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« Your SXSW Trailer Food Guide, From A Local Austinite. | WILLisms.com | Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 925 -- Education. »

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 924 -- There Is Still A Land Of Opportunity In America, And It's Called Texas.

Texas Still Number One For Net Migration, Net Job Gains, Exporting, Etcetera-

Texas will have a smaller state budget in the 2012-2013 biennium than it did in the 2010-2011 biennium. Because of this, the Associated Press posted a headline declaring that the Texas economic miracle is beginning to tarnish.

Let's set a couple of things straight.

The Texas economy is not independent from the nation's or the global economy. Yes, the Texas economy has slowed relative to the boom of about 2004-2008. We've known that for almost two years. There was nary a state in America that was entirely unfazed by what some believe to be the worst economic situation since the Great Depression (which may be an overblown statement, but that's another post entirely).

Yes, Texas has a "shortfall," but in 75 days or so, maybe a few more if there's a special session, there will be a balanced budget and that'll be that