Texas Has the Best Climate

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As a soon-to-be resident of Dallas, I'm pleased to see that the Lone Star State, where I was warned about roof-destroying hail in the winter and 100-plus temperatures in the summer, at least has "the best overall tort climate."

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  1. We also have the second lowest taxes (per capita) in the country, and South Dakota sucks anyway so the taxes aren’t a good enough reason to move there.

    But, Dallas? Why Dallas?

  2. South Dakota I believe is the only state which has a negative population growth pattern.

  3. Texas is a wonderful state, and Texans are the best people (speaking as one, of course). I am sorry to hear that you’re going to live in Dallas…just make sure to get out of town a lot and you should be okay.

    And, if you ever go out to Dallas clubs and bars, learn how to do that cough/talk thing and say “F**you, you’re not that cool; f*** you, you’re not that cool” to everyone who bumps into you. It’s the non-Dallasite’s alternative to “excuse me.”

    Seriously, I’d be interested in hearing your cultural/socioeconomic/political/”why are they so damned weird?” analysis of the place.

  4. Why Dallas? The same reason I’m in Northern Virginia now: It’s where my wife got a job. Other attractions:

    1. Mild winters (except for the hail).

    2. Slightly less humidity and fewer mosquitos in the summer (or so I’m told).

    3. Plenty of malls.

    4. Cheaper housing.

    5. The people seem nice.

  5. I live in Arlington, in between Dallas and Fort Worth (or “Fun Central” according to our city’s lame marketing campaign). You have the right info on hail and 100 degree heat. Except the heat is not just in the summer, it’s like right now. So, welcome!

    It is a good place to do business, and yes, Dallasites are a bunch of self-important tools (even though some of my best friends live there).

  6. This is the most dimwitted thing I have seen in a long time (well, actually, since I looked at the last PRI study).

    Basically, what PRI — the group who performed this “study” — does is make a list of things its corporate sponsors like and don’t like, assigns arbitrary “scores” to those things, and puts out a “study” dressing up its arbitrary scorekeeping as pseudo-science.

    It’s as if I put out a “study” of the best hitters in baseball which was based on giving each player 5 points for each triple (because seeing someone hit a triple is kind of cool) and 20 extra points if they have blue on their uniform (blue is my favorite color). That is a consistent and intelligible methodology, but it wouldn’t really correspond to anything really meaningful about baseball. (Jose Lopez of the Seattle Mariners might like it, though.)

    By way of example, one of the inputs into this PRI “study” is how many attorneys each state has. New York scored very badly on that point, because it is the financial capital of the universe, and there are a lot of attorneys there who work for financial institutions and white-shoe law firms. If anyone thinks all those lawyers at Debevoise working on deals are creating a bad “tort climate,” that person is an idiot.

    Aside from that kind of silliness, the deeper problem is that the “study” gives no serious attention to whether the tort system in a given state actually meets its goals in an efficient way.

    Suppose the legislature of East Dakota passed a law saying that people suing for assault would be limited to damages of a nickel, and any lawyer who represented a person suing for assault would be disbarred immediately. From PRI’s point of view, that would be an unmitigated good, because it would stamp out any frivolous suits for assault. It would also prevent East Dakotans who were assaulted from getting compensation, and probably at least some more East Dakotans would get assaulted.

    On the other hand, if West Dakota had a wonderfully efficient court system whose judges filtered out frivolous assault suits and allowed every person who got punched in the face to recover a perfectly fair amount of compensation from their respective puncher, that would, according to PRI’s methodology, be terrible.

    In other words, simply putting up artificial limits on the tort system isn’t automatically good, but PRI’s analysis doesn’t even try to take any of those costs into account.

  7. On the plus side, the CCW permits are easy to get. There are lots of places around Dallas where you can knock back the training requirement in one (admittedly long) day.

    If there’s a better state in the Union for hunting, I don’t know of it.

    The property taxes in Dallas are absolutely brutal, though. Worse than in Wisconsin, because Dallas is a cash cow for the Robin Hood school finance scheme, and finances schools all across the state.

    Unless you have a commute issue (like I do; I work downtown, go armed, and have a short temper on the roads, so I live where I don’t have a commute to speak of), you should look outside of Dallas proper.

  8. “the best overall tort climate.”

    And that’s why Texas is a shit hole – Austin excepted.

    http://money.aol.com/kiplingers/realestate/greatplacestolive?deeplink_level0=7&content_index=0&outlet_xmlLoc=http://cdn.digitalcity.com/kip_50_places/pg320_o_v1_0_2.xml

    There schools suck, their hospitals and healthcare suck, their crime rate is ridiculous, if your black you may as well just turn yourself in, political corruption (thus – “the best overall tort climate.”) is rampant, etc. You’d have to be retarded, or a criminal, to enjoy the political ethic of Texas.

