Here's an excerpt in which I uncharacteristically show some sympathy for Karl Rove and George Bush from my new VDARE.com column:
It’s important to fully understand why the lessons the two Texans, Rove and Bush, learned in their home state didn’t apply in other heavily Hispanic states.
So far, the mortgage meltdown hasn’t been as bad in
as in the four “Sand States” (as they were known on Wall Street during the Bubble): Texas , California , Nevada , and Arizona . These are home to half of the foreclosures and a large majority of the defaulted mortgage money. Florida
Partly this is due to the Oil Bubble, which now appears to be ending. Oil prices over $100 per barrel kept the
economy strong in 2008, allowing debtors to avoid foreclosure. Texas
Also, the enormous amount of land and the lack of environmental restrictions on home development in Texas means that when the federal government stimulates demand, the supply of housing increases quickly as well, keeping housing prices reasonable.
Finally, what Rove and Bush missed was how different was Texas's economic and immigration history over the last three decades relative to the seemingly similar Sand States. Due to OPEC’s oil price increases in the 1970s,
experienced a huge construction boom thirty years ago. That mostly attracted construction workers from the rest of the Texas rather than from U.S. , because Mexico was simultaneously experiencing its own oil boom following massive new discoveries. Mexico
had "surprisingly low levels" of immigration from 1965 to 2000, according to the important new book quantitatively comparing Mexican-Americans in San Antonio and San Antonio in 1965 and 2000, Generations of Exclusion, by sociologists associated with the UCLA Chicano Studies Program. Los Angeles
The 2000 Census found that
’s foreign-born population (26 percent of all residents) was almost twice as large as California ’s (14 percent). Texas
As Texans, Rove and Bush apparently just couldn’t understand the quantity and quality of the immigration situation in the other heavily Hispanic states. In 2000,
had a large but fairly well-rooted, stable, and assimilated Mexican-American population that had a reasonable potential to make enough money in resource-extraction or other blue-collar jobs to afford to buy Texas ’s cheap houses. Texas
In sharp contrast,
had a huge and mostly new, ill-educated, and unassimilated Mexican-American population that didn’t have even a chance of making enough money in Silicon Valley or California to afford Hollywood ’s already expensive houses. California
So, who are the bad guys here: Texans or Californians? That's what people always want to know: who's the bad guy and who is the good guy?
The point is that our country's two biggest states are just very different, and much of that has its roots in their very different terrain.
For example, everybody in California would prefer to live near the Pacific because the climate and scenery are so nice. In contrast, in Texas (and the other Gulf of Mexico coastal states), the threat of hurricanes means people tend to prefer to live inland. Galveston used to be the dominant port of Texas's coast, until the hurricane of 1900 drowned 6000 people, after which Houston (45 miles inland and 45 feet above sea level) became the main metropolis. So, Affordable Family Formation works better in Texas than in California.