.
Instead, our federal government puts increasingly onerous regulations in place, giving bureaucrats plenty of work while suffocating the Middle Class who can't find jobs because the potential employer has his hands tied. I don't know how long North Dakota will evade the wrath of the government, but for now they are doing a brisk business.
All because of oil, the oil industry is raking in money, and because of that, the hotel industry in Watford and nearby Williston, North Dakota is benefiting, as is the construction industry. The small business owners are reaping huge profits and their working class is making more money than they ever dreamed possible in their respective fields.
Don't try to tell me that "trickle down" doesn't work, because we're seeing it in action in the Bakken Shale fields. Because one man made over 10 million dollars, his company has become a microcosm of what Ronald Reagan believed, and that is if one man succeeds and depends on others for a portion of that success, then everyone benefits to one degree or another. Does everyone make 10 million dollars? No, but they make enough to make them happy and secure. That is all the American people want in life.
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