    JMJ

  9. “the best overall tort climate.”

    And that’s why Texas is a shit hole – Austin excepted.

    Their schools suck, their hospitals and healthcare suck, their crime rate is ridiculous, if your black you may as well just turn yourself in, political corruption (thus – “the best overall tort climate.”) is rampant, etc. You’d have to be retarded, or a criminal, to enjoy the political ethic of Texas.

    JMJ

  10. During the 18 months I lived in Dallas, one of my crime experiences involved a man slowly chasing his girlfriend across my backyard with a drawn handgun. He seemed drunk. He was backing her into a corner of my backyard. I was inside the window. It was like watching tv except I could have been shot. It was probably worse for the woman, tho. See escaped by going over the fence and through all of my feces that had collected in my side yard due to a plumbing problem.

    I called the police and the man was quickly apprehended. the way it was told to me later was that the guy had accidentally shot his brother due to drunkenness, but did not want the police or ambulance to be called. the girlfriend wanted to call an ambulance.

    A couple months later the guy approached me to try to convince his landlord that he was a good neighbor. I politely declined.

    Enjoy Dallas.

  11. I had a buddy that went down to Dallas some years ago. He was involved in some kind of pyramid scam. I remember it like it was yesterday, “Oh man, down here in Texas, you can get away with anything!” Nice place.

    JMJ

  12. I loved Texas all three times I visited there (of course, I didn’t visit Dallas so I can’t verify if it’s as bad as I hear). The sky is enormous there. Have fun, Jacob.

  13. Well, Jersey, when you graduate maybe you can move down here.

  14. I know it sounds cliche, but when I was in Dallas a couple of years ago one thing REALLY stood out: the number of women who were jaw-dropping gorgeous. Plus TX has the best BBQ in the world, bar none.

  15. And that’s why Texas is a shit hole – Austin excepted.

    Says the Gentleman from New Jersey.

    I had a buddy that went down to Dallas some years ago. He was involved in some kind of pyramid scam.

    Because there has never been a pyramid scheme anywhere other than the Lone Star State. Never!

  16. I can’t believe someone in NEW JERSEY would have anything untoward to say about any other state or country. Talk about the armpit of the known universe.

  17. the number of women who were jaw-dropping gorgeous.

    True dat.

  18. Jacob, I’ll give you the best kept secret about living in Texas. You can say anything about anyone directly to their face, as long as you preface it with “Bless their/your heart”. Try it on your boss or significant other: “Bless your heart, but you’re as dumb as a box of hammers.” Works every time. Sage+P is spot on about the BBQ, but quality seafood is nonexistent, and contrary to what Jersey has to say, I haven’t been arrested yet, but maybe that’s due to the fact that I don’t commit crimes versus just “may as well turn myself in” for the hell of it. But you don’t have to worry about that, since it only applies to me and the rest of the coloreds.

  19. the number of women who were jaw-dropping gorgeous.

    True dat.

    You’d have to be retarded, or a criminal, to enjoy the political ethic of Texas.

    As opposed to the political ethic [sic] of, say, New Jersey.

  20. If there’s one thing that JMJ knows, it’s shit holes!

  21. Talk about the armpit of the known universe.

    putting down NJ is only acceptable if you live in NYC 🙂
    otherwise it ain’t such a bad place. low crime, generally good schools. yeah, it’s riddled with corruption, but i’ll take corruption over rednecks any day.

  22. Jacob, the Texas State Constitution demands that everyone from Dallas vacation in Santa Fe, where you should be as loud, drunk, and act as nouveau riche as possible at all times; you should also park your Hummer on the sidewalk while in the “City Different.”

    🙂

  23. I think it was Mark Twain who said, “If I had to choose between Hell and Texas, I’d rent out Texas and live in Hell.” Not the most ringing of endorsement, but there you go.

    Plus, I’m an Eagles fan, so screw Dallas.

  24. I currently live in Dallas and have for 20 out of my 25 years. Public transportation’s a mess. Downtown sucks. The city isn’t easy on the eyes. Bush will probably, along with his library, end up here. Crazy Christianity is rampant among rich and poor. You have to drive everywhere. Besides the sports section, the city paper is pretty bad. More showing off of money – and plastic surgery – than anywhere I’ve seen besides LA and Beirut.

    On the other hand, we’ve got great restaurants. Most favourable hot-girl-to-attractive-man ratio in the world for males. Parking’s easy. Real estate and eating out are relatively cheap compared to other big cities. A few great art house cinemas have opened in recent years. This also may be the city that gave birth to one of my favorite archtypes, the $30k Millionaire.

