The South/economy & Business: The Nonstop Texas Gusher

The outsider pictures the Texas economy as a montage of oil wells gushing instant wealth, horizon-to-horizon cattle roaming the King Ranch, self-made millionaires stomping about in stetsons, ready to take a shot at anything that promises a profit. The surprising fact is that so much of this view is essentially true—although the real business mosaic of Texas is of course vastly more complicated. The Texas economy is a thing unto itself, almost self-sustaining, ever on the move. Today, for example, Texas is expanding production of drilling equipment faster than output of oil itself. Besides its oil tycoons and cattle barons, the...

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