"Our top ranked area, Houston, is one of only four regions that enjoyed net job growth in manufacturing in the past 10 years. This year its heavy manufacturing sector expanded by almost 5%. Houston’s industrial growth is no fluke; over the past year its overall job growth has been about the best among all the nation’s major metros.
Houston’s industrial success owes much to the city’s massive port and booming energy sector, says Bill Gilmer, senior economist at the Federal Reserve office of Dallas. “Houston is about energy — it’s about fabricated metals and machinery,” he says. “It’s oil service supply and petrochemicals. It’s all paced by a high price of oil and new technology that makes it more accessible.”
This shift towards domestic energy augurs well for a huge and economically beneficial shift in America’s longer term economic prospects, he points out. Cheap natural gas, for example, makes petrochemical production in America more competitive than anyone could have imagined a decade ago. Linkages with Mexico in terms of energy as well as autos has made Texas — which is also home to No. 4 ranked San Antonio and No. 15 ranked Dallas — the nation’s primary export super-power, with current shipment 15% to 20% above pre-crisis levels."
In her 2nd-term inauguration speech last week, the Mayor mentioned tackling the homeless problem. This may be a good model to consider. Delancy Street Foundation, now with six locations across the country, is "... considered the country's leading residential self-help organization for substance abusers, ex-convicts, homeless and others who have hit bottom... Rather than hire experts to help the people with problems, we decided to run Delancey Street with no staff and no funding. Like a large family, our residents must learn to develop their strengths and help each other." If any of you out there have an inside connection to the Mayor, you may want to send this one over to her, or to whomever works with the homeless in her administration.
Finally, Reason dissects LA's light rail system in this amusing video interviewing passengers on a ride from LAX to Burbank, while pointing out the huge per-rider taxpayer subsidies involved, how it has led to substantial under-investment in bus service, and the hardships that has caused for transit riders. And unfortunately Metro seems to be on a similar path here, with ongoing cuts to bus service instead of the huge increase promised in the 2001 referendum. Sadly, the poor, elderly, and transit-dependent suffer while we pat ourselves on the back as progressives for building light rail. Hat tip to Barry.
Social Systems Architect, consultant and entrepreneur with a genuine love of my hometown and its people. I cover a wide range of topics in this blog - including transportation, transit, economic development, quality-of-life, city identity, and development and land-use regulations - and have published numerous Houston Chronicle op-eds on these topics. I also co-authored the Opportunity Urbanism study with noted urbanist Joel Kotkin and others, creating a city philosophy around upward social mobility for all citizens as an alternative to the popular smart growth, new urbanism, and creative class movements. I am a native Houstonian, 6th-generation Texan, attended Rice University for my BSEE and MBA, and a former McKinsey consultant and adjunct faculty member with Leadership Houston. I have had a long career in information technology, and am currently the founder and president of OpenTeams, a web-based collaborative software company that emphasizes openness and transparency inside large organizations. CONTACT EMAIL in no-spam format: tgattis (at) pdq.net - send me an email if you would like to receive these posts via email, or see the Google Groups signup box below.