Monday, October 21, 2013

Why Texas is America's Future, Keep Houston Ugly, Save the Dome truck, and more

Just a few smaller items this week:
The lower house prices, along with a generally low cost of living — helped along by cheap labor, cheap produce and cheap gas (currently about $3 a gallon) — really matter when it comes to quality of life … Texas has a higher per capita income than California, adjusted for cost of living, and nearly catches up with New York by the same measure. Once you factor in state and local taxes, Texas pulls ahead of New York — by a wide margin.
What it all adds up to is a future where many more Americans live in Texas — and much of the rest of America looks more and more like the Lone Star State.
Among the policies Cowen proposes as we move into this future: cheaper education (to allow workers to upgrade their skills), looser building and zoning regulations (to radically reduce the price of housing across America), and a loosening of occupational licensing at the state and local level (to open up many more low-skill jobs). 
Texas, he writes, is “America’s America,” where Americans go when they need a fresh start. And a little more Texas could go a long way.

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At 8:38 PM, October 21, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is so weird. Somebody needs to tell Carl Hiaasen. Florida in the twentieth century was practically synonymous with land speculation and boom-and-bust housing construction. But no, that was all in our imaginations. It was always "slow-and-steady" wins the race until 2007. Because of none other than Smart Growth!
I'm curious: when you say that out loud, does it sound right to you?

At 12:40 PM, October 22, 2013, Anonymous Mike said...

Just to weigh in, although I appreciate the cleverness of the campaign, I really don't like the idea that Houston is ugly. I was raised here and I never thought of my city as ugly. I think the trees and vegetation are beautiful; it could be a bit more clean and tidy (having to live in Dallas has made me notice this MUCH more), but calling it ugly is not going to help that effort. I wish people would have pride in their city and either say that it's beautiful or, if it isn't, then work to make it beautiful.

At 2:06 PM, October 22, 2013, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

Well, it is a bit tongue-in-cheek. I think there's a beauty in our chaos, especially the vegetation/trees. I do agree with the beautification efforts that are going on around the city. But I'm not in favor of a heavy-handed regulatory approach.

At 5:31 PM, October 24, 2013, Anonymous Paul Giamatti said...

Tory, wanted you to see this..

At 9:50 AM, October 25, 2013, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

Cool. Thanks for the heads up, Paul.


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