People Move to Texas Because Texas Is Weird, Not (Just) Because Texas Has Jobs

Categories: Schutze

quake_smaller.jpg
Wikipedia
If my brother's Bay Area condo were that top one with the plants still intact and I called him, he would say, "No, everything's great here, why?"

Sunday it was 7 a.m. California time when I called my brother in the Bay Area to ask if he had died in the quake. He said no. I thought he sounded sleepy, but he could have been serene. It's hard to tell with those people.

I asked if he would be moving out of California soon. He said serenely that if he does move he will time his departure less by the threat of earthquakes than by rising sea-levels. When that surf is beating on the lobby door of his high-rise condo tower in Emeryville, he'll start tossing stuff in a duffel bag.

He'll never leave California. Not on two feet. He asked me what the weather has been like lately in Dallas. Triple digits, I said. As usual my wife and I saved several big outdoor chores for August. To my brother, that's like saying you have been staying busy in hell.

"Keeps you hoppin', eh?"

"Pretty much."

He thinks hot is bad? How about earth ... QUAKES? He always acts as if earthquakes are weather. I can never quite tell if it's a cover-up for being addicted to California, or if he means it, in which case he's lived out there among them too long.

We grew up in such a sane part of the country -- the American Ruhr, in Michigan, during the busy years there when everybody was working. People in Michigan back then were skeptical of people who wanted to go live in California or France or some place just because they thought it was beautiful and would make them happy, maybe because people in Michigan were skeptical of people who want to go around being happy all the time. What about working, eh? Ever think of that?

I can't say this to my wife, a many generations Texan and Dallasite -- it has an odd effect on her -- but I have always felt a certain tenuous spiritual connection between Dallas and Detroit. Nobody in Yemen or in Mississippi ever grew up dreaming of living within sight of the Detroit River, yet people from all over the world flocked there during most of the 20th century in order to find opportunity.

Dallas is like that now. Most of the people who move here don't even know we have a river. They think Texas is all sand dunes, cactus and the political equivalent of ISIS, yet they come here in droves.

Paul Krugman has a column in The New York Times this morning trying to explain why people are migrating out of the Northeast and into Rick Perry's Texas in such stunning numbers. In spite of my disagreeing with Governor Perry about almost every single thing in the world, it does make me a little bit proud that he gets under Krugman's skin so good.

No, listen, I am a serious Krugman fan. I agree with him about almost everything in the world, just not why people move to Texas. He says it's only because we have cheap housing. He says people leave good-paying jobs in New York and Northern California and go to Texas just so they can buy cheap houses. That's such an odd thought. If it's true and he can prove it, he should get another Nobel prize.

I think people come to Texas for the messiness. In messiness is opportunity. It's a shot for the guy who doesn't feel like he's got a shot where he is. You know what I mean. Texas has always been sort of piratical and anti-skiptrace, a good place to slip through cracks and start over.

Places that are super-organized and rigidly codified, like San Francisco, are great for people who've already got their own high-rise condos with views of the bay, but what if you need a different kind of breathing room, a little more margin of unpredictability?

View of the bay so what? Get a 55-inch flat-screen. Meanwhile instead of being on somebody's waiting list in Northern California to drive a truck twice a week, maybe you can own two trucks of your own in Dallas. A certain kind of person will trade the bay any day for owning his own truck.

A certain other kind won't. Years ago when he still lived in a house on the flats in Oakland, I visited my brother to discuss a family emergency. We were up late drinking beer when I felt his whole house do a big shimmy. He went right on talking. I was curious whether we were going to die. He was irritated with me for interrupting. About the earth ... QUAKE!

His attitude about whether the earth was going to open in a great maw and eat us alive was interesting. It was sort of, "Maybe, maybe not, but we have this issue to resolve in the family so we might as well stick to business while we're waiting to see." I admired it. I also thought it was really truly totally crazy.

He said, "So, if it's the big one, what are you gonna do about it?"

"Insane question," I said. "Move?"

"Oh yeah where? Texas? Where it's triple digits?

