What the rest of the country can learn from Texas

August 12, 2010

We’ve often written of the many reasons we prefer to live, work, and invest in the Southeast and Texas.

To cite additional evidence in support of our position might have us justifiably accused of “selling past the close,” but this one we like because we found it off the beaten path, in The Weekly Standard.

In Lone Economic Star, Eli Lehrer reports that “in a nation looking for good economic news, Texas stands out as a bright spot.”   Although the success “defies easy explanation,” Lehrer maintains that it’s a mix of  good land/city planning, investing in research and the arts, and avoiding two mistakes that have an all-too-familiar ring to them:  excessive government spending and poorly conceived private lending.

In May alone, Texas, America’s second most populous state, added over 75,000 jobs—more than California (the biggest), New York (third biggest), and Florida (fourth biggest) combined. Texas has shown consistent gains in 10 of the 11 categories of private employment that the Bureau of Labor Statistics measures. The state is far more than cowboys and oil: It has several of the nation’s leading medical research centers (Baylor and UT hospitals among them), one of the biggest computer makers (Dell), and a financial industry that never took a turn for the worse. And, even though unemployment remains a tick over 8 percent (about a point and a half lower than the national average), the rapid growth is bringing this down quickly. During the last week in June, the job-hunt website Monster.com offered more new job openings in Texas than in California even though the Golden State has over 10 million more people.

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