Texas Is a Model for a More-Libertarian, More Diverse America: Avik Roy

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Avik Roy, the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity co-founder, discusses how Texas has not only become an economic powerhouse, but has maintained a sense of inclusion that doesn’t exist in many other states.

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“In Texas, the Mexicans have always been there…. There’s not this sense that Mexicans are foreigners,” says Avik Roy, Forbes opinion editor and the co-founder and president of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP).

Roy believes Texas, a majority-minority state, offers a good counter-example for libertarians and conservatives anxious about immigrants and non-Europeans changing American political culture. The Lone Star State is not only doing very well economically, says Roy, there’s a sense of inclusion that doesn’t exist in many other states.

“It’s not just a free state in the sense of policy, but there really is a sense that everyone feels, whether Anglo or Latino, that freedom has made their lives better,” Roy tells Reason’s Nick Gillespie. “This indigenous thing called Tex-Mex has been around for a very long time. It’s simply not treating the others as if they were others…that attitude makes a huge difference.”

According to Roy, who has advised politicians such as Rick Perry and Marco Rubio, one of the goals of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity is to challenge the conservative view that holds racial and ethnic minority groups can only be appeased through more statism and redistribution and should thus be written off when it comes to building political and economic coalitions.

“Free markets have lifted more people out of poverty than anything that has been invented by man,” says Roy, “We don’t usually talk about free markets in that way.”

Edited by Mark McDaniel. Cameras by Austin Bragg and Meredith Bragg. Music by Simon Mathewson.