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« Wednesday Caption Contest: Part 153. | WILLisms.com | Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 504 - Unionism & Jobs. »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 503 - Rhode Island, Texas' Antithesis.

Texas = Prosperity; Rhode Island = Patrick Kennedy-

Last month, WILLisms.com examined the notion that Texas is Michigan's antithesis, economically. Maybe Rhode Island, home of the Fightin' Lincoln Chaffees, is a better comparison than Michigan.

First, a recap of the data from a month ago:

From May 2007 to May 2008, Texas was responsible for (BLS .pdf):

53% of all net jobs created in the United States.
5% of all net government jobs created in the United States.
112% of all net private-sector jobs created in the United States.

Well, there's fresher data. And from June 2007 to June 2008, the numbers are even more startling. Over the past year:

Texas was responsible for 73.4% of all net job creation in the United States.
Texas was responsible for 7.6% of all net government job creation in the United States.
Texas was responsible for a staggering 289.8% of all net private-sector job creation in the United States.

Yes, you read that right. 289.8%.

From June 2007 to June 2008, there were 33 states that added jobs and 16 that lost them. When you look at just the states that added jobs, exclusively, Texas still added 40% of total net jobs, 12% of total net government jobs, and 51% of total net private-sector jobs.

In total, Texas added 245 thousand jobs from June 2007 to June 2008. The rest of the country added 89 thousand. Those numbers in the rest of the country are inflated by government job additions, to the tune of 237 thousand in the past year.

In the past year, America added 78 thousand net private-sector jobs. That means if you take out Texas' 226 thousand private-sector jobs added over that period, the rest of the nation lost 148 thousand private-sector jobs.

Last month, this location on the intertubes picked on Michigan for its pro-labor laws and regulations, its high taxes, and its overall crummy business climate. While this upset some of my Michigander buddies, why is it that so many of them do not live in Michigan anymore? And some even live in-- you guessed it, Texas.

Michigan's economic policies are simply antiquated, having ostensibly perished around 1989 or so. Instead of demanding that politicians come pander to them about how Washington is going to fix it for them, Michiganders really need to vote in strong majorities of reform-minded free market Republicans for about a decade. Just as an experiment.

Or, they can just keep doing what they're doing (voting in Canadian socialists for Governor and/or fleeing the state for places with decent business climates). It really ought to be up to them, as long as they're not imposing their garbage policies on the rest of us. Unfortunately, only Hawai'i and New York contribute more left-wing policy to the Senate than Michigan, according to the National Taxpayers Union rankings (.pdf).

But what about Rhode Island?

Rhode Island has one of the highest state tax burdens in the country, at 12.7%. It is a forced-unionization state, it has one of the highest minimum wages in the country, and it ranks 48th on Art Laffer's Rich States, Poor States Economic Outlook (.pdf).

Rhode Island is also losing people to other states at an accelerating pace (.pdf):


Over the past year, Rhode Island has only lost 11,900 jobs, but for such a tiny state, the rate of job loss is more than twice the rate in Michigan. Rhode Island, which now has an unemployment rate of 7.5%, is losing jobs faster than anywhere else in the country right now. By far. Mostly, those jobs are private-sector jobs, but they're hemorrhaging so badly (with a nearly half-billion dollar state budget deficit) that they're even resorting to eliminating government jobs, albeit only 300 of those in the past year.

Meanwhile, Texas, a right-to-work state with one of the lower tax burdens in the country, has a government budget surplus somewhere in the low double-digit billion range heading into our biennial legislative session in 2009 and an unemployment rate more than a full percentage point (4.4%) below the national average (5.5%).

Interestingly, over the past year, Texas' employment level increased by 2.4%, while Rhode Island's decreased by 2.4%. Mirror images in a lot of ways. Completely different worlds.

I've put this data up on a Google Spreadsheet if you're interested.

More on this subject the rest of the week.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: States With High Gas Taxes Also Have Poorly Performing Economies.

Posted by Will Franklin · 21 July 2008 07:11 AM