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Texas Living in California's End Zone


Here are three facts about the Lone Star State, as reported by Policymic. Texas is creating more jobs than any other state in the country; the government sector has shrunk more than any other sector; and perhaps most impressive of all, unemployment is falling even though participation in the labor force is growing:

Since August 2012, Texas’ employers added 274,700 new jobs; this astonishing annual total accounts for about 13% of all jobs added nationwide and is 51,000 more than the next highest state: California. The states with the next highest job growth over the last year were Florida (+131,400) and New York (+92,500). Furthermore, the year-over-year employment-growth rate in Texas was approximately 3% and substantially higher than in California and the U.S. average, which has been the case since at least 2007 (see below). These data are nothing but remarkable.

The industries where Texas has added the most jobs, according to Policymic, are education, health services, professional and business services, and manufacturing.

The report compares Texas in every data point to California. In everything from unemployment to job growth, Texas is trouncing the Golden State, and its unemployment rate has been beating California’s, and the nation’s, for 80 straight months now.

We can’t imagine that politicians in Sacramento or coastal elites enjoy getting trounced by Texas. We wonder how long it will be before they start entertaining “cowboy” notions like lower taxes and regulations as a way of  closing the gap.

[Images of Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov. Rick Perry courtesy of Wikimedia]

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  • bpuharic

    Hmm…getting ‘trounced’?

    TX ranks 25th in median income. CA ranks 10th. CA is only 10% more expensive in healthcare, and 6% more expensive in transportation (comparing Dallas to LA). Much of this, no doubt, used to support poorer workers that TX ignores.

    TX also has the 2nd highest percentage of its workers being paid minimum wage. It also has one of the highest rates of workers with no health insurance.

    TX is showing the rest of America how to be the best 3rd world country in the world.

    • Michael Brazier

      How does CA’s unemployment rate compare to TX’s?

      Because being paid the minimum wage might look bad when compared to a professional salary or a skilled tradesman’s hourly rate … but it’s much better, for everyone involved, than living on government largesse and doing nothing useful at all.

      You have to consider the whole population, not just the official workforce. If CA pays lots of people not to work, and TX doesn’t, by what measure is CA doing better than TX?

      • bpuharic

        If you bring back slavery we’d have full employment. And, as I said, the right loves the idea of the US as a 3rd world country.

        Kind of like a southern US Somalia.

        • crabtown

          Ya, those NYC retirees living in FLA just hate living there.

    • USNK2

      compulsive cut-and-paster-bpuharic:
      median incomes mean nothing.
      you forgot to notice the much lower housing cost in Texas.
      How many Texans are homeless?

      • bpuharic

        Uh, I mentioned the cost of living. And you’re saying if you had an income of $10K that wouldn’t be a problem in the US?

        OK. Send me your paycheck. I’ll send you 10K

        • crabtown

          I don’t see housing, food, property taxes, insurance, or utilities mentioned.

          • bpuharic

            Housing is more expensive. Of course, if you make minimum wage you’re homeless anyhow.

        • crabtown

          Texas $3.214

          California $3.971
          This week’s average gas prices in metro areas.

          • bpuharic

            What’s the price of gas in Saudi Arabia?

        • Jack Klompus

          You couldn’t cobble together 10 grand if you saved every cent you’ve made from swinging $2 tricks under the el tracks.

      • BrianFrankie

        >>How many Texans are homeless?<<
        Homelessness statistics:

        For 2012 estimate, TX had about 34,200 homeless, or about 0.136% of population. For same time period, CA had about 131,200 homeless, or about 0.352% of population, a rate about 2.5 times that of TX.
        Causes are complex, of course. But there is no doubt that the significantly higher unemployment rate in CA and higher housing prices both play a role.

    • crabtown

      Does it cost less to live in TX or California? Are SoCals still paying $400K for a 1400 sf. home?

      • bpuharic

        If they live long enough…Texans dying from having no health insurance, you see.

        • Jeff Jones

          You assume a solvent state won’t adapt and improve, probably because you’re a Detroit thinker surrounded by people who are willing to try new things.

          Public sector unions, lifetime pensions, and raises just for showing up are all products of a bygone era. They’ll never be back. And slamming states that adapt to this reality won’t make your beloved bygone era return.

          • bpuharic

            Hmmm…Detroit thinker? This from a supply side mythologist who thinks giving welfare to the rich will solve all our problems?

            States that are adapting? Somalia adapted, too. How’s that working out?

          • Jeff Jones

            I believe I was the one who said we should not be providing Medicare coverage to upper middle class and rich people, because they don’t need it. You’re the one who sees that as a threat to government-run healthcare.

            The “welfare for the rich” line is, and always was, hypocrisy.

    • Michael Brazier

      To expand: in both TX and CA there’s a large cohort of people whose labor is – at present – worth approximately the federal minimum wage with no benefits. In TX people in this cohort are working in the jobs they are competent to perform, and some are learning skills which will increase what their labor is worth.

