The University of Texas and The University of Oklahoma recently announced that they would soon be leaving the Big 12 Conference to join the Southeastern Conference. Without Texas and OU, the rest of the conference is undoubtedly facing smaller television deals, lower attendance, and other negative consequences. The result would be reductions in athletic revenue, tourism, and economic benefits for affected communities.
Texas is one of only 12 states that have not yet chosen to expand health insurance coverage to low-income adults using the financially attractive mechanism created with passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. In addition to enhancing the health and wellbeing of individuals directly affected, expanding health insurance coverage involves substantial economic and fiscal benefits.
The educational opportunities offered by The University of Texas Permian Basin enhance employment prospects for students and improve the regional workforce and economic development potential. In fulfilling its primary role, UT Permian Basin generates a significant economic stimulus as well as incremental tax receipts. The University provides direct well-paying jobs, engages in major projects, and supports important research. Graduates are essential to the current and future business complex and enhance the competitiveness of the area. These activities contribute to the economy of the local area, region, state, and nation.
Texas has been one of the strongest performing states in the US for a number of years, attracting more major corporate locations and expansions than any other and regularly topping lists of the best places to do business. As examples, the state has won the "Governor's Cup" for the most major projects for the past eight consecutive years and was recently named the "State of the Decade" by Site Selection magazine.
Through their joint mission of providing top-quality health care and training for medical professionals, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UTHSCT) and UT Health East Texas (UTHET) generate a substantial increase in business activity and benefit the entire region in multiple ways. In addition to providing care for tens of thousands of patients each year, they provide jobs, procure needed goods and services, prepare health professionals (many of whom remain in the area), and conduct meaningful research, resulting in significant economic benefits.
The issues surrounding immigration are complicated (particularly in the case of the undocumented segment), but there is one incontrovertible fact: Texas needs the workers!
No modern economy can prosper without a strong system of courts to protect public safety, secure property rights, enforce contracts, and resolve disputes. In fact, an effective judiciary lies at the heart of the very foundations of Western civilization. Even so, many states and locales face poorly funded courts, while the Federal courts have been hampered in recent years both by the inability of Congress to fill vacancies in a timely manner and by the failure to expand the number of judgeships as economic and demographic growth demand. There is perhaps no place where this situation is more acute than the Eastern District of Texas.
In 2015, The Perryman Group prepared a study to assist the efforts to reform the windstorm insurance system which focused on the possibilities of major storms along the Gulf Coast. While the analysis obviously does not reflect the unique and unprecedented effects of Hurricane Harvey, it does provide some useful insights. Given the significance of this historic storm and its role in the economy in the coming months, we wanted to share these insights.
Texas has recently seen a sharp upswing in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. This spike has caused substantial disruptions and hardships to families across the state (including many children), compromised safety as schools seek to reopen and address the massive educational gap that has surfaced during the pandemic, and added further strain to an already fragile healthcare complex. Despite these concerns, there has been massive resistance by policymakers to sensible and basic protective measures, such as appropriate masking requirements and measures to encourage higher vaccination rates. In addition to these obvious consequences, this approach is also resulting in preventable losses to the economy through reduced employment and decreases in productivity. The Perryman Group (TPG) has recently quantified these adverse effects.
Laws which restrict voter access can have substantial negative economic consequences due to lost earnings and related reductions in consumer spending. In addition, irrespective of their stated purpose, controversial laws can also lead to reductions in travel and tourism and economic development.