The State of Texas: November 12, 2014
Video of the Day
Yes, it’s pretty exciting when the Longhorns come onto the field of Darrell K. Royal Stadium. But you know what would be cooler? If they parachuted in. The latter, by the way, is totally possible. For anyone who missed Saturday’s game, that’s exactly what one of the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights did:
Texas By The Numbers
Death Leaders — Total number of executions in the U.S. since 1977: 1,408. Total since 1977 in Texas, the nation’s leader in executions: 512. Percentage of total executions: 36.29 percent.
Carland — Cost of Toyota’s planned headquarters in Plano: $350 million. Acreage: 100 acres. Size: 1.78 million square feet. Expected number of employees: 4,000. Total number of parking spaces: 7,713.
Unstoppable Miracle — Texas’s annualized pace of employment in September: 3.2 percent. Nation: 2.2 percent. State’s unemployment rate: 5.2 percent. Nation: 5.9 percent. Current Texas employment: 11.6 million.
House of Whispers — Say this for Julian Castro, the country’s newest Secretary for Housing and Urban Development; he sure made being mayor cool again. Since Castro left for D.C., it seems running for a mayoral position is a state politician’s preferred go-to. First there was the announcement that Representative Mike Villarreal was stepping down to run for Castro’s old job, not to mention Leticia Van De Putte, who is seriously considering doing the same. Now comes word that outgoing lieutenant governor, David Dewhurst “may consider a run” for Houston mayor, reports the Houston Chronicle. Mind you, this is not yet a definite. “The comments came in an hour-long interview with the Houston Chronicle that seemed aimed at establishing the 69-year-old’s legacy as lieutenant governor and providing a soft launch for an ambitious future.” The Texas Whisper Campaign seems to have gotten a hold of bigger names as well, although it is more akin to shouting. After beating around the (brother) Bush somewhat, “Former President George W. Bush said he and his father believe Jeb Bush should run for president,” reports the Associated Press. “‘I can tell you I can speak for 41,’ Bush said … ‘He ought to run for president. He would make a great president.'” As the AP notes, “The comments were his most detailed to date about the possibility of continuing the Bush political dynasty.” Jeb has yet to provide a clear answer.
Tex-Man — A long time ago, we rustled bulls, now it’s clear that we’re rustling bits. “The computer and video game industry in Texas grew by nearly 16 percent since 2009 and added $764 million to the state’s economy,” reports the San Antonio Business journal. The stats come from a new study by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which found that “Texas employs the second highest number of people in the industry, or approximately 12 percent, and average compensation in 2012 was $101,349.” As Texas Monthly‘s own Joseph Misulonas noted in a story early this year, our ground-up, “if-you-build-it-they-will-come (-and-then-pay) plan appears to be working.” Since the computer and video game industry is now so massive, Texas-based companies have done rather well by going after target markets within the geek world. Also helping the Texas digital miracle? The very celebration of excess that’s all but forgotten about its roots. “SXSW is integral to the growth of the industry. The annual event brings attention, and more importantly investors, to these local companies’ backyard.”