[embedded content]Alphachat is available on Acast, iTunes and Stitcher.Our guest for this episode was Erica Grieder, a journalist and author of Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right: What America Can Learn from the Strange Genius of Texas.The state of Texas is often stereotyped and thus easily misunderstood. But its economic model — low taxes, light regulation, not much spending on public services — appears to have worked quite well for it. The model allows for meaningful exceptions such as an industrial policy that privileges the interests of businesses and entrepreneurs, and it includes a willingness to learn from earlier mistakes. One example was the implementation of tight restrictions on mortgage lending in response to an earlier lending bust, allowing Texas to escape some of the worst consequences of the recent housing crisis.Also important is that the suite of policies embraced by Texas has been contextually appropriate to the state’s particular history, its cultural traditions, and its endowment of natural resources. That’s the takeaway of Erica’s book for other states — not that they should precisely replicate the Texas model, but that they should be un-ideological and pragmatic in developing their own models.We discuss these concepts before closing with the Texan reaction to Donald Trump’s protectionist leanings on trade and immigration.
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