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tv   Book Discussion on Lone Star Nation  CSPAN  February 15, 2015 5:30pm-6:16pm EST

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e will have as big an impact on the country in the 21st century as california did in the 20th century. this event is from bookpeople bookstore in austin texas. it's about 40 minutes. [inaudible conversations] ..
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our neighbor, iraqi, close of them, and an even more dangerous place to write texas. so the question, i guess, is tax is texas going to be the california of the 21st century? we will the migration into the state truly transform our state into something that will lead the nation as we go forth into the century? we will texas still be taxes when this is all said and done? without further ado i would like to present richard to try to talk to you about those issues. [applause]
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>> thank you for coming. special thanks to steve and the crew at book people the world's greatest bookstore. my publisher in new york pegasus books, and, and a few people here in the audience. one of the people this book is dedicated to a couple of friends we see you as well. thank you for coming. what what i would like to do is give you an overview of the book and then take a few questions and then read for about ten minutes. i promise i won't inflict 30 minutes of reading any. but the premise of the book is that a great deal of what we think we know about taxes is not quite right. i would even go so far as to
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say some of it is increasingly absolutely wrong. the reason is you look at the history of texas for a a long time it has been framed about the history of the land. there have been some wonderful historians one comes to mind in his huge volume one star for which this is partially named and in it he argues the landscape of texas was so vast and so immutable that it forged a special group of people who could survive in it. he was probably right. you look back at the 17th and 18th and 19th centuries. as a great deal of truth in that. something that. something important is happened at the beginning of the 21st century. can never have foreseen, he wrote his book in 1969 i believe the 1st edition. that is the texans is
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filling up with people, something that is never happened in the 16 or 17,000 years of human history in texas. that to me, is, is a really big deal, a big event. when you think about taxes at it's about the size of france, around 700,000 square miles, but the core we will we call the texas triangle that area is where 80% of texans will live in this. and that area is only about 60,000 square miles. and so what we're seeing is 80 percent of the state's population living in just a tiny fraction. to give you a.of comparison the population densities in the texas triangle by around the middle of just the century, about 35 years over and -- we will resemble the density of the us boston
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corridor where the population between los angeles and san diego. we are talking talking about population densities that used to be measured in dozens hundreds becoming thousands and tens of thousands. that's a very different taxes than the one i grew up in 50 years ago. so that said there are some really great reasons to be bullish and optimistic about taxes. there are also some reasons that texans who care about texans should have real concerns. what what is there to be bullish about? well, we are almost the biggest and land mass and may become the biggest and population. there's an outside chance that taxes will exceed california as the largest most populous state in the union by around 2050. we have we have a booming
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economy compared to much of the rest of the united states and certainly much of the rest of europe and parts of asia. in fact, if current trends generally hold to the fourth-largest they we will overtake germany by the middle of the century. the take that step further the amount of economic activity in taxes will mean the difference between american remaining in the number one economy in the world and china remaining the number two economy in the world. third texas embodies the kind of ideals about opportunity and individualism that are just extreme versions of being in america. she said it far better than i did. texas is just like america, just more so.
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as a result we have special responsibilities to keep it that way. i see three very important threats. i see them sort of like thunder clouds on the horizon. very obvious to most of us were hear. there is not enough water. we barely have enough to sustain 27 million. how we sustain 50 millions and clear to me particularly when there is growing scientific evidence that climate change is actually lessening the amount of rainfall that hits the dirt in taxes. the boom today in taxes is not run on oil. it runs on water. the big challenge is that we are witnessing now the birth
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essentially of the new texas majority for pretty well 200 years texas has had an angle majority. they came flooding in in the early part of the 19th century in their war anglos than than they were mexicans and native americans combined. that is now being precisely reversed. as of last year hispanics were the largest ethnic group in texas. becoming becoming an outright majority will not happen in our children's lifetime. it will happen almost a year the population projections whether it's outright growth with the of the majority that is emerging, constantly being outstripped by events. what we have not solved is the question of upward mobility.
