Mike Kueber's Blog

March 23, 2014

Sunday Book Review #129 – Changing Texas

Filed under: Culture,Economics,Education,Issues,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 9:32 pm
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Changing Texas is a demographic analysis of Texas projected out to 2050 conducted by a team led by the state’s former demographer, Steve Murdock.  In the introduction, Murdock claims that his objective is to present the demographic facts and not to prescribe intelligent public policy, but the book is subtitled “Implications of Addressing or Ignoring the Texas Challenge.”  From that subtitle, you should not be surprised that Murdock strongly implies what needs to be done.

Although this book is new (2014), Murdock’s opinions are not.  A few years ago, I heard him speak at a state-bar seminar and blogged about him.   Then about a year ago, there was a lengthy newspaper article that prompted me to do another blogpost, this one titled, “Is government responsible for ensuring that the education gap between Asian/Anglos and Blacks/Hispanics is narrowed?”

Murdock’s spiel, this time spread over 234 pages and more than 100 charts, is essentially the same as described in my previous posts – i.e., (a) Hispanics are ascendant and Anglos are a dying breed in Texas (only 21% of the state will be Anglo by 2050), and (b) Hispanics have not and will not accumulate capital (financial or educational).  The obvious result of this demographic trend is that the Texas economy will decline precipitously.

The public-policy correction, which Murdock promised not to make, is for government to somehow motivate/encourage/incentivize Blacks/Hispanics to accumulate capital.  A solution that he didn’t suggest was to motivate/encourage/incentivize Anglos to have more kids.  (Apparently, Anglo females for more than two decades have been having kids at less than the replacement rate of 2.1.)

As I noted in my previous blog, I don’t think this problem requires a race-based solution.  Not all Blacks/Hispanics are capital-poor and not all Anglos/Asians are resource rich.  Government should motivate/encourage/incentivize all resource-poor people, whether Black, White, or Brown, to accumulate capital – both financial and educational.

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