Rev. Merne Manor, Fargo
Generosity to those in need is part of the "North Dakota Way." Every weekend sees a benefit to help someone in need, something few states can boast. Our state has a surplus of $1.6 billion (billion with a "b"). Right now though millions of our fellow Americans are in extreme need thanks to Hurricane Sandy. Wouldn't it be outrageous if we gave $1 million (less than 1 percent of our surplus) to them as an outright gift?
Really now! No state has ever given money to people outside its borders. Don't we have needs right here in North Dakota? Shouldn't we save our money for a rainy day?
The victims of Hurricane Sandy are us! The cops, EMT's, firemen of Breezy Point are people we could sit with in church or the coffee shop. The bewildered old woman looking at the wreck of her home of 40 years could be one of our grandmothers. When they look at the wreck of their livelihoods the business people of the Jersey shore are just as sick at heart as were the business people of Northwood when it was struck by tornado. These people are hurting and they are us.
Yes, one state gifting another region of the country with state money has never been done before but that doesn't mean it can't be done. North Dakotans are very good at innovating when new challenges arise as our booming agriculture & developing energy resources attest.
Is then it really outrageous to send money to suffering fellow Americans out East or is it just a way to show the world the kindness, the generosity that is part of the "North Dakota Way?" Do we have a way of being that other states might want to have as well? Let's show the world the real "North Dakota Way!"