  25. I’ll take Houston over Dallas, but Dallas over San Antonio. Austin over any of them.

    Having lived in Texas for about a year and a half now, I can say that most people here aren’t rednecks (even in San Antonio), and that aside from the weather it’s an okay place. San Antonio’s main problem is that the whole town seems run-down, as downtown doesn’t have anything other than tourist traps.

  26. San Antonio’s main problem is that the whole town seems run-down, as downtown doesn’t have anything other than tourist traps.

    If you’re referring to the river walk area as a tourist trap, that’s a mighty beautiful tourist trap. It appeared to be populated mostly by locals when I was there.

  27. If you’re referring to the river walk area as a tourist trap, that’s a mighty beautiful tourist trap.

    In what sort of universe is the riverwalk beautiful? It’s mostly tourists, bums, and it smells rank. Completely, awfully rank.

    Or maybe it just loses its shine when you walk by/on it every day because the only restaurants downtown are located in that area and you’re sick of mediocre sandwhiches from the deli across the street from the bank.

  28. the way it was told to me later was that the guy had accidentally shot his brother due to drunkenness, but did not want the police or ambulance to be called.

  29. but quality seafood is nonexisten

    Bless your heart, Dave (seriously) – have you been down to the Gulf Coast? Houston, Galveston, coastal points immediately east and west of same, all have wonderful seafood. Maybe can’t quite compare to Louisiana, but no one can (besides, we now have a lot of Louisiana cooks).

    As for being black in Dallas….again, bless your heart. I imagine it’s better than being black in Mississippi, but still not much fun. You talk about a good old white boy entrenched power structure…

  30. See [sic] escaped by going over the fence and through all of my feces that had collected in my side yard due to a plumbing problem.

    Let me see if I’ve got this right: you had plumbing trouble, so instead of calling a plumber, you shat in the side yard?

    I think I know why she didn’t come to you for help, Dave W.

  31. As about a 12-year resident of Dallas, let me say welcome to town!

    The summers are too effing hot too effing long, but the low humidity and mosquito populations go a long way to making up for it. The barbeque here is OK, if you like beef, but I’m more of a fan of some of the pork stuff out of the greater SC area.

    I wasn’t a fan when I first got here, but the place grew on me. It’s probably unrefined compared to the DC area, but there are some upsides. Decent tex-mex being the one that I would miss most if I left. I second Jeff L’s assessment of restaurants, materialism, and public transport. Back before the telecom downturn, there were more Vipers, NSXs, Ferraris, and Lamborginis than you could shake a stick at. Still see Vipers pretty commonly, and I spotted a Ford GT outside some snooty Addison wine bar the other day, but there’s less of that now. Hummers and F-350s are still the norm around here.

    I don’t worry about the fact that downtown sucks. Uptown’s fine, and I like Lakewood, and a few other places.

    The religiosity is a problem, especially when it comes to the absolute MESS that is alcohol sales in this town. In some places you can buy any kind of alcohol, which leads to concentration of alcohol sales in small geographic areas. One former town, Buckingham, is the only place for several miles where liquor and beer can be sold – the concentration of people seeking alcohol on Friday and Saturday nights in this area makes it crowded and dangerous. In other places, you can only purchase beer and wine, and in other places you can’t buy anything. Collin County, where some of the big new suburbs like Plano, Frisco, Allen, and McKinney, requires that any restaurant make at least 50% of its revenues from non-alcoholic sales (food, entertainment, whatever) meaning there are no true bars anywhere in the entire county.

    And don’t get me started on the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Just be prepared for your favorite Belgian or German beers to be banned periodically because of some arcane bit of bureaucratic jiggery-pokery. Examples of excellent beer that they’ve run out of the state: Kostritzer Schwartzbier, Abbey de Leffe, and any of Lindeman’s lambics (all those are now allowed again, although Abbey de Leffe isn’t served anywhere anymore).

  32. Let me see if I’ve got this right: you had plumbing trouble, so instead of calling a plumber, you shat in the side yard?

    ROTFL!!!!!

    Maybe he shat in his own drinking well/water supply?

  33. See [sic, she] escaped by going over the fence and through all of my feces that had collected in my side yard due to a plumbing problem.

    Let me see if I’ve got this right: you had plumbing trouble, so instead of calling a plumber, you shat in the side yard?

    No, some kind of leak aparently developed and my sewage was flowing into the side yard. During the winter I did not notice because the cold killed the smell and because the side yard was narrow, fenced in and not really used. Then the thaw happened. For a few days I was in denial about the horror in my side yard. After that, I contacted the landlord and the problem was fixed reasonably quickly.

    This thing with the gun just happened to occur after the thaw, but before the repairs.

    I think I know why she didn’t come to you for help, Dave W.

