Texas has four of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas, with two of them being in the top five, and this number is exponentially greater than it was just a few short decades ago. With this rapid growth, it is time for Texas to start attracting young workers all over the state so that these metropolitan areas can boom like they are capable of.
In this week’s edition of Retire in Texas, Darryl Lyons discusses everything you need to know about the current economy of Texas, where it is headed, and what we can be done to ensure the State’s future pans out like it should.
Some of the show’s highlights include:
- The impact of immigration and overpopulation on Texas’ resources.
- Suburban population density and how Texas’ infrastructure will need to be upgraded to handle the growth.
- The challenges that these growing urban communities are facing with attracting young workers.
- A breakdown of some of the pressing issues that Texans will face with finite resources that comes naturally with exponential growth.
Let us know what you think of today’s episode by sharing this podcast with someone that loves Texas just as much as you do!
Hey, this is Darryl Lyons, CEO and Co-Founder of PAX Financial Group. Thanks for tuning in to Retire in Texas. And remember, this information is general in nature only. It’s not intended to provide specific tax, investment or legal advice. Visit PAXFinancialGroup.com for more information. So, this is a Retire in Texas podcast. So, every now and again I need to do a podcast on kind of the state of Texas.
And so, I’m going to give you some information about Texas today. Of course, I’m a proud Texan who was born here and raised here, and I feel I’m about as Texan as they come. So let me give you five facts, actually. Hold on. Let’s see here. I’ve got four facts. I’ll give you four facts to start the show and four facts to end the show.
And then most of the meat will be in between that bread. So, the first fact I’d like to share with you about Texas is that it is still a hanging offense in Texas to put graffiti on someone else’s cow. Just so you know, another fact, the City of Slaughter, Texas, I don’t know where Slaughter is, has actually never had a homicide.
Oh, this is an interesting one. Um, Bracken, which is close to where I live. There’s a cave. The Bracken Cave, and that is the largest bat colony in North America. I did not know that. Now, some of you guys might have known that the Austin Capitol Dome is seven feet higher than the dome of the United States Capitol.
Some of you probably already knew that, and I don’t think that was unintentional. So, I’ll give you some more silly facts and interesting facts at the end here. But let me get into the meat here. I’m going to talk about three things: immigration, population density and infrastructure, kind of nerdy topics. Let’s go through them.
I think they’re important and I think they’re going to be helpful to you. So, about immigration, first, a couple of different types of immigration. We’ve got immigration that’s coming in through the South typically or southern border. And then what? Another type of immigration, I call them refugees from California and other states coming into Texas. I’m not talking about those coming in, fleeing from other states that don’t meet their values or the jobs aren’t there.
The housing prices have gone up. I’m talking about the southern border immigrants. And, you know, it’s a very interesting dilemma that we have here, especially for people who are Christians, because as we read the word of God, we talk. We know very clearly the heart and love that the word of God describes for the alien, for the alien.
And so, we’ve got to always check our heart to say, hey, are we getting to this place of being desensitized to the alien coming from the southern border? And we can’t get that way because that’s in direct conflict of what we’re called to do is have this loving heart for the alien. So, I start with that.
That’s how I start thinking about immigration from the southern border. I start with that heart and the word of God is saying that our love for the alien is a priority. And then we go to, okay, how do we do this? And the really painful piece of it more than anything can be broken down.
I mean, there’s a lot of challenges, but you’ve got some good people coming up the southern border that are mixed in with people that are stuffing fentanyl down their pants to sell. And then you’ve got plenty of people claiming that their nine-year-old is their daughter when in fact it’s human smuggling. And these are just stories like, I’m not making this up, this is legit.
You just look it up and you’ll find this is commonplace now. This is very commonplace. You can go to federal websites; you can go to whatever political website you can see this stuff is this is this is happening. I was on the phone with a colleague out of, um, I guess it was Midwest State.
And he was like, that stuff’s not happened. I go, what do you want me to do to convince you that this stuff’s happening and you have to recognize this is a real, real problem. And like I said, our heart starts with the love for the alien. But you just can’t. You can’t be blind to the real issues that are happening.
You go to another practical step here and you ask yourself, and mostly on the southern border, Eagle, Eagle Pass can attest to this. And you know, I’m from Harlingen before I moved to Castroville and you get to a hospital and you might have to wait longer than usual, which may not be a problem unless it’s a serious condition because the hospitals are crowded with immigrants.
