(Community Matters) Is Texas the US future? Time Magazine – 10 Reasons Texas is Our Future.
Like my feelings about the previous post (fan of grossly imperfect capitalism and free markets) as a third generation Texan raised in the anything goes boom town of Houston in the 6os and 70s, matured in the new economy boom town of Austin since the 80s (played a lot in Dallas during the raging gay 90s and now spending as much time as any nonnative in Far West Texas, including wealthiest-place-in-the-world, Permian Basin), I love this state . . . and, no surprise, we have gross imperfections. There’s a lot to be said for incentivizing self-reliance, and we can’t be so calloused as to let folks go unfed, without medical or without shelter during inclement weather. Texans are huge philanthropists –
we support our churches, their missionary work for the poor, elderly and disabled, medical care & research, the arts and education at impressive levels – though, we’re not so good at making sure opportunities are abundant throughout demographics. I still recall the dear friend who didn’t want us introduced to her landscapers/handymen fearing we’d offer higher (more fair) wages. Have no doubt, there’s been self interest ensuring an affordable labor force for traditional industries making Texans rich. Problem is, the service industry jobs at minimum wage replacing manufacturing jobs at higher middle class wages aren’t gonna keep Texas as enviable. Underperforming schools & underpaying opportunities aren’t gonna produce the labor force required for Texas’ economic success in the next century – not to mention underfunded pubic infrastructure.
And, I don’t disagree with these two points in the article:
A new class of Americans will become far more numerous. They will despair at finding good middle-class jobs and decide to live off salaries that are roughly comparable to today’s lower-middle-class incomes. Some will give up trying so hard — but it won’t matter as much as it used to, because they won’t have to be big successes to live relatively well.
In the coming decades, some people may even go to extremes in low-cost living, like making their homes in micro-houses (of, say, about 400 sq. ft. and costing $20,000 to $40,000).
Current lifestyles are too taxing on the planet – not to mention on the psyche of too many laborers and managers. I’m not advocating the dumbing down of expectations and material possessions as a result of economic stress, and I do think we could all use simplification.