The Texas Model

Peter Hapak for TIME

Watching the Partisan bonfire in Washington these past few weeks, it's been easy to focus on the grime of the politics and overlook the scale of the choices. What do we expect from government? What are we willing to pay for? What trade-offs will we accept between freedom and regulation, fairness and opportunity? If you want to see how those choices play out day to day in real life, there's no better place to look than Texas. The Lone Star State is now the U.S.'s North Star, pointing toward the future, with three of the country's five fastest-growing cities. Since 2000,...

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