With Florida rapidly turning from an evenly-divided state to one that is increasingly a red state, The New York Times turned to that great bastion of conservatism, Texas, and determined to turn Texas blue, published an opinion piece encouraging blue staters, especially Californians, to move there.
In the piece, titled, “Everyone’s Moving To Texas. Here’s Why,” Farhad Manjoo with Gus Wezerek and began by claiming, “[We] gathered data for thousands of towns and cities on more than 30 metrics, such as school quality, crime rates and affordability. Then we used that data to make a quiz: Select the criteria you find important, and we’ll show you places that might work for you.”
“I started with a list of 16,847 places that have a population of more than 1,000 people,” he started. “First, I narrowed my search to places with low unemployment and high median incomes — because nobody wants to move to a place where all the businesses are closing.”
“Next, I went looking for places that seemed more likely to be spared the worst of climate change’s ravages — in contrast to my current home state, California, “he continued, “Like a lot of Americans, I also want to live in a place that’s racially diverse.”
“Finally, I filtered out places with high housing prices. I’m fed up with my state’s impossible cost of living,” he added, “Once I had put in all my priorities, I was left with a list of cities and towns near Dallas that checked all my boxes. I was starting to see why so many people are moving to Texas.”
“If you’re looking for an affordable, economically vibrant city that is less likely to be damaged by climate change than many other American cities, our data shows why Texas is a new land of plenty,” he continued. “For the many hypothetical life scenarios I ran through our quiz, the suburbs around Dallas — places like Plano, McKinney, Garland, Euless and Allen — came up a lot. It’s clear why these are some of the fastest-growing areas in the country. They have relatively little crime and are teeming with jobs, housing, highly rated schools, good restaurants, clean air and racial and political diversity — all at a steep discount compared to the cost of living in America’s coastal metropolises.”
More: “From 2010 to 2020, the population of Texas grew by nearly four million; about 29 million people live there now. In the same period, California, which has nearly 40 million people, added just over two million. … People from every state move to Texas, but California contributes an outsize number of new Texans. In 2019, Californians accounted for about 42 percent of Texas’ net domestic in-migration.”
The heat in Texas? Not to worry; Manjoo posited: “Yes, Texas is very hot and likely to get hotter; but if a lot of other American cities also begin to get very hot, Texas cities might not feel as overheated by comparison. In addition to the risk of heat stress, Texas also faces the possibility of water shortages, but that will be true across much of the West, including California’s population centers.”
Selling Californians on continuing to turn Texas blue, Manjoo continued, “What Texans will not have to worry about as much are wildfires, the scourge of so much of California, and the attendant air pollution, though experts predict increases in wildfires in Texas.”
“A Californian will feel right at home in Dallas even before touching the ground,” he enthused. “Like the suburbs around Los Angeles, San Diego and across the Bay Area, Dallas and other Texas metros are built on the certainty of cars and infinite sprawl; from the air, as I landed, I could see the familiar landscape of endless blocks of strip malls and single-family houses, all connected by a circulatory system of freeways.”
He comforted Californians who might worry about the red-state politics of Texas: “[Rapid] growth is rapidly altering Texas’ politics. As people pour in, Texas keeps getting more diverse, younger and more liberal. … On an electoral map, Texas looks inhospitable to anyone on the left. But its biggest cities and suburbs largely voted blue in 2020, and as a practical matter they may feel no less welcoming to people on the left than some of the most liberal of coastal metropolises.”
Manjoo concluded, “Texas, now, feels a bit like California did when I first moved here in the late 1980s — a thriving, dynamic place where it doesn’t take a lot to establish a good life. For many people, that’s more than enough.”
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