November 3, 2010

You Can't Buy North Dakota for $142 Million

Meg Whitman, the former CEO of eBay, spent $142 million of her own money to lose the race to be California's Governor. Before knowing the outcome of the election, Craig Wilson in Wednesday's USA Today wondered what he would have done with that $142 million. Wilson proposes purchasing the U.S. State of North Dakota, a plan that AH is in favor of, but filled with problems. Foremost, after one fiscal year he would have had to spend $3.6 billion to cover the State's budget. So sadly, even with massive budget cuts, I don't think even Mr. Wilson could stretch out that $142 mill.

If you are willing to willing to reconsider the scale of your hypothetical purchase, Mr. Wilson, we could create whole new real estate market! For a meager of $62.7 million one could purchase the budgets of Ward (13.5), Burleigh (14.8) and even Grand Forks (34.4) counties for one year. If you wanted to upgrade to a better class of county I would suggest Cass county. Cass county houses within it's borders the grand metropolis of Fargo and the burgeoning city of Horace (pop. 915). The price tag for Cass is about the same amount of money that the State of California loses per day at $51 million. It just goes to show, one man's loss is another one's gain and that gainer could be you Mr. Wilson.

(Ward, Burleigh, Grand Forks and Cass in cyan)

That leaves you with roughly $28.3 million leftover to buy a house, car and a nice middle class family. Think about it, for a full year, you could 'lease,' roughly, 9% of the total mass of North Dakota for paltry $113.7 million. The only hiccup; there isn't a legal precedent for this type of arrangement, yet. The AH Real Estate Contract Team* is working to resolve this issue for Mr. Wilson as I write this. 

*There has been some controversy surrounding our real estate contract team as of late. One block of members is hoping to rename it the Awkward Haiku Real Estate Contract Squad, while the majority really doesn't care either way. Unrelated, AHRECT/S is involved in an ongoing investigation by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth and will only comment on questions pertaining to the naming of the contract team/squad.

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