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hispanics are graduating at the same rate by and large is anglos are african-americans. however they are they are going on to college at the same rate. the big reasons money. without going on the four-year schools or specialty training the going to miss only opportunity to as much as double there income. if we don't solve this question of upward mobility which is not a handout but a leg up, we could wind up with a majority that is not upwardly mobile whose kids do not do better than they do and who we will not generate enough income to keep the economy going by durable consumer goods, afford to buy homes were similar kids to college. that's a really daunting thing. a. a prosperous texas can become a very poor texas. and that can happen within 30 years.
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lastly there's a political question here. does taxes expand the democracy or do we limit? a lot of people have criticized me. look, 2014 republican swept texas. isn't that proved positive that nothing's going to change? ahead this very question this morning. the answer is no. when you have an election in which only one in three registered voters, fewer than 5 million out of 15 million going to vote that's not a very healthy democracy. that does mean that parties: the parties: the republicans or democrats can manipulate the levers of power to remain in power.
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so for texas to make choices about water, education for the future, the economy is going to require that more of us not fewer of us can't participate in a democracy. that is something we have not really known. so with that there is no need to buy the book. no i'm kidding. with that i'll take a few questions. i will read the book. questions, comments? disagreements? well if you have the majority of the population more than 50 percent which does not earn enough money because their not getting enough education that you have a majority they we will be poor. >> hold your hand up.
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>> is there a time frame in the world? come to resemble. >> that's a good question. yeah. i -- is pretty dramatic. this is not a fair comparison, but they're are many examples of places in the world where in ethnic majority has been locked out of power and wealth. south africa before apartheid is a great example is that an extreme example? yes but essentially disenfranchisement of the majority of the population for decades. it would not be overt or racial. even voting laws in texas today are comparatively restrictive. but that gives you an idea. you could have a majority of the population poor and not adequately educated and have
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little to know effective political power. >> just wait for the microphone. >> wouldn't the lack of water slowdown the migration to taxes as people from wherever they are coming from saw the problem and undoubtedly the price for water would rise? when that sort of the migration? >> you raise a a good., the price of water. right now it's somewhere between free and cheap. we don't have a pricing scheme but actually causes consumers or industries to inhibit there use. i'm not suggesting that is the answer but we have seen even in central texas major water authorities sell off
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the surface water rights to foreign companies, particularly canadian companies. and if some of those cases we have seen the price for water go way way up. so that is true, but kept artificially suppressed, no. we would probably run out of affordable real estate for affordable water. to water. to your. we would run out of affordable water right after that. okay. anymore? >> is mexico can take taxes away from us? >> yes. no. no. no. texas and mexico have a complicated and interesting relationship which runs in parallel with that of the united states and mexico. texas has become to mexico an important place and always has been for trade and other reasons. the relationship has grown
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economically stronger. what you see now is the migration of wealthy mexicans to taxes to san antonio el paso, houston, austin. so you're seeing this sort of nature of the relationship begin to change for a long time texas.of people from mexico coming over to work in low-wage jobs, documented or undocumented, but that is changing and i think it's going to make the relationship between texas and mexico actually more important not less important yes, ma'am? >> what are some solutions you might offer for the other two problems problems, education and voting, getting the vote up. >> well, i think to some them up the voting issue is complicated. in terms of water the current plan in texas is essentially to build more reservoirs just as we did in
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the 1960s after the great drought of record. that plan is only currently partially funded. only partially paid for. we we have to figure out a way to pay for it assuming that's the plan. a very fair criticism that has been raised is, is is, is that really the best plan that got? >> i would like to speak to that. i am a member of the local sierra club. the four top diurnal cra was talking about this. not only climate change, but the temperatures are slightly hotter and this small increase in temperature is a huge increase in evaporation rate exponential. a few degrees hotter a huge evaporation. is. is just evaporating faster and building big reservoirs. it's it's just not a good
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idea. >> i think that's true. >> the legislature has been voting. >> that's exactly right. we need to think -- we need to do our thinking for the legislature apparently and also we need to think further ahead. other conservation efforts substantial enough? the ways that we do up how to share water between urban areas and farmers 50 years ago still adequate? the question about education has to do with the price. we have seen exponential increases in the cost of tuition and fees at state land-grant universities and that is a big obstacle the people of limited economic means of whatever ethnicity when it comes to syndicate send their kids to college.