    It is quite possible I saved her life. I have no idea whether the woman was still in danger when the drunk guy with the gun was apprehended, but it was clear that my phone call was the thing that got the police on the scene quickly. I was quite surpised I ever saw the guy again because Texas justice is supposed to be swift and stern and good-tort-climate and all that. I was never called as a witrness or anything like that, tho. I felt a little gypped in that I felt I really had witnessed a serious crime.

  34. I’m not sure I get the “favorable tort climate” tag. They have an absolutely brutal consumer fraud law (treble damages and everything), but I can’t say whether it’s enforced.

  35. And what about the Vioxx case in Galveston? I’m not sure Merck would share the view that it is a business friendly tort state.

  36. Just getting over 100 is nothing. It gets over 100 almost every day for several weeks every year. Don’t be surprised when it gets to about 105 for nearly a month. It’s definately not fun having to walk through an outside area with lots of concrete and no shade.

    Hail is a problem, but roof-destroying? Having to replace a few shingles every few years is hardly “roof-destroying”.

  37. I thought the humidity in the Dallas area was incredibly high the few times that I have been there. Also, I had never seen that many insects in my life. For a native of the Sonoran deserts of Arizona, it was like a month in the jungles of Costa Rica for me. OTOH, the summer temperatures were not bad at all, but when you live in Phoenix you consider any day with a high of less than 105 mild.

  38. Car-hood destroying, though, we get that.

  39. So Jacob: 1. Big Texas Howdy! and Welcome to all the Sullumns. 2. Does this mean we can start having those “Big-City-Name Reasonoids meet with Jacob Sullum at Such-&-Such Bar & Grill tonight” events like Boston & Naw Yawk get? I’ve lived in DFW for 35 years, been a small “L” libertarian for 20, and a Reason subscriber for 3 and I’ve only met 1 other area fellow traveler.

  40. Jacob, I’m a 37 year native of Dallas who relocated to Florida nine years ago. For most of that nine years, I didn’t have much interest in returning, but in past year I’ve had cause for work and play to visit and it’s back on my travel schedule regularly.

    No doubt one must be An Excellent Driver and more important, A Patient Driver to get around and be able to make the most of the region.

    I’ll second the notion for future creation of REASONOIDS ABOUT TOWN confabs being on your list of To Do after you get settled in.

    SteveUsed2BInRichardson

  41. And what about the Vioxx case in Galveston? I’m not sure Merck would share the view that it is a business friendly tort state.

    You seem to assume that the best tort climate is a no tort climate. Now, why would you assume that? maybe the best tort climate means lots and lots of fair tort verdicts, involving fair allocation of blame for unfair infliction of harm occasioned by private parties. That sounds like the best tort climate to me!

    I don’t care if the judgment is liable or not liable, injunction or no injunction — just so long as justice was done.

    *wipes tear from eye, undrearily*

  42. Scott, true dat about the humidity in comparison to the Sonora, but when comparing to, say, Houston or NoVa, it’s nice and dry.

    Of the big four Texas metro areas, the only one I wouldn’t live in is Houston. It’s probably even nicer than Dallas in winter, but you couldn’t pay me enough to be there in the summer. Take all the heat mugginess of NoVa summer, bump it up another two notches, and overlay the whole thing with the sweet sweet smell of 30 oil refineries.

  43. Sphynx, they did have a Reasonoid meet-n-greet out in Grapevine, a couple of years ago. I couldn’t make it, (partly because I’d have had to fight through the worst of 635 traffic to get to Grapevine for it). And of course Dallas is home to everyone’s favorite Editor Emeritus, Virginia Postrel, so Dallas has some reasonable Reason cred.

  44. If you have to live in a Texas city, Dallas is okay. I have relatives up there and they seem to do okay.

    I live in Kerrville, which is much smaller, much higher in altitude, cooler and drier.

    Suggestion: When I get real hot, I go out into my garage and look at the dusty snow shovel hanging on the wall. You don’t have to shovel hot.

    And of course no one seems to have mentioned the obvious: No state income tax.

    Other than that JMJ knows exactly what he’s talking about so we don’t need anyone else from NJ moving down here. 😉

  45. Welcome to Texas, Jacob. I grew up in Commerce, some 70 miles to the east of Dallas, and my parents still live in the area.

    No one has mentioned The Summer of 1980 yet. When you get to Dallas this summer, every native will compare this summer to the truly godawful 1980. I turned 17 in July of that year, and it was 110 on my birthday. We had 62 days over 100, 45 days above 105, and a couple of 115’s. This was, at the time, unheard of, but many of that year’s records have been broken since 2000. Still, if you want to fake people out, mention that “It still ain’t ’80,” and everyone will take you for a native.

    Finally, do come on down to Austin sometime. We have better weather and much better parties down here.

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