If Austin Went Rogue

Austin, we finally have our chance.

Long known as a city that lives in stark contrast to its surrounding state — a “blueberry in tomato soup”, in Rick Perry’s parlance — Austin may finally have its chance to break free.

Last week, European Union Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker came out in support of Austin independence, saying that he would encourage Austin and Ohio (as in, the state) to break from the Union should Donald Trump continue predicting the dissolution of the EU:

“But if he goes on like that, I am going to promote the independence of Ohio and Austin, Texas in the United States of America.”

Could it be? Could Austin finally break free?

No, but it’s a fun thought. So in order to extend the fantasy, we looked at how Austin would measure up against other countries by ranking it with the rest of the world on metrics like area, GDP, and obesity rate. Of course, all of this should be taken with a very large grain of salt, as comparing city-level data and country-level data isn’t exactly scientific. For example, GDP numbers are only available by metro area, so for that comparison we’d need to annex Cedar Park, Round Rock and Pflugerville (our Alsace-Lorraine?). There would also likely be some penalties for leaving the United States — for instance, we’d need to negotiate free trade deals with the US to keep our economy intact, a long-shot given our current President’s language on trade policy.

But hey, at least we’d be able to build a wall to keep the Californians out.

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