Funny thing, none of us has ever even mentioned moving back to Michigan, and it's a lovely place. The ones who stayed there have a don't-let-the-door-hit-you attitude toward those of us who have defected. Good thing it's a big country.


My Voice Nation Help
67 comments
yankee011
yankee011

BBQ is dog food, know wonder why y'all are fat  

yankee011
yankee011

Maybe someday the south will pull their own weight and stop being subsidized by Cali and the Northeast

yankee011
yankee011

As someone who move here from NY I agree with Krugman, you can make 50k in a job in NY but you still cant afford a hosue or an apt so you move here and make less for the same job and can buy a house or get a nice apt, so i agree with Krugman. I always said I wish i could cut out my property and house and plop it down on Long Island and i would be happy there.So thats the difference everything else here is inferior.

MeanGreen
MeanGreen

Born and raised in CA, been in TX last 8 years after 6 in Canada. I can't wait to move back to CA. 

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

Most of my family is from and in No. California (way north, not the bay area) and they've spread, sort of like a skin condition, down into the wine country, the central valley.  They thought my parents were nuts for moving to Colorado, and they think I'm absolutely insane for choosing to live in TX.  But, they all want me to take the family's guns and keep them here; to protect them from the inevitable gun-grab they all believe is imminent.

Being Californian is an affliction, a mental affliction.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Krugman talks around the point because he probably doesn't really like it.  The reality is people are making decisions in their own self interest (something that progressives really freaking hate).


He mentions lower housing costs in the South (60-79%), then he points to lower wages in the South (15-20%) to counter the point.  The truth is in the combination.  The cost of living is lower and people are deciding that it isn't worth putting up with the shit in NY or CA when they can get so much more with their money elsewhere.

OxbowIncident
OxbowIncident

I lived in California for 7 years. If you could have a place with the CA topography populated by Texas people, then you would have heaven. After about 6 months of  dealing with California people, you'll want to leave. Quickly.

the_dude47
the_dude47

a friend who moved to sf sent me a txt msg- dallas looks awfully good at 3:26 am! 

of course -and it's easier to get cool than warm, any ex-yankee knows that. and despite the fracking, we don't get 6.0 earthquakes here. 

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

Driving east On Lemmon Ave just west of Central couple hours ago, traffic was slow. Got up to the problem after a while – a road work convoy, no flashing lights, no cones, led by a guy in a pickup, then another pickup towing a flatbed trailer with a guy in shorts and tennis shoes sitting on one side whacking lane reflectors with a pickax until they flew off into traffic, third pickup behind him with ‘nuther guy in shorts on flatbed leaning way out into traffic squirting glue or tar or something into where the reflectors had been, probably a fourth pickup I missed behind us with ‘nuther guy in shorts on flatbed reaching out and sticking new reflectors down by hand. I had to swerve to miss beheading glue-gun guy, then swerve again to miss getting whacked by pickax. Pickax guy caused reflector to sail across two lanes into open window of passing SUV, whose driver looked OK but really pissed, which caused pickax guy to laugh insanely, which made me think pickax guy was drunk, which he looked. Opportunity in Texas. (Lead pickup maybe did have flashers.)

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

People move to Texas for the cheap housing costs, definitely.  Oh, and the jobs, too.  You can move here and make a living with three of them. 

DerpDudeTX
DerpDudeTX

I've still as of yet to visit CA, so I don't know if I could say I would trade in a tornado, hail, and heat for earthquakes, mud slides, wild fires, mountain lions, and higher taxes. Note that higher taxes is listed as a natural disaster.  

doublecheese
doublecheese

@yankee011 If you are trying to lump Texas into that, you are dead wrong.  Texas pays more into the Federal government than we receive.

