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The 'Texas Triangle' would rank as the world's 15th largest economy, producing $1.2B in economic output. Could politics possibly undermine this clout?

One analyst says if you want to understand America, then understand Texas, because it's the future of America…unless the direction of our politics pulls the rug out.

DALLAS — Known as the Texas Triangle, the area from Dallas to Houston and over to San Antonio/Austin would be the 15th largest economy in the world, producing $1.2 billion in economic output. That’s equivalent to Mexico or Spain. And seven in 10 Texans live there.

So, if it is the economic engine driving our state, why isn’t it also driving our politics? And because the politics outside of this Triangle have come to dominate the state, some experts fear it could kill the Texas growth model. At least one major company has already said it would help pay for any employee who wishes to relocate.

In this episode of Y’all-itics, the Jasons are joined by Steven Pedigo, the Director of the LBJ Urban Lab in Austin and a professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Pedigo says if you want to understand the country, then understand our state, because Texas is the future of America... unless the direction of our politics pulls the rug out from under all of us.

“Are we going to be the Texas that has attracted 8.2 million residents in the last 20 years, 40% growth?  Are we going to be a Texas that is going to embrace populist conservative politics which may be not appealing to the educated, quote-unquote, 'creative class,' knowledge-based companies that we have been really pulling in the last decade?” Pedigo asks.

“We have this really interesting growth model, this Texas growth model, which I actually believe is a suitable growth model to think about how you manage growth in other states and how, maybe, you think about revitalization. Let's don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, just sort of at the pulpit of populism. We know this model works and if we really care about the economic growth, the well-being of our state and really about all those things that are coming down the pipeline, energy transition, infrastructure development, and all of those types of things, let’s get back to a moderate brand of politics that has been really representative of who we are.”

Listen to the latest episode of Y'all-itics to hear more, and be sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.