Department of Weekend Reading: March 7, 2014


One thought on “Department of Weekend Reading: March 7, 2014

  1. I’m just going to do a quick drive by on that age old Texas-California debate, it’s somewhat close to my heart because I myself have left California but not for Texas.

    Highest greenhouse emissions? Well, Texas is also the second biggest state economy and number one is New York with its massive finance section. It’s playing in a stacked field. Germany will always produce more greenhouse emissions than, say, Djibouti. The argument is not being made that Texas *could* be doing something different, emissions wise, that causes a substantial difference. It seems just to be an assertion ‘oh God no, emissions!’ I hate to see it because it’s an intellectual cul-de-sac.

    Same with high school drop out rates. There’s ample evidence out there that one of if not the biggest factor in determining high school matriculation is not availability of schools or funding but economic alternatives. Texas’ energy boom and the proliferation of low-paying-but-available jobs seems to provide an easy rebuttal. Is Texas’ high school graduation rate a result of its state policies, or the proliferation of opportunities for young people?

    ” In 2012, 62,702 people moved from California to Texas, but 43,005 moved from Texas to California, for a net migration of just 19,697.”

    What this article purposefully obscures is the net change over time. Ignoring, for a moment, that 2012 was a comparatively small change, they do not seem particularly concerned about mentioning how California went from a net receiver of immigrants up until the early 90s and now, looking at the two decades between 1990 and 2010, it has gone dramatically the other way. For California to go to a net 0 would be substantial. In particular I would admonish the article for its curious omission of the division between foreign and domestic immigration. Domestically, California has lost nearly 4 million. Net is substantially better, as the article hints at, but that is almost fully because of foreign immigration.

    Not that foreign immigration is necessarily a bad or good thing, but what it says to me is that when families have the financial resources to leave California they do and this dynamic is only picking up as time continues. So what it really comes down to is that the article accuses others of ignoring a substantial difference between net and real yet themselves misses the division between foreign and domestic. Merely because California is the entry point for naturalization does not mean it is desirable, and the massive quantities of recently naturalized citizens that promptly depart California is a double problem–if California is so progressive, why do the most vulnerable leave the state?

    I could go on, and I do not want to come off as defending Texas–no matter how successful it has been. Personally I think the debate is silly, but if the article is going to involve itself it would be better if it tried honestly to approach the argument.


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