So, it doesn’t seem like it’s a problem until it’s a problem. And that includes the crowding of some of the schools or other resources that we have. And our resources aren’t infinite. And I’ll talk about water in a little bit. So, you have to have a much more practical approach to how you solve this problem. And if you have, you know, I have a family ranch, I’m close to the border and plenty of friends that have ranches, and it’s not uncommon to see, um, immigrants come through the land or remnants of I mean, we used to see it all the time.
I mean, it’s not uncommon. If you have a ranch, you lock the door, you leave, you put a crucifix on the door, and you leave some water and maybe a couple of cans of beans, vegetables, because you knew some immigrants were going to cross your land. But it was every now and again. And if they saw a crucifix, they considered you a good person so they wouldn’t break in whatever that was, maybe just what we did.
But typically, it wasn’t that common. Now it’s way more common. And so, ranch owners are not you know, there’s a certain amount of like, okay, this is just uncomfortable. But there’s also a certain amount of now, you know, you don’t want your kids roaming around the property without a weapon because there’s just a lot more people coming onto the property making it unsafe.
So this is happening in ranches. And my buddy who’s a game warden, had to turn into a Border Patrol agent. So, you can’t really do your job because, you know, they don’t have as many people to take care of the border. So, these are just all real issues. And the good news about this, I guess, you know, if you can look at any silver lining here, there is a show with a guy named Jake Trapper who typically leans one way politically.
He had Representative Pressley on from Ohio, and he kept pressing Pressley about the border crisis. And she just refused to acknowledge that there was a border crisis. You can look this up if you want, but the fact that Jake Trapper is now acknowledging that there’s a border crisis and there’s a lot of other people around the country actually talking about it and not discounting it, not ignoring it.
Um, besides, my friends who are on the border, I think I think we’re getting at the beginning of the solutions. Maybe so that’s my half glass full point of view. I still think there’s a long runway. You know, Condoleezza Rice, I heard her speak real quick and she was really distraught because they asked her about the border, and I think highly of Condoleezza.
And she was really troubled. She goes, you know, we were really making progress When I was in the administration to solve the border crisis. I was really thinking that we were going to come up with some solutions that were going to really make sense. But then 9/11 happened and it totally flipped the script. So here we are today, however many years later, trying to solve this problem and it’s a real problem.
So, the only thing I can say about that is, I think people are waking up and hopefully we can come up with some commonsense solutions. Let’s talk about the second thing in Texas. So, immigration is obviously a challenge in Texas, the population growth. But then you ask yourself, where are these people going? Not only the people from different states, but also those from the southern border.
And they’re predominantly going into the major suburban areas now. We now have three Metroplexes in Texas. We’ve got the DFW area, which has always been around. And frankly, I think the fourth largest demographic in the country, I think behind New York, L.A., Chicago, and then you’ve got the DFW areas, a very legitimate financial hub today. It’s amazing.
I mean, economically, it’s an economic engine to the entire country. The flight patterns from Dallas are just beautiful to meet the needs of the East and West coasts. Of course, you’ve got Houston, which is, you know, one of the biggest cities in the country in oil and gas hubs. But now you’ve got this San Antonio-Austin corridor, which well, you may or may not know is that there’s serious collaboration going on between San Antonio and Austin to compete for business and to compete for the attention of the state legislation every two years.
So, San Antonio and Austin are co collaborating to really make a lot of noise and compete with Dallas and Houston for attention, whether that’s subsidies or tax incentives or just in fact, if they’re competing for business such as Elon Musk’s plant up in Austin. So, the San Antonio-Austin corridor is really becoming legitimized. And so that leads me well, before I get into infrastructure, I do want to talk about the population density. The challenges of these urban communities is really attracting talent to serve companies and to bring young workers in.
They actually like the main thing young workers like is green space. So, if you’re always wondering why we are spending so much on parks, there’s a particular reason because if you want to attract young workers, parks. That’s why I like parks personally. I’ve got a park named after me. I better like parks. Affordable housing is obviously an issue across the country.
That’s a whole another podcast that I need to cover for sure. We need good tech skills, not just college degrees that mean nothing, but actually people who can turn a ranch, whether that’s plumbing or pilots or whatever, somebody who has technical skills. The good news is and again, like there’s stuff happening there actually, I don’t know if this is announced yet, but Texas State Technical College is putting up a huge campus in Seguin.