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the reason is the legislature and the governor have refused to fund the expansion of universities. the mission of the land-grant universities is to educate every texan essentially who want to education. these should not be institutions" the everybody. anymore questions? okay. >> chapter two great migrations. on. on isolated stretch of desert imaginary line slices the land separating new mexico from texas.
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this is the land of boundaries. a few miles to the west the money rio grande cut its way south separating mexico from the united states. to the east the oregon mountains marked the southern end of the rockies. the purple franklin mountains to the southeast of the beginning of the hartshorn desert. interstate ten stretches out the mountains and the river connecting the atlantic and pacific ocean. eighteen wheelers push in both directions but most of the cars are going east. one after another bears the same license plate california. quickly a bright yellow sign framed by rustic by rustic wooden posts is that a farewell to mexico and a few seconds later a modest green highway sign comes into view. welcome to texas. for many travelers travelers in california a brief relational set in. a across 761 miles of desert
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from southern california but that feeling is dashed by the very next mileage sign el el paso 18 miles. beaumont, 852. it is still some 600 miles to the big cities in between dallas,, dallas san antonio, austin houston are still a full day's driveway. between 2005 in five and 2,010 some 3.4 million californians left the golden state. for many in the middle class the reasons for simple, high housing prices, scarce jobs mounting taxes. housing is expensive and when the real estate bubble popped it took the economy and jobs with it taxes remain high. those who could and those who had to cut out reversing decades in which california gained more people that i lost. california once embodied the american dream of orange groves and opportunities in sunny beaches.
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now the california dies for detached people to neighboring states. the the single largest number about a million in the initial years went to texas with many making the long trek to the desert passed the state line and onward to reach the big cities of texas. california was not the only home american left behind for a knew life the lone star state. over the same five years nearly three and a half million americans arrived in texas from all points in the united states. california yes but also new york, dc, chicago, miami portland, seattle, and portland, seattle, and hundreds of other towns and cities in between. america was in the throes of one of its periodic and epic mass migrations. among them among them were the westward expansion and european migration of the 19th century the great
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migration of african-americans agrarian south to the industrializing midwest of the 20th century and the great depression migration from the dust bowl to this field and groves. they alter the course of history. entire economies arise, new social pressures are created power changes hands. texas has has seen five such migrations. this is the 6th. in each case the migrations to texas created economic, social, political change that reverberated across america and in some cases around the world. taxes may be one of the grade magnets great magnets of mass migration in human history like the current of the strong new river suddenly carved into the earth the 6th migration is delivered 3.6 million people to the state and deposits over a thousand fresh arrivals everyday.
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in the 70s and 80s the collapse of the industrial rust belt drove the 1st large wave of non- southerners texas and that was the 5th migration. no republican has won the white house in the last quarter-century as a result without texas nor could they earlier in the 20th century oil brought southerners in the 4th migration to create an industry that to this day fuels the modern economies of the world. the 3rd migration the the mass arrival of southerners from the early 19th century led to war, independence expansion of slavery in the indian wars and then it triggered stonewalled mexico and ultimately after texas was granted statehood it tipped america into his bloodiest conflict, the civil war.
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before that the 2nd migration from asia spawned the native american cultures that in turn brought with them agriculture, trade, and war and the arrival of the 1st humans also from asia 16,000 years ago constituted the 1st migration. migration. for the 1st time the pristine natural order of north america planting harvesting, planting harvesting, and the head of the creature had never known it is difficult, nearly impossible to understate the impact of mass migrations wherever and whenever they occur migrations are spurred as much by need, even desperation as ability. ability. in many cases the people who most need to go cannot. those with the most resources never need to leave. it is the the people were just enough resources to make the journey but not enough to stay and find the motive to set out from a long trek toward an uncertain home. the migrations that shaped
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taxes and reshaped america share many similarities with the other mass migrations of history. some 95000 years ago the 1st mass migration from africa, the cradle of mankind spurred by drought which brought with it its twin starvation. these brought with them the technology and experience that enable primitive european-style mastodons. the germanic migration southward into the expanding roman empire brought war from the 4th of the six centuries. the great atlantic migration from 1880 to 1919 brought 60 million europeans to the new world and some 20 million of them to the united states.
