Which Countries Would Fit Inside of Texas?

Everyone knows that Texas is big. In the self-storage world, Texas would be a 10x30 storage unit, the biggest of the bunch. But many people (namely, Yankees and Europeans) may not realize just how massive the Lone Star State really is. How that at 261,231 square miles of land, Texas would be the 39th-largest country by land area in the world, coming in just behind Zambia and ahead of Myanmar. Since there are, give-or-take, roughly 200 countries in the world, that means that most of them are in fact smaller than Texas.  read more »


Texas & Oklahoma Dominate Metropolitan Economic Growth

Texas metropolitan areas continue to dominate economic growth, according to the latest Metro Monitor, produced by the Brookings Institution. The four top metropolitan areas in overall economic growth through the recession and "recovery" (our parentheses) have been:  read more »

Moving from Travis County (Austin) to Williamson County

In an article entitled, “The People Moving to Austin and ‘Ruining It’ are from Texas,” the Austinist notes that more people are moving to Austin from neighboring Williamson County than from Los Angeles County.

The article has the potential to mislead in two ways.  read more »

Texas Two Step

There has been a huge spike in the number of New Yorkers relocating to Texas in recent years, even at a time when fewer city residents were departing for Charlotte, Atlanta, Philadelphia and other traditional destinations.  read more »

Texas High Speed Rail: On the Right Track?

The Central Japan Railway (Note 1), which operates one of only two high-speed rail segments (Tokyo Station to Osaka Station) in the world that has been fully profitable (including the cost of building), proposes to build a line from Dallas to Houston, with top speeds of 205 miles per hour. This is slightly faster than the fastest speeds now operated. This line is radically different from others proposed around the nation and most that have been proposed around the world.  read more »

Thoughts on High-speed Rail and Buses

I’m back from a California trip – beautiful state, beautiful weather, completely dysfunctional government.  For example, even with massive fiscal problems it’s still trying to build a vastly expensive high-speed rail line from San Francisco to San Diego. On a related note, a private group is exploring building a Houston-Dallas HSR line with no subsidies of any kind. I’m totally okay with private efforts.  read more »

Major Texas Metro Areas Are Confirming Failures in Rail Transit

Despite the success of the Main St. line, I've been concerned for a long time now that the next set of rail lines will essentially bankrupt Metro while providing minimal benefit (except for possibly the Universities line, which has moderate benefits, but may not get built anytime soon because of the money drain of the other lines being built first).  Now the Coalition On Sustainable Transportation (COST) has come out with the numbers from other cities (especially Dallas) that don't bode well for Houston at all.  read more »

Despite Exhortations, San Antonio Suburbanizes

"Despite years of effort by city leaders to revitalize San Antonio’s downtown neighborhoods, thousands of residents flocked to sprawling subdivisions on the far North and West sides in the past decade, while the inner city lost residents."  read more »

Sizing Up Texas’ Job Growth Under Rick Perry

Now that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is officially in the running for the Republican presidential nomination, journalists and econ bloggers from almost every national news outlet have examined the Texas’ economy in excruciating detail. The fact that Texas has produced nearly 40% of all new jobs in the US since 2009 has been regurgitated over and over again, and the state’s remarkable population spike has repeatedly been cited as a reason for the big employment growth.  read more »

Krugman's Muddled Argument Against Texas

Last week NYT columnist and economist Paul Krugman wrote a very popular column pointing to Texas' revenue shortfall and declaring it an example of the failure of conservative government.  I found the whole piece a muddled mess and dismissed it, but you can't believe the notes I've gotten from people requesting a response.  read more »