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Republican Policies Make Texas Less Attractive to Young Talent

According to the latest CNBC and Generation Youth Lab survey of young adults in America, Republican policies in Texas make the state far less attractive to most new graduates.

The Youth and Current Affairs Survey polled 1,033 people between the ages of 18 and 34 nationwide from April 26 to May 2, 2024. The topics included everything from abortion to TikTok, and few of the responses paint Texas as an attractive place to move.

A solid majority (62 percent) said they would not live in states that ban abortions. Abortion is currently illegal in Texas after six weeks, a time when many people do  not even know they are pregnant. Though the law is supposed to make allowances for medical emergencies, the vague wording of the law has led many doctors to refuse to perform the procedure out of fear of official retribution.

A slim majority (55 percent) said that would still move to a state that banned abortion for a job, but even that is not great news for Texas. For instance, sources inside hospitals report that emergency obstetricians in Texas are leaving the state in droves because they fear for their licenses and freedom in a state where they may have to choose between a patient’s health and obeying a draconian abortion law.

Endocrinologists are also avoiding Texas thanks to the ban on gender-affirming care for minors. Overall, there has been a steady decline of medical resident applicants in the state since the raft of anti-reproductive choice and anti-trans laws were passed. As more doctors and nurses leave Texas to avoid Republican-led culture war laws that limit medical practice, it creates deserts of care.

Another area where young people are united is in wanting a four-day work week. A whopping 81 percent of the respondents support it. The idea has gained some traction in the U.S. Senate thanks to a bill introduced by Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Naturally, many conservative-led states are pushing back on the idea, including Texas. State Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) has already filed a bill to ban four-day school weeks, and a ban on four-day work week’s is likely not far behind.

Student loan forgiveness is very popular with new graduates and other young people. Nearly 90 percent support some form of forgiveness, with 39 percent wanting forgiveness for all. Republicans in Texas are some of the most robust fighters against the forgiveness programs instituted under the Biden Administration. Governor Greg Abbott wrote a letter while the matter was before the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that forgives would harm the working class, though he did not present any compelling evidence for this claim.  

Progressive policies continue to be more popular with the next generation, and they are the ones that Texas Republicans tend to fight the hardest against. It’s clearly out of step with what surveyed young people look for in a state to build a career and raise a family in, at least according to the current data.

Jef Rouner
Jef Rouner
Jef Rouner is an award-winning freelance journalist, the author of The Rook Circle, and a member of The Black Math Experiment. He lives in Houston where he spends most of his time investigating corruption and strange happenings. Jef has written for Houston Press, Free Press Houston, and Houston Chronicle.

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