I previously noted that recent actions by the Republican-dominated state legislature were clearly designed to thwart Harris County’s efforts to increase voter participation, essentially relegating Houston to a “seen, not heard” status. For me, this alone is enough of a reason to leave the state.
Houston is more than economically able to stand on its own as a state. Consider the following data.
Harris county’s GDP stands just shy of $380 billion dollars. It has grown substantially since 2002. Just how large is this? Consider this in comparison to this table from the Bureau of Economic Analysis:
If Houston became a state, it would be the 15th largest in the US.
The basic economic equation for potential GDP growth is population growth + productivity growth. That means Houston’s future growth prospects look very bright.
The labor force is educated. The percent of people with a bachelor’s degree or higher is 31.5% — a percentage that is rising.
Per capita income is also moving higher.
Consider this infographic from the Greater Houston Partnership:
Houston is one of the largest US cities, is located at the center of a vibrant regional economy (see more here), and is already the location for a large number of expansion and relocation projects.
And, to top it off:
Houston has long been considered one of the youngest, fastest-growing, and most diverse cities in the nation— one with no ethnic majority, where nearly one-in-four residents are foreign-born and more than 145 languages are spoken. A number of reports and analyses in recent years have named Houston among the most diverse cities in the U.S., often putting the Bayou City in the top spot.
You’d think Autin would be far more welcoming to a city that contributes 21% of the state’s GDP. But instead, their far-right agenda is starting to negatively impact the “pro-business” image:
But Texas’s recent swerve to the right on abortion and voting restrictions as well as a ban on coronavirus vaccine mandates has many workers and industry leaders like Bhaskaran worried about retaining workers and recruiting top tech talent to the state. In August, Texas had 33,843 tech job openings — the second highest in the United States after California — according to a report from the Computing Technology Industry Association. That’s up 56 percent from a year earlier.
Seceding from Texas would help to ensure Houston’s international reputation as a global hub.
It’s time for Houston to secede. We can more than stand on our own. We’d be one of the largest state’s in the US.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.