Saturday, May 2, 2009

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff 25

And Now a Message From U-Haul
Sometimes numbers are worth a thousand words. The American Legislative Exchange Council recently issued a report that found (HT: Houston Strategies):
When comparing California with Texas,U-Haul says it all. To rent a 26-foot truck one way from San Francisco to Austin, the charge is $3,236, and yet the one-way charge for that same truck from Austin to San Francisco is just $399. Clearly what is happening is that far more people want to move from San Francisco to Austin than vice versa, so U-Haul has to pay its own employees to drive the empty trucks back from Texas.

For the past year I have been documenting studies and reports that show that Houston (and Texas) leads the nation in job creation, cost of living, and a host of other economic categories. And, while our political leaders love to tout these facts, they simultaneously endorse policies that attack and undermine the cause of the city's prosperity. They seem to treat economic prosperity as causeless, or attribute it to some mystical aura that hovers in our air.

The fact is, individual freedom is the cause of economic prosperity. Restrictions on land-use are an attack on individual freedom, as are prohibitions on "attention-getting devices", mandates to install tags on taco trucks, and a myriad other ordinances and proposals that have been passed or are being considered. If our "leaders" wish to emulate San Francisco in controlling the lives of individuals, we will get the same economic consequences.

Free Lottery Picks
Brian Shelley at Freedom is the Solution has done a good job of predicting several economic trends. Some time ago he projected the drop in housing prices in several cities, and recently he posted the actual drops:
Predictions for total price drop:
Miami – 32% drop
Los Angeles – 31%
Tampa, FL – 28%
Las Vegas – 28%
Washington – 24%

Miami - 33% drop
Los Angeles - 30%
Tampa, FL - 27%
Las Vegas - 38%
Washington - 23%

With those impressive results, he is now offering lottery number predictions--for a fee.

But Will She Listen?

Some time ago I was visiting Annise Parker's web site and decided to accept her offer to leave some comments. I assumed that all comments would be screened, and my comments would never see the light of day. I was wrong, and you can read them here.

Brown is One Funky Dude
Peter Brown, who wants to subject the entire city of Houston to his grand vision, received an endorsement this week that should certainly expand his appeal. During a show by George Clinton, aka the Godfather of Funk, Brown received a endorsement from "Uncle Funky". Brown told the Chronicle political blog:
We have a serious campaign to reach people who have never been reached before and that's what this is all about.

Here's an idea Mr. Brown: How about reaching out to advocates of liberty? We haven't been reached in a very long time, like since 1776. We may not be as funky as the Clinton crowd, but that is a good thing.

No Post Next Saturday
I will be out of town next weekend visiting my mother for Mother's Day. There will be no post next Saturday.


Matt said...


Thanks for writing up the George Clinton announcement! I'd point out that early on in the campaign Councilman Brown attended the Houston Property Rights Association event and spoke before the group. This is the fourth time he's addressed this organization and I believe he's the only mayor candidate this far to do so.

The campaign really wants to reach out because, as Peter himself has said, he wants to be a mayor for all Houstonians. If you have an event you'd like to suggest please email schedule(at) peterbrownformayor dot com.

Also, please come out to the Peter Brown campaign office kickoff on May 16th if you want to interface more with the campaign.

Thanks for the blurb,


Brian Phillips said...


Perhaps I wasn't clear in my post--I do not endorse Peter Brown. I have stated my thoughts on his positions many times, such as here, here, and here. And if you want to see what I do endorse, see here.

Also, even though I am only a virtual candidate, I have spoken to the Houston Property Rights Association twice.

Anonymous said...

I understand you were not endorsing councilman brown
I merely wanted to point out that Peter
Has listened to property rights groups and answered their questions,
Just because he doesn't always share your views does not
Mean he has avoided hearing them. As far as I can tell
You have endorsed Kant for mayor.

Please continue to bring up these issues
as a good debate about the future of Houston
is very important.

Brian Phillips said...

The differences between my views an Mr. Brown's are irreconcilable. I hold property rights to be absolute; he believes that they can be violated for political expediency. He has demonstrated this over and over: support for zoning, his anti-billboard stance, his call for more restrictions on development, to name a few.

ic said...

Must haul U-haul to testify in front of Congress for gouging poor Californians to subsidize oil rich Texans.

Blacque Jacques Shellacque said...

Clearly what is happening is that far more people want to move from San Francisco to Austin than vice versa,...If there is a distinct migration underway, it seems to me the potential exists for Austin to turn into another San Francisco.

That's not necessarily a good thing.

Brian Phillips said...

IC--Perhaps the government of California should be brought before Congress to explain why so many people want to leave the state.

Brian Phillips said...

Blacque--Austin is already a lot like San Fran, so they may not really notice much different. I agree, it's not a good thing.

Eric said...

The trend is people leave highly regulated and taxed states like California and Massachusetts for less regulated and taxed states like Colorado, Texas and Vermont.

And then they use the political clout based on large numbers to turn their new homes into what they left. From this we conclude people are idiots.

Brian Phillips said...

I am sure that many are idiots. But I think most are unprincipled--they do not identify the fundamental reasons why they moved. It reminds me of a lyric from a Rush song, which I quote from memory: "If Eden was so near, why move around the world?"

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the 1970s when my Dad, who was not usually all that savvy in business matters, moved his mother from Virginia to central Texas where we lived. He got a quote for a U-Haul truck from Virginia to Texas and was outraged at the cost. He booked it for a round trip at about 1/3 the cost of the quote. When he got to Texas, he returned it saying that he did not need it for the round trip and got a refund.

Myrhaf said...

If a Californian were stranded in Austin, Texas, the cheapest way to get home might actually be to rent a Uhaul.

Ellen K said...

We don't need any more west coast Leftists in the Texas voting pool. I suggest we make them drop off at the New Mexico border. NM is already a lost state since it wants to be a mecca to all things Hollywoodish. Or we could make them divert to Oklahoma where the Okies would beat the nonsense out of them. Either way, the last thing we need is what Colorado has experienced wherein Californians move into a nice place and proceed to try an change it to where it's just as fouled up as Cali.