      In CA, I suggest, people in this cohort are not employed. This does not, however, mean they are idle; instead they spend their days running through obstacle courses created by CA laws to provide evidence that they are, indeed, the sort of people CA politicians deem worthy of support from the taxpayers. The skills one learns from this activity do not increase the worth of one’s labor; arguably they decrease it.

      I can’t say whether the way TX handles this cohort leaves them with more material goods than CA’s way. I say only that TX’s way is much more in accord with human dignity and with the character once expected of a US citizen.

      • bpuharic

        Hey you want to handwave about what wonderful jobs minimum wage jobs are…and say, without proof, in TX they’re special, go ahead.

        I think they’re training to be Martian astronauts. Makes as much sense as your assertion does.

        • Michael Brazier

          Oh. My apologies, bpuharic; I had taken you for an intelligent and educated person. Do forgive me for making such an error, and rest assured I won’t make it again.

          • Jack Klompus

            I see you’ve encountered the resident mouth-breathing nitwit and fell under the mistaken impression that it possesses anything greater than a toddler’s intellect.

    • BrianFrankie

      I hate to say it, but this comment is typical of a certain segment of the left wing that has really gone off the rails – just completely manic, irrational, and impervious to reality (see Krugman). They are so invested with their ideology and unintertested in thinking about new ideas that they actually wish for Texans to have a poor standard of living just so they can be right. Can you imagine wishing ill on your fellow Americans just so you can be right? It’s truly … evil.

      Fortunately, the reality is much better than Mr./Mrs. bpuharic portrays. I loved Texas when I lived there a few years ago. Texas is doing extremely well, up and down the income segments. It is dynamic and growing and anyone who wants work can find a job with good possibilities for advancement. Any review of the data will reveal as much, as long as one reviews the data with integrity, rather than cherry picking information to confirm your worldview.

      I also loved living in the California Bay Area for several years. California also has a great entreprenuerial culture, and all the elements to be extremely successful. However, anyone with eyes unclouded by partisanship should be able to perceive that California has some significant problems to resolve (so does TX, of course, but CA’s are more serious). Most importantly, CA has bifurcated between a dynamic and well to do coastal enclave and the central portion of the state which truly, unlike any large chunk of TX, displays some 3rd world qualities – poor public services, terrible education, high crime. And the coastal enclaves are handicapped by high taxes, a high cost of living and, most importantly, a very restrictive regulatory environment (one of the major reasons I moved away).

      As far as median income goes, it is a difficult aggregate statistic, particularly for CA. Large adjustments are need for cost of living. Stockton is very different from San Jose; likewise Houston from Amarillo. There was actually a study in 2012 adjusting median incomes for cost of living. In that study, Houston was first in the nation in adjusted median income, and Silicon Valley second. One can argue about TX-CA comparisons forever, but I don’t think it adds much value. The truth is simple – CA and TX are both important engines in the US economy, and the US cannot reach its economic potential without both engines operating well. From that perspective, it is great to see TX doing so well in so many ways, and there may well be lessons CA can take away to improve its own performance. For someone to disparage TX instead of examining the state closely and learning from their efforts shows willful blindness.

      • bpuharic

        I also lived in both places, genius. Yep, that can happen. 2 people can do that!

        I agree comparisons are useless. Which is why I presented a balanced set of facts that you don’t dispute

        You don’t dispute the facts. You just object to the fact I presented them.

        Typical conservative; epistemic closure

  • gwvanderleun

    “We wonder how long it will be before they start entertaining “cowboy” notions like lower taxes and regulations as a way of closing the gap.”

    Puh-leaze, do you know the words to the old song “The Twelfth of Never?”

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    “We wonder how long it will be before they start entertaining “cowboy” notions like lower taxes and regulations as a way of closing the gap.”

    How about never, the Democrats are going to keep kicking the can down the road, until California goes bankrupt.

    • bpuharic

      And the GOP will ensure TX is the world’s best 3rd world country, even better than Somalia.

      • Jeff Jones

        Keep dreaming.

  • qultr

    California needs to be renamed. Instead of the golden state I propose–the state where dreams go to die.

  • Boritz

    ***The report compares Texas in every data point to California. In everything from unemployment to job growth, Texas is trouncing the Golden State, and its unemployment rate has been beating California’s, and the nation’s, for 80 straight months now.***
    As more and more people move to Texas from blue states and enjoy good jobs, the ability to start/grow a business, and affordable housing they will no doubt lament how it would actually be a pretty nice place if only the blue policies they left behind were in force. They will no doubt vote their nostalgia.

    • bpuharic

      Yeah selective data has a way of ‘trouncing’ objective data

      As I pointed out, TX has the 2nd highest rate of minimum wage jobs, and the highest percentage of people with no health insurance

      The right celebrates the fact TX leads the way to the US being the best 3rd world country in the world.

      • Michael Brazier

        Also, Cuba offers universal single-payer health care, and Mussolini made the trains run on time. TX doesn’t even have passenger rail service! How backward they are, compared to fascist Italy and Communist Cuba!

        • bpuharic

          Cuba has roads. Guess that means we have to get rid of all our roads

          Communist you know

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