Port: Are we sure North Dakota is open for business?


MINOT, N.D. — The politics of populism and culture war may have a big price tag for North Dakota.

We’re a state that has prided itself on being “open for business.” Under three decades of Republican governance, we’ve touted low tax burdens and a light regulatory touch, and it’s worked.

When I started writing about North Dakota politics, our state had few opportunities. The population was shrinking; schools were closing, and communities were dying. Our demographics were aging. Our young people were leaving to find more favorable circumstances elsewhere.

Now our state population is at record highs, and we’re home to one of the youngest populations in the nation. The biggest challenge we face as a state is finding enough workers to fill our open jobs.

We seem to be taking that turn-about for granted.

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