February 21 2013
Ten Gallon Paychecks: Why Doth Texas Prosper?
There was a concerted effort by the Left during the presidential primaries—when Governor Rick Perry had the effrontery to toss his Stetson into the ring—to prove that Texas’ prosperity a myth.
But data show the Lone Star boom is real. Wendell Cox, principal of Demographia, a policy consultancy, has analyzed the data for a piece for City Journal. Paul Krugman, eat your heart out. Contrary to what the misguided New York Times columnist repeatedly maintained, Texas is creating good jobs. Cox has fascinating information on Texas' “ten gallon paychecks.”
But I found the upbeat article thoroughly depressing: It shows that Texas’ growth is the result of policies that President Obama vehemently opposes.
Cox doesn’t go after the president, but it is clear that Texas is doing well because its leadership is different from our national leadership:
What accounts for the resilience of the Texas economy, which has outperformed the rest of the country not only over the long term but during the Great Recession as well? A pro-business climate has unquestionably been a substantial advantage. In its annual ranking of business environments, Chief Executive has named Texas the most growth-friendly state for eight years in a row. (California has been last for the same eight years.)
The reasons included low taxes and sensible regulations; a high-quality workforce (Texas ranked second only to Utah in that category in 2012); and a pleasant living environment (an eighth-place finish, slightly below sixth-place Florida but, perhaps surprisingly, far better than 28th-place California).
How can the United States become prosperous again when we have a president whose wrongheaded policies promote just the opposite of prosperity?
Is the project of American prosperity on hold for four years?
Will so many people be dependent at the end of four years that climbing out of the economic morass will be more difficult than now?
Recoveries after deep recessions are usually robust. But not this time. It is unfortunate that the sequester, in and of itself a bad idea, may be our only hope of trimming the government spending that is choking growth.
It is simply too bad also that at this time we have a president who knows nothing about how economies work. In a column headlined “The Pro-Growth Sequester,” Larry Kudlow contrasts the policies of Silent Cal to those of Loquacious Obama. Kudlow writes:
And I would point to the new book from Amity Shlaes, " Coolidge." Silent Cal was a manic budget-cutter who slashed the level of the budget. And he presided over a tremendous U.S. economic boom. In fact, Coolidge's budget cuts and Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon's tax-rate cuts were a one-two punch that serves as an example of how to fix our ailing economy today.