So, we are seeing some investments in these technical skills. And then also to attract these big companies, we do need to make sure that we’re really investing in our airports. I know San Antonio, DFW has got it. Houston internationally is a home run. Sometimes if I go overseas, I’ve got to drive to Houston to fly. But San Antonio just recently got a direct flight to Germany that was a big win.
And they’re actually opening up a new terminal with 17 gates. So, I don’t know when that’s happening, but you’ve got to be to attract good business and keep good business. You’ve got to be good at the airports. And so that’s an important part of making sure that this population density that’s coming in here is sustainable. Okay.
So now let’s talk about infrastructure, because that’s sustainability as I kind of land this plane, so to speak. We’ve got to figure out our water issues. Obviously, I saw Medina Lake like 96% down. It obviously gets you concerned if you ever have a water shortage, like what do you do? But you look at the projections for Austin alone and Austin gets much of its water from the Colorado River.
So based on the Austin projections, the Colorado River cannot sustain that population growth. So, they’ve got to come up with other solutions. San Antonio has pretty good, diversified resources of water. God has provided water. I was reading the Scripture the other day and it talks about, you know, I will provide you, I will bless the works of your hand and I will bring rain in season.
And I just really love that promise. So, I’m still holding on to the promise that we’ll get some rain here soon. But we do need to think about not only water today, but water tomorrow with this population growth, not just organic population growth from our own families, but these, you know, immigration and refugees that are coming into the state.
We got to forecast this out. And by the way, I will tell you, this is just not people sitting around. There’s actually I’m just telling you just got to trust me. But we can unpack it. There are smart and ethical people mapping this stuff out. I’ve sat down with them. I’m highly, very confident we’ll figure out how to solve these problems.
Texas is a good, good place with smart people that care. We do have to figure out our transportation issues, though. I-35. If you haven’t been on that, I don’t like to go I-35, but you have to do it if you’re going to Austin, San Antonio. In fact, they said I was at a conference not long ago.
And, you know, you think about like, okay, all these 18 wheelers are on the roads and that’s a problem. But really, the majority of traffic on I-35 is somebody getting on I-35 and then getting off 4 exits later to go to Lowe’s. That’s the vast majority of traffic on I-35. Is somebody getting off within 4 to 6 exits.
So how do you solve that problem? I don’t know. I know a lot of people are trying to figure that out. A rail system at first glance seems like that makes a lot of sense. From Georgetown down to Brooks City Base. But I know eminent domain and all that stuff plays an issue, but I can’t imagine us sitting back and not doing something differently over the next 5 to 10 years.
We’ve got to do something in between the three major metropolitan areas. First of all, connecting San Antonio, Austin and making that much more efficient. But also, you know, how do we find a way to more efficiently go to Dallas or Houston? So how do you connect all these? That’s a challenge of the future that we’re just going to have to figure out.
I have no idea. But they’re smarter people than me that are trying to figure that stuff out. So yeah, so those are the three topics I wanted to cover. It was just a lot of, you know, the immigration issue. Um, I’m hoping that we’ll get some resolve there. I have a lot of stuff I can talk about, but I just kept at a high level, population density happening mainly in the suburban areas.
And then the infrastructure challenges that we’ve got to think about. None of these should be.
frightful. They’re just problems to solve. And I have a lot of confidence that they will get solved. I still have a lot of confidence that Texas is the absolute best place to live in the world. I’m so blessed every day. I think, man, I live in the best city.
Yeah, I’m in New Braunfels, New Braunfels, San Antonio, the best state and the best country and the best time in the history of the world. And for that reason, I feel a calling to do something great for being put in this position. Let me finish this out with the last four facts I want to share with you. The last four facts, Dr. Pepper.
I did not know this since it’s a Texas company started by a Waco pharmacist. There’s no there’s no period after. Doctor. You probably already knew that. Uh, second fact because of the popularity of the song Luckenbach Texas with Waylon and Willie and the Boys, because it was so popular, they took down all the road signs. The government stopped making road signs because everyone stole them.
And then you probably know this too. But Texas is the largest petroleum producing state in the U.S. If it were an independent nation, it would be the fifth largest petroleum producing nation in the U.S. And this last fact is very important, because I think it still rings true to who we are. It’s in our DNA as Texans.
The Texas flag is called the Lone Star flag and has three colors: red to represent courage, white to represent liberty and blue to represent loyalty. So, despite all the challenges we have, I’m still optimistic. And I think you should be optimistic, too, because you think differently, when you think long term, have a great day.
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