A lot of people are making jokes about this photo as it circulates on social media, but the image illustrates an important point.
Clockwise from top left, you see four Republican North Dakota politicians: Governor Jack Dalrymple, former U.S. Congressman Rick Berg, U.S. Senator John Hoeven and Governor-Elect Doug Burgum.
What do they have in common? They’re all extremely rich.
Burgum, who refuses to disclose his net worth, sold his software company to Microsoft for $1.1 billion in 2001 and owns much of downtown Fargo real estate. He’s probably the richest of the four.
Hoeven, a former banker, disclosed an estimated net worth of $37 million in 2012.
Dalrymple is the scion of a farming dynasty.
Berg, who served from 2011 to 2013, was named by Politico as one of the richest members of Congress, with an estimated net worth of more than $21 million.
North Dakota’s Democratic senator, Heidi Heitkamp is wealthy too. But her $3.5 million estimated net worth pales in comparison to her Republican peers.
The average American household earns $56,500 a year.
plutocracy: noun. (1) government by the wealthy (2) a controlling class of the wealthy
If you can argue that North Dakota isn’t one, email firstname.lastname@example.org.