Monday, October 18, 2010
In Ayn Rand's libertarian romance Atlas Shrugged, a metaphorical Colorado is the state on which America's last, best hope rests. If she wrote the book today, she would choose Texas, which created more than half of all the jobs created in the United States in the twelve trailing months ended in August 2010:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 214,000 net new jobs were created in the United States from August 2009 to August 2010. Texas created 119,000 jobs during the same period. If every state in the country had performed as well, we’d have created about 1.5 million jobs nationally during the past year, and maybe “stimulus” wouldn’t be such a dirty word.
What does Austin know that Washington doesn’t? At its simplest: Don’t overtax and -spend, keep regulations to a minimum, avoid letting unions and trial lawyers run riot, and display an enormous neon sign saying, “Open for Business.”
At bottom, the struggle between national Republicans and Democrats is over whether the country will adopt a version of the Texas model, or of the Michigan, New York, or California model. Will government allow the private sector to thrive, or stifle growth with its hyperactivity and favoritism for anti-business interests? If migration were a referendum, the Texas model would be winning in a rout — more than 1,300 people a day moved there between their 2007 and 2008 tax filings, according to Internal Revenue Service data.
I'm voting for the Texas model, and you should too.
Despite all of these impressive stats, Governor Perry is in a dog fight here with Democrat Bill White for the Governor's mansion. What's funny is that White's entire schtick is to tack right (not Left) of Perry on spending and almost all social programs. So the Dems have a guy who is more conservative than the very conservative Republican who is in office today...?
One more point, this past year my company earned a Texas Emerging Technology investment. When all VC capital dried up and the only money my very promising company could find was from the State of Texas. Rick Perry created a $200 Million fund devoted to Emerging Technology companies. At present they have invested in over 115 companies in Biotech, telecommunications, clean energy and technology. The state of Texas came through for a number of really neat ground breaking type technologies that are alive and hopefully thriving soon because of the state. Unlike a VC firm the state only needs a handfull of these to be successful in order to get a great return on their investment. A number of other states have similar programs, but they have tax incentives (which is of no use to a cash flow negative business) and virtually no cash to invest; so they are feckless at best.
So, I have to ask a slightly-off-topic question. What the heck happened to California? I'm in my late 30s, and when I was a wee lad, California was the freakin' promised land, where amazing technology and businesses were just a fact, the streets were paved with gold, yadda yadda. Or that's how it seemed to us kids.
Now it's paralyzed, its businesses are stagnant, its incredible university research system is falling apart, and its house-of-cards housing market has imploded, etc. And Cali license plates are (right or wrong) despised, up here in Seattle.
"So the Dems have a guy who is more conservative than the very conservative Republican who is in office today...?"
No, the Dems have a guy who *claims* to be more conservative than the Republian who has actually be *doing the job* for the last several years.
Hot air vs. actual results. I think I'd go for the results.
avoid letting unions and trial lawyers run riot
Texas isn't doing so good on the trial lawyer front, at least so far as class actions are concerned. Several Texas counties make the annual "Lawsuit Hellhole" list every year for their plaintiff-friendly juries and outsized awards.
A number of Texas cities, including Houston, have serious public-employee pension issues i.e. they will soon be bankrupted by them.