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the forced migration of the slave trades and 20 million africans across the atlantic, many dying during passage. the mid 20th century forced migration between 11 and 20 million people by nazi germany included 6 million jews sent to their deaths across europe. the the consequences as a result of mass migration are vast. consider the great atlantic migration which ensued even as texas fell into a low of its own. industrialization was proceeding rapidly and yet the they're are resources needed for manufacturing or half an ocean away. as with a largely unskilled labor was needed in the united states, canada, states, canada, north america as well as argentina and brazil and south america for decades wages in europe fell. the same decades wages in the united states rose. mass mass migration is fueled not just economic power of a political power. new york was the most
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populous state in the union in 1810 with a little less than 1 million inhabitants until the civil war some of the five largest were southern slaveholding states and he's vanished after the 1860 census. after the war new york received many immigrants coming from europe including 20 percent every decade. more growth begets still more growth. as new york's welded became the undisputed manufacturing and financial center of the nation but wielded more political power in washington formally and informally. from 1862 the turn-of-the-century the rounded out the top five population centers. the power group usually putting that in the white house and sending more wealth back home. of the 22 presidents who served in the white house during the 19th 19th century all but three came from one of the five most populous states five presents.
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when new york was not in the white house generally speaking a man from ohio, indiana illinois was. in the 20th century their would be no greater example in the american experience today than that of the great depression. more than 1 million people uprooted to flee the dust bowl the collapsing farms and ranches and the real prospect of starvation. once a magnet for migrants texas was exporting people westward. the combination of drought, poor agricultural practice, agricultural practice, erosion produced dust storms dispute 300 miles eastward. but if but if the family had $10 for gasoline and on the vehicle they can make it from texas oklahoma, or arkansas all the way to california. never before had californians had so many poor migrant families. middle or upper income.
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but these migrants brought entire households, familiar households, familiar with farm work and were unafraid of the harsh living conditions. and then something changed. war broke out and the federal government was spending eight and a eight and a half billion dollars a year in california alone compared to less than 200 million before the war. not only were they're more jobs but higher-paying ones bases, airfields, depots, factories, shipyards. the boom coupled with the draft sure to vote spurred more migration. the latter part of the 20th century they would come to dominate and define the american experience economically, socially, politically, just as new york and on the 4th and now it's texas tech. [applause]
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so, yes ma'am. >> in light would you explain how in light of all the shrinking resources and the increasing people you envision this state becoming a liberal bastion? >> well i think the pressures of dense urbanization hold much of the answer to that question. you can have conservative politics will sway and lots of parts of the country. ..
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when that happens, there is virtually no evidence that conservative republican politics as we know them today will thrive. in fact when i was searching the buck, the only republican mayor of the city was mayor of indianapolis which is at present
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i think conservative politics have a really hard time sort of reeling in the big cities. we already see that. dallas county has been run by democrats for 20 years and a democratic mayor furnishing up for the fourth term. it's been a town on a broken. austin is as well and there were times when these places were not the bulk of the population but that's not true anymore and people forget that there were times when dallas and houston were staunchly republican but that isn't true and the answer is it is the organization that begins to change people's needs
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and one that needs change, politics will follow. >> how do you think that those that migrate it influenced california? >> great question. people didn't really like them. as i noted in the book california was used to having the migrants come so they were treated poorly and as a second rate citizens. but i think part of my family was reflecting on their experience. they changed california but they try to do is absorbed as much of
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california and its traditions and its music as they could. they complained that it had altered their culture they tried really hard to embrace it and so that's actually an analogous methods message for texas. the more people come here the more they change it. texas has a very particular identity and part pathology and its parts real. the people as much as they change the place they often find themselves and that is what happened they became very california and it is what is happening in texas today.
