Tomorrow is an important day. For more than three centuries, Scotland has been part of a united kingdom with Wales, England, and Northern Ireland. That may be coming to an end. With the vote for independence so near, Scotland’s economy may run into trouble.
Back in the early 80s, our economy was taking a beating. Like Scotland today, our economy was based on oil. While we came out of it doing quite well financially, it was only due to massive changes in our economy.
One big thing Texas has going for it is infrastructure. Our road system is great, our pipelines can send tremendous amounts of oil to market, and our rail system is well-connected. The only reason our infrastructure has difficulties at all is that our production of oil and gas is increasing so much. Another thing is the diversity of our economy. From soda giants to insurance companies and moving companies like ourselves, the Texas economy is designed to draw diverse businesses.
This is where Scotland falls behind. They lack both the infrastructure and diversity of the Texas economy. They will either need to develop both and follow a Texan path or to find another means of economic self-sufficiency.
Other examples of oil rich states are California, Alaska, and North Dakota. While California generates a tremendous amount of gdp, expenses are incredibly high. Their efforts to keep energy production sustainable are commendable, but not possible for a new nation struggling to stand independently. Alaska generates a ton of gdp per capita, but only because their population is so small. North Dakota is growing to be impressive, but it’s still not enough yet. It seems that Texas is going to be the best model for Scotland in the US. Then again, the vote may leave the Scots where they are.
Best of luck to them either way.