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The Economist cover story: TX vs. CA, plus TX Survey

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The other thread has focused on education. This one is for the Leader and survey as a whole (6 stories total). There is a lot here to talk about, so insert your favorite excerpts for discussion. I'll put a link here to my own post on Houston Strategies when it's up.

Houston gets most of the attention. Doing a word count in the PDF, Houston gets mentioned 37 times vs. 20 for Dallas, but they did get the cover image for the section (not available online, but a shot of the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders on the center field Lone Star at Cowboys stadium, since the title of the report is Lone Star Rising - maybe someone can scan it and upload it here?).

Gotta love the cover...


Here is the concluding excerpt:

Don’t mess with Texas

So Texas has a huge challenge to cope with. But it seems wrong to end on a pessimistic note. Texans above all are optimists, and few of them seem to doubt that Mexico’s proximity is a huge long-term source of strength for the Lone Star state. That optimism, rooted in a profound sense of local pride that can sometimes jar with outsiders, is Texas’s dominant characteristic.

It is the reason why the wildcatter, the independent oilman whose test drillings might come up dry 20 times before gushing in the end, is an enduring Texas symbol. And it explains why risk-taking is admired and failure no disgrace. Most of the Enron executives who lost their jobs when the firm went bust in 2001 quickly found new ones. The company’s offices in Houston were swiftly re-let. Enron Field baseball stadium became Minute Maid Park. “Don’t mess with Texas” was once a slogan for a wildly successful anti-litter campaign. It is now the state’s unofficial motto.

To visit America in the midst of the worst recession for decades can be a disheartening experience, but a tour of Texas is quite the reverse. Since suffering that big shock in the 1980s, it has become a well-diversified, fiscally sensible state; one where the great racial realignment that will affect all of America is already far advanced; and one whose politics is gradually finding the centre. It welcomes and assimilates all new arrivals. No wonder so many people are making a beeline for it.

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