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>> they are in the book. that should tell you why. are there any other questions? >> can you touch on the religion in the future? >> i don't think they are any more or less religion than most and i can't say that i studied with a hispanic majority that isn't something that i've put enough effort into. >> will have the most fun you had writing this book?
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mark and i used to hunt together and there were a few pastors that got that. but most fun i had was living it. writing it down was hard and researching it was a drudgery. writing it was an experience. but i've been living it one of the biggest stories i will ever know, so that was the most fun. i wanted to answer your questions since you hosted us this evening. i deal with that in the back of the book and the reason is because it's important to all of us whether you are from it were a new arrival you don't want it to change, you want the essential parts to change.
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i think that a lot of good things will come from change. people overlook the fact that hispanic occupation is younger than the anglo population. that means they have years and decades of activity and work ahead. i think it's a wonderful thing when you think about that you start to reconceive of america not as a generation of baby boomers with 1 foot in the grave, but instead as a youthful nation compared to other industry likes power. japan will envy this. mexico was too far away. that said, i believe strongly that the merging in texas and
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the enthusiasm people bring when they come here will always keep texas special. it will become more of a laboratory in the 21st century and america will start to look a lot more like texas if we solve the three challenges that are laid out. but people buy into the myth and they wouldn't know it from a hole in the ground. they have cowboy boots and hats and above statistics that convinced me ultimately when i was finishing the book is there was a poll done but asked people do you consider your text -- consider yourself a texan and the people who considered themselves texans first, the
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most recent arrived from mexico. so there you have all the evidence you need that if we want to facilitate it. [applause] if you don't have a copy already we have loads of copies down stairs at the information desk at a the desk you see when you first come in. if you want to enter the receipt for the book to enter the line it goes this way so we don't block traffic to the stairs and cory and i will be circulating were walking in a line if you
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want your book personalized or made out to anybody in particular. thank you for coming. we couldn't have events like this if it were not for you all so thanks for being part of tonight. [applause] to talk about his memoir.
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>> i would have liked to find a jolly kid who had a few problems but that's not what i found in the course of interviews i found out that i put a lot of people at risk around the and even when i did recover it was only an early for the love and attention that other people told me. a whole tribe of people came and they were lifting and pulling on me. so my aerobic narrative didn't really fit with what i have learned. part of what got me started on the book was my daughter's were going to college and tuition tends to focus the mind and at
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the same time they were writing their essays for college and it was like to have been born two and a half months premature to drug addicted parents and then have your data raise you mostly by insult. after i read their essays i thought i wonder when other people would say -- and i worked at the times and i never really met a story that didn't get better when you didn't apply to the leverage of reporting and so i say go back and interview a bunch of different people. it's on the website you can check out the interviews i did. what i found is different from what i remembered and i think that you'll find this true it
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lies between people and it's not if you think of the story a family tells to each other how many of those stories are exactly precisely true blacks it is a way of creating an understanding of the narrative and coming up with a version of ourselves and all these stories are bad. there's a point in the book where i assumed once i sobered up that i was a custodial parent of my twins so i went and saw the family attorney who made that happen and i said well i was pretty much like baby jesus when you saw me. i was sober and the mother was not and it was an open and shut case. she was a nice minnesota lady and you can see her on the
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videotape trying to figure out how to see what she's about to say to me which is you were really huge you didn't smell very good you dressed like a homeless person and we wondered about the ethics of placing children in your hands whether you fully understood the implications of that. so i said not so much baby jesus and a baby jesus and she said no, a holy mess. if i had known how unfit i was to be a parent of these little baby girls i would have found at paralyzing so this fable i told myself allowed me to hang in there long enough until he learned to be a parent. some of these stories we tell
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ourselves in depth helping us on the way. >> director of the center on chinese strategy at the chinese institute -- hudson institute writes that china has a plan to replace the u.s. as the largest power by 2049. it's next on booktv [inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon. i hope all of you can hear me.

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