Chattering_Monkey
Chattering_Monkey

@yankee011 HAHAHAHAHAH WTF AHAHAHAHAHA LOL, clearly your great NY education has failed you.  Subsidized by NY and CA HAHAHAHAHAHA.  How, explain the logic HAHAHAHHAAHHA

dfw_maverick
dfw_maverick

@PlanoDave  As usual Krugman was wrong, folks move to Texas mainly for the jobs or job opportunity - Companies are leaving the high tax/strict regulation states like California, NY and Illinois and bring jobs to Texas and the folks follow the jobs - Krugman is so far left he doesn't believe high taxes affect anyone's decisions which is counter to all evidence

Guesty
Guesty

@PlanoDave Yes, but that is only because we have fewer people per acre in the South, and the people we have are poorer.  As more people move here, and more money moves here, it will get more expensive.  The question is how close can we get to the coasts, which clearly are more desirable to most once you take away the differential in the cost of living. 

JackJett
JackJett

@JimSX  My partner's pet peeve is when they slow down traffic with hundreds of cones a/k/a Madonna Bra's for construction and then there is NO construction going on. It means that for the next 5 miles of traveling all I am going to hear is ....Look no construction there.....or there and none there or there.

While he is convinced it is due to Obamacare, I am certain it is connected to homophobia.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

@JimSX What makes you think government road work is different any place in the world?

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@JimSX 

Outsourcing at its best.


Of course they had to destroy the old reflectors in order to install new ones.


That part of Lemmon often feels as if it has undergone an earthquake.

the_dude47
the_dude47

@DerpDudeTX it's nice to visit- it's better to have a round trip ticket when you do.something about "natural rain" cleansing the streets  every once in a while- something that doesn't happen often in socal. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@DerpDudeTX Ive visited CA, and outside the higher gas $, ocean so cold you cant get in and enjoy, higher taxes, earthquakes, higher cost of living, forest fires, mud slides, mountain lions, and traffic 100x worse than Texas, California is ok.  At least Vegas is closer

yankee011
yankee011

@doublecheese @yankee011 B.S. Texas get 96 cents back for every dollar in federal tax's. Not as bad as others, but without federal spending this state would collapse

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@JackJett @JimSX

Sorry, Jack, but the cone thing is definitely about me. They arrange them in certain patterns, like Morse code, to send me messages.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@Sotiredofitall @JimSX

Believe me, these guys were not government. This was a strictly East Texas deal.

DerpDudeTX
DerpDudeTX

@ScottsMerkin I'll have to add Vegas being closer to the plus side. And the Republicans aren't quite as crazy as in Texas.

ryan762
ryan762

@ScottsMerkin I like visiting California, but I'm pretty sure I don't want to live there.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@DerpDudeTX I rented a convertible and drove from LA to Vegas one April.  It was a wonderful drive with the wife once we escaped LA traffic and got on I15

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@JimSX @ScottsMerkin so do all downtown dallas drivers!  no shit, last week in the crosswalk at Ross and Pearl, I was honked at and the guy yelled "Move Mother Fucker" 

WaitWhat
WaitWhat

@JimSX @Sotiredofitall @DerpDudeTX He does seem pretty flummoxed by the idea that people can come out ahead with lower wages if the cost of living is lower.

The whole article falls apart unless you buy his "Higher wages = Higher Productivity" premise, and you don't need a nobel prize to refute that.

shawnH1234
shawnH1234

@Chattering_Monkey @JimSX @Sotiredofitall Eh, the Nobel Peace Prize and a Nobel Prize in the sciences are two completely different animals. One is purely political and the other one you actually have to earn. They are also given out by two completely different nation.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@Chattering_Monkey @JimSX @Sotiredofitall

Could it be that Nobel Prize winners probably are very smart people with whom you happen to strongly disagree?

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@JimSX @Sotiredofitall I think it says more about the Prize process itself than the people winning it.  Obama got one for potentially doing something good in the future.


Still waiting for it to happen.  The good, on a Nobel Prize scale.  I'm not optimistic.

Chattering_Monkey
Chattering_Monkey

@JimSX @Sotiredofitall I have no doubt that they are very smart people.  But very smart people seem to say some really dumb shit sometimes.  Hey maybe we can get you a Nobel!  XOXO Toodles.  #Ireallydolikeyou #keepupthegoodwork

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...