Image via Wired Magazine.
From the Star-Telegram:
As federal officials doled out billions of stimulus dollars last week to jump-start the nation’s high-speed-rail network, Texas picked up just a small piece of the pie. The $3.75 million that the Lone Star State will receive is a sliver of the more than $8 billion distributed, mostly to states that have plans and other funding ready to go.
Sometimes I get the impression that Texas faces a version of the resource curse. And as a result, we leave opportunities, like a high-speed-rail corridor on the table because we perceive we are economically buoyed by our energy sector or our “low tax/low regulation” political economy. The reality is more complicated, as the chart below demonstrates from this Dallas Fed report. Clearly the existing levels of Texas unemployment are not creating urgency for change in our policymakers, so as long as the median voter is misinformed about our political economy, then collaboration across communities and bureaucracies on needed infrastructure will be sub-optimal in generating employment growth.