If anyone thought the Sun Belt was in danger from the Great Disruption, they can find swaggering solace in The Economist's panting, sheet-clawing passion over Texas, in an article headlined Lone Star Rising. The teaser says, "Thanks to low taxes and light regulation, Texas is booming. But demography will bring profound changes."
The Economist's journalism is often some of the best around, and even its editorials can challenge the psychotic screamathon that has become American "conservatism." But it can't completely escape its Tory establishment roots, or its intellectual grounding in the conventional wisdom, BGD -- Before the Great Disruption. I don't doubt that America, and probably Britain, will exhaust themselves trying to resuscitate the old order. That will render it no less dead than the ubiquitous armadillos decorating the highways of Texas.
American right-wingers are no doubt sending the article to the faithful -- and using it to further cow the Democrats, if such a thing is possible. But a close reading of even this article -- and a better understanding of Texas -- shows that the Lone Star State's success has relatively little to do with "low taxes and light regulation." I speak as one who covered organized crime and the oil industry there, and whose family roots go back to the bloody pre-Civil War Texas frontier.