There’s a lot of talk about how El Paso could be the next Oklahoma City, developing downtown through sports infrastructure. El Paso and El Pasoans have bet a lot of money on that proposition.
But now lookie here: According to Wikipedia, the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area has a population of 1,083,346 with a per capita income of $19,366. That multiplies out to almost $21 billion.
The El Paso MSA has a population of 679,622 with a per capita income of $13,421. Las Cruces has a population of 174,682 with a per capita income of $13,999. That means El Paso’s collective buying power is $9,121,206,862, and Las Cruces is $2,445,373,318, for a combined $11,566,580,180.
$21 billion versus $11.5 billion.
That’s a big $9.5 billion difference.
Subtract a fairly comparable Cost of Living and the percentage difference is greater. Like, say it costs $10,000 just to live in both (or all three) places (I’m just spitballing here), and the difference in discretionary income is $10,146,618,636 for the Okalahoma MSA versus $3,023,540,180 for the El Paso and Las Cruces MSAs combined.
Throw in Juarez and Northern Mexico and it gets more complicated, but not by enough to make a big difference, I reckon.
Now if some jerk with a public education sitting in a a drafty spare bedroom on the fringe of downtown can figure that out, you have to wonder if the people running El Paso are clueless or if they’re selling us a bag of hooey.