Monday, January 7, 2019

#TXLEGE: 4 issues on which a forward looking Texas GOP really OUGHT to engage

"And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
And establish the work of our hands for us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands."
Psalm 90:17

With the lege returning tomorrow, we suggest that the following lower profile issues will have outsized economic (*) impact over the next decade:

  1. Housing Costs -- Housing costs are the largest line item in most household budgets.  Finding an affordable place to live is one of the biggest challenges Americans under 40 face.  While Texas is in better shape than most locations, worrisome trends are emerging (starting with, but not limited to, Austin).

    Government policies such as restrictions on permitting and zoning artificially  limit the supply of housing, which drives up cost.

    As a bonus, free-market housing policies could also unshackle capital currently tied to Texans primary residence.  Imagine what you would do with the money if your housing costs were less than 10% of your income.
  2. Tuition Costs -- Ending the ability of public universities to raise tuition willy-nilly is a precondition for all other higher ed reforms.

    It's also a large expense for Texans under 30.

    Likewise, reigning in university tuition could unshackle capital currently tied to tuition payments/servicing student loans.
  3. Health Care small ball -- While federal reform will continue to remain elusive, the Texas can still remove state level supply restrictions.
  4. Occupational licensing -- If you want people to become productive members of society, requiring them to get permission from the government to work doesn't help.
Bottom Line: This is low hanging economic fruit.  We don't promise anything, but it might be similar political fruit.  Will anyone pick it?!?


* -- Note: There's a decent chance these issues also pay political dividends, but no guarantee.

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