This Is Houston, We Have A Problem..

2017-09-26_16-07-46.pngTexas is famous for their lack of regulations and for this discussion that means that they allowed thousands of homes around Houston to be built on floodplains. Of course most of the devastation from Irma is a direct result of that decision.  It is kind of ironic in a sad way that a State who almost hates the federal government now comes to it with hat in hand asking the rest of us to get them out of the problems they caused. Texas claims to be able to take care of themselves so maybe we should just let them do that now?

Lest we forget the consequences of the lack of Texas regulations, I want to go back to a report by the New York Times of the tragic explosion in West Texas in 2013:

Texas has always prided itself on its free-market posture. It is the only state that does not require companies to contribute to workers’ compensation coverage. It boasts the largest city in the country, Houston, with no zoning laws. It does not have a state fire code, and it prohibits smaller counties from having such codes. Some Texas counties even cite the lack of local fire codes as a reason for companies to move there.

But Texas has also had the nation’s highest number of workplace fatalities — more than 400 annually — for much of the past decade. Fires and explosions at Texas’ more than 1,300 chemical and industrial plants have cost as much in property damage as those in all the other states combined for the five years ending in May 2012. Compared with Illinois, which has the nation’s second-largest number of high-risk sites, more than 950, but tighter fire and safety rules, Texas had more than three times the number of accidents, four times the number of injuries and deaths, and 300 times the property damage costs

Source: New York Times May 9, 2013

With Texas being the execution capital of the world and hate safety regulations it seems pretty clear that they just don’t value life as much as most of us. I know Texas prides themselves on not have regulations about floodplains and pretty much everything else.  So, why should the rest of us have to pay for their recklessness? That is the question of the day for me.  They need to live with the consequences of their actions.  It is as simple as that. Or at the very least tell them next time you are on your own…


  1. But, I guess they don’t mind a wall being built in their state on land authorized to be taken by homeland security, to keep those “dangerous” Mexicans out with no thought to their own stubborn ways being dangerous to themselves.


  2. We just moved back to Indiana after 30 years in Texas [near Austin – used to be the best place to live in Texas – now not so sure]. I left a son there and a few good friends so there are some good people there. :-). When we moved there in 1985 the “Don’t Mess with Texas” attitude was cute. But over the years, driven mostly by Rick Perry’s and now Greg Abbott’s anti-Washington attitude) they have started to drink their own cool aid and really believe they are special. They [mostly the natives] have turned into real a__holes. When we moved here the conservatism here really bothered me – more so than Texas. I finally figured out that Texas conservatism is more Libertarian based [more of a leave me alone attitude] and Indiana conservatism was more Evangelical based. I don’t like either but at least in Texas they didn’t thump bibles as much. I think that has changed in Texas these days.

    They are proud of being unregulated and take pride almost in being close to last in social services funding among the states. You know it’s not just Houston as the state has a lot of flooding in other places due to heavy rains and a lot of flash flooding. People keep rebuilding in other flood prone areas all the time.

    Prejudice against the ‘Mex’cans” runs wide and deep in the state as well. They are still Remembering the Alamo a bit too much.

    Personally I’d tell them no aid unless you do something to regulate building/re-building in flood prone areas. Actually anytime Houston gets a bunch of rain they have traffic problems as the drainage system sucks and the roads get flooded.

    However just remember that most of the people in Houston are not natives and they moved into areas without really being told of the possibilities. No aid will hurt them not the state since the state will likely not be able to provide sufficient help without federal assistance. They have no state income tax.


  3. Bob, thanks for the nuanced response about Texas Bob. It is good to hear from someone who has been there and done that. I think generally you are right about the Texas/Indiana differences but from some personal experiences of very close friends who moved there they do have their evangelical fanatics. Maybe even more so than Indiana.

    I think many places, certainly including Texas, has fundamentally changed in the last 20 years. I like to blame all of that on Reagan as he was in power when it all started. I see your point about people not even knowing they were building in a floodplain since State government doesn’t bother to inform them.


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