Texas is winning the competition for residents, jobs, and political clout
The concept of “voting with your feet” has long been popular shorthand for describing why people leave a one place and resettle elsewhere. Frequently, it’s for economic reasons – and a big example of that is the number of people pulling up stakes, and moving to Texas.
This has some people confused. Why, Texas is under the thumb of luddites, gun nuts and crazies. Why move there? Because business friendly, low-tax Texas is much more than politics:
…a wave of newcomers [boosted] Texas’s population by more than 4 million over the past decade, part of a boom that created one of the fastest growing economies in the U.S. And despite the angst among businesses and economists worried that hard-right politics will make it harder to lure talent, the calculus for anyone considering a move is more nuanced than just focusing on red state versus blue state.
Nuance? Perish the thought. What’s driving the surge is old fashioned commerce:
Corporate recruiters, chambers of commerce and many of the companies and people that have helped create the thriving economy suggest it’s going to take more than politics to kill the Texas boom. Low taxes, relatively affordable homes and plentiful jobs are luring new arrivals from across the political spectrum, even those ardently opposed to many of the social policies that Republicans lawmakers have prioritized in recent years.
It’s an old story that’s retold, with slightly different players, every few years. Once, it was people fleeing the Rust Belt for the Sun Belt – for cheaper homes, lower taxes, better climates, and less intrusive government. Now, it’s a California diaspora discovering that there are places where homes are affordable, taxes are low, and the jobs are plentiful.
State and local governments that stifle their creative and productive residents will soon find themselves losing more than just population. They will lose political clout in Washington, too. And right now, one of the biggest winners of that competition between states is Texas.
Until someone other state offers an even better, freer, lifestyle.