Sunday, March 19, 2017

Rodeo tops SXSW+Mardi Gras, #2 zoo!, defending our diversity, traffic better than you think, top rankings, and more

Lots of small items to catch up on this week:
"Also like Houston--which is routinely one of the nation's fastest-growing metros--the rodeo's overall 20-day attendance has spiked recently, going from under 2 million in 2009 to nearly 2.5 million last year. Attendance figures from the first 6 days of this year's rodeo suggests this number will increase yet more in 2017. Compare this with SXSW or Miami's Art Basel, both of which draw under 100,000 annually; or even Mardi Gras, which drew an estimated 1.4 million in 2017."
"Houston: Findings and Implications
The 2017 Metro Monitor’s Inclusive Growth Index shows that the Houston metro area did not make progress on economic inclusion, now ranking 64th overall. Houston dropped from 4th to 5th on overall measures of economic growth (now ranking 5th) but improved on prosperity, now ranking 2nd overall. Additionally, Houston posted the fastest productivity growth from 2010-2015, and posted the second-fastest gross metropolitan product (GMP) growth at over 28 percent, fueled by its energy, wholesale trade, and hospitality sectors as well as significant in-migration. This GMP growth also contributed to one of the largest increases in the average standard of living, but also saw one of the largest increases in relative poverty, as improvements in median wages within the metro area did not appear to extend to workers in the bottom half of the income distribution."
I'll make my point about this again: if coastal cities make themselves unaffordable to the poor and working class - so they move away - they look better on these poverty and median income stats, but did they really do a good thing? I would argue they didn't.  Another case of twisted stats.
Finally, the National Review on Houston's multiculturalism, sparked by David Brooks' column quoting me on Houston.  He does make some good points (including that the coasts have their ugly as well!), but I’m not sure I’m totally clear on his overall point. Brooks simply said there is an alternative model of conservative Republicanism that is immigrant friendly, and he pointed to Houston and Texas.  All this guy’s describing of the nuances in Houston and Texas don’t seem to really counter that point.  Yes, other cities can’t replicate our energy economy, but the rest of the Texas triangle cities aren’t the energy capital of the world and they thrive with immigrants as well.  And he ignores how well we’re also assimilating Asian cultures, and Texas certainly does not have a long history of that!

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Wednesday, March 08, 2017

The best posts from the first dozen years and million pageviews

Today is the 12th birthday of Houston Strategies.  In the immortal words of the Grateful Dead, what a long strange trip it's been. Coincidentally, we should get to one million total pageviews in the next week or so (standing at 995,842 as I write this, not counting pageviews over at the Chronicle). In honor of those milestones, I've decided to update my best posts from the first 1,000, which is now over three years out of date, by pulling from my annual highlights posts. As you skim this list, I hope you find some of interest that you missed, forgot, or may have been posted before you discovered Houston Strategies.  Enjoy.  As always, thanks for your readership.
-Tory

2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005

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