By now, it should no longer be a surprise that Texas pretty much rocks economically. We have a thriving job market, low taxes and a low cost of living. But some people just can’t seem to get it through their heads.
So here are a few facts for the folks who can’t understand why we think our state is so great.
Between 2001 and 2011, Texas created more jobs than every other state combined. (Even PolitiFact agrees, and that’s saying something.) And we continue to lead the nation in job growth and boast a consistently low unemployment rate. A brand new report from the Brookings Institution shows only 14 cities in the nation have more jobs now than they did before the nationwide recession began. Guess what? Six of them are in Texas.
You’ve probably heard, mostly from people who opposed Rick Perry on the presidential campaign trail, that the jobs everyone is talking about are all minimum wage or government jobs. Not so, my friends. Will Franklin put it well:
Contrary to the “it’s all minimum wage jobs” postulation from the likes of former Enron-advisor Paul Krugman, Texas is adding a disproportionately high number of high wage jobs:
For industries paying over 150% of the average American wage, Texas could claim 216,000 extra jobs; the rest of the country added 495,000. In other words, the Lone Star State, with 8% of the U.S. population, created nearly a third of the country’s highest-paying positions. Texas also added 49,000 positions paying 125% to 150% of the U.S. average; the rest of the country lost 74,000 jobs in that category.
I’m not sure whether or not Krugman knows that Texas’ income gains as a share of national income were bigger than the rest of the top ten states combined, but he probably wouldn’t let that or any other fact get in the way of a good narrative.
Regardless of how much you make, your money goes farther in Texas. The cost of living here is much lower than, say, California, who we like to pick on. And not only does the Lone Star State have no income tax, our franchise tax is just one percent – and even lower than that for some – providing businesses more flexibility to invest, hire people and take risks. All this leads to a healthier economy and job market.
And people are moving here for that reason: to get a slice of the prosperity Texas can offer. For most, that comes with a job – maybe in tech-savvy Austin, along the Eagle Ford Shale where the energy industry is booming, or in one of our many small but growing towns. This post from the American Enterprise Institute, while a few years old, shows just how strong the pull is from blue, high-tax states on the coasts to liberty-loving Texas. Just take a look at this graph:
It gets better. The more people move to Texas, the more demand for products and services increases and the more jobs are created. The more jobs are created, the more attractive Texas looks to people and companies. And so on.
To top it all off, if Texas was a nation (again), it would have the 14th largest economy in the world. Not bad for a place that has “all” minimum wage and government jobs.
Convinced? You should be. If not, well, we’re okay with you not moving here. Bless your heart.