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Texas must be doing something right.
Here’s something that happened in the past decade that you might not have noticed. For the first time in U.S. history, two metro areas from the same state moved into the top five in terms of population rank according to the Census Bureau.
Need you ask which state?
By the most recent estimates, Dallas-Ft. Worth and Houston now rank number four and number five respectively in the top 10 list of U.S. metro areas. In that same ten years, Detroit dropped out of the top 10, almost certainly never to return. (It is indeed hard to believe that as recently as 1960, Detroit proper was the fifth largest city in the United States.)
The three biggest metros in Texas, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston and San Antonio, have been gaining population at a blistering pace, much of that gain being at the expense of metros in California, Illinois, New York and, yes, Michigan.
Yet even as people pour into Texas from other states, liberal elites on both coasts would have you believe that Texas is a cultural, economic and intellectual backwater. It is nothing of the sort. The best and brightest are making their way to Texas. Texas is attracting people from all over the country – but particularly from high-tax, high-regulation states like California, Illinois and New York – on the strength of low taxes, light regulation and the absence of compulsory unionization.
The genius of federalism is on full display in the example of Texas. Texas has freely chosen its course. Other states have freely chosen theirs. The validation of one over the other comes not from rhetorical debate but from examination of the results obtained.
With respect to Texas, the results have been rather good. It seems that the Texas formula works. So much so, that in the interstate competition for people, investment and jobs, other states might be forced to emulate Texas if those states wish to stem the Texas-bound tide.
Texas would welcome such competition. It would be good for Texas.
And good for the country.