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Friday, April 24, 2009

New Fortune 500: North Dakota 1, South Dakota 0

In response to the argument that South Dakota's low-tax environment is great for business, I often ask why we don't have any Fortune 500 companies headquartered here.

Well, the new 2009 Fortune 500 list is out, and MDU Resources has joined the list at #479.

MDU Resources of Bismarck, North Dakota... where they have corporate and individual income tax. Grrr... socialists have all the luck.

South Dakota did make the Fortune 1000 with one company at #701: VeraSun... which is now bankrupt and bought by Texans.


  1. One to nil: Pretty hard to derive much of a conclusion from that, Cory -- except, as you insinuate, pure happenstance.

  2. Well, Stan, there is an arithmetic argument that the percentage difference between nil and one is infinite... ;-)

  3. I just think a lot of places have a misconception of the people in South Dakota. We are not a bunch fo back wood rednecks. Well.. most of us aren't. :-)

  4. Actually, Cory, 1/0 is undefined! When I was in 7th grade, I challenged my mathematics teacher when she said that, and to this day I can remember (with some glee) her profound annoyance. "Division by 0 is not defined (grrrrr)."

    When I was in high school and college, I developed a theory in an attempt to define the ratio 1/0, and came up with the rather paradoxical equation

    1/0 = 0

    If one gets into an extrapolatory (?) frame of mind, one might argue that, if our government spends an infinite amount of money, we will reduce our debt to zero. Think about that one! It makes dark and perfect sense. No one can disprove it.

  5. Stan, I had that same argument and got the same reaction! Saying 1/0 = anything other than "undefined" seems like saying "Yahweh": you're not supposed to name the all-powerful among the priests of mathematics. I remained a subversive in the classroom, suggesting to students that 1/0 = -1/0 and that therefore, the opposite ends of a hyperbola actually meet at the asymptote.

    Anon: does that misconception of South Dakota also apply to North Dakota? And to what extent does it apply to our neighbor Minnesota? There are some folks who think everything west of the Hudson is the backwoods, aren't there?


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