Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Three unlikely data points (updated)

If you spend anytime at all listening to "those in the know" in Houston you'll hear a lot of stuff about how Houston will die on the vine without expensive, centrally planned, (and horribly inefficient) transit or how Houston is ugly or that Houston will lose their competitive advantage if they don't immediately stop what they are doing, give all of their planning over to David Crossley and his group and stop losing out to other cities in the race for "the creative class" and high priced workers.

Given all of the opinion and computer modelling that they've thrown at the problem (note: Not hard evidence, computer modelling) you might be surprised to find these three hard data points staring you in the face:

1. Houston home sales rise, break price record. Houston Business Journal
2. Harris County foreclosures take major dip. Houston Business Journal
3. Houston sets US pace for income growth, study shows. Houston Business Journal

So let me get this straight. Ugly, blighted, dumb, transit-deficient Houston, home of big traffic delays and buildings that no self-respecting liberal journalist could love. Houston, with its grungy air, mouth-breathing tea-party types and a cast-iron aversion to central zoning. Houston, a city so dumb some people don't want to live asshole-to-elbow in Crossley Towers (after their construction in a formerly blighted area of course, keeping them fully away from the "proper neighborhoods") where sustainable living, square foot gardens on two square foot balconies are the norm. Houston home of food deserts and an intellectual back-water where some people think they might, just might think they want a fenced-in backyard and believe that they should have some modicum of control over the property they own......

....that Houston is leading the nation in salary growth and is, by all accounts, experiencing a population boom.

Maybe we're not the armpit of civilization our would-be ruling class is making us out to be?

Funny, right after I posted this article David Crossley's group, Houston Tomorrow, rolled out this clap-trap, obviously meant to be a slight (again) at the Houston region:

Houston Region ranked 11th most stressful by Forbes, David Crossley, Houston Tomorrow.

There's just one small problem:
The Houston region is #11 out of 15 in Forbes new list of the Most Stressful Cities in America.

(emphasis mine)

Unsaid in the Houston Tomorrow article is that Houston came in BETTER than liberal utopias Seattle, San Francisco and San Diego and waaaay behind dense, transit heavy, walkable (Crossley's gold standard) New York (#1) and Chicago (#3). Again the facts don't match the rhetoric.

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