Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why do some cities tick?!?

"For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same."
Romans 13:3

Texas State Capital -- This afternoon, we attended TPPF's Texas Success Story: Understanding which U.S. Metro's are leading, lagging, and why.  The event discussed tried and true methods for economic development, and how they impact individual cities.  Texas wins again!!!

Tom Gray of the Manhattan Institute led off.  He discussed his recent study that discerned four traits of economically vibrant cities: Energy development, Agglomeration - cities growing for a reason beyond natural advantage, Business Friendly focus, and Manufacturing Renaissance.  Texas has 3 of those factors, which is why metropolitan areas in this state perform so much better.

Jerry Morales, who recently defeated a Battleground Texas stealth candidate in the Midland mayoral race, spoke next.  Midland currently has the lowest unemployment rate in the U.S.  While that's a good thing, it brings a different set of challenges.  One major problem in Midland is that the housing stock has failed to keep up with population growth.  This has created "boom town homelessness" where people come looking for jobs but don't have sufficient savings to find housing in a town where a 1 bedroom apartment starts at $1,000 per month.  Midland is proactively addressing this problem, with the United Way and Salvation Army (ie. not city government) taking the lead.

Don Baylor of the Center for Public Policy Priorities spoke next; the less said about his presentation, the better.

Chuck DeVore of TPPF closed out the speakers.  He discussed how "the larger government is as a share of the local economy, generally speaking, the worse it will do."  Specifically, there is a tremendous impact of cost of living on the ability of the average family to make ends meet.  As government grows, it means higher cost of living and fewer jobs.  DeVore's presentation was familiar to veterans of the Texas Model.

[Personal Note: While DeVore didn't discuss this in his presentation, it's worth pointing out that government growth begetting higher cost of living is the core issue of this Urban Rail boondoggle.]

Kudos, finally, to TPPF for having Pok-e-jo's cater today's event; this website STRONGLY encourages TPPF to make this a regular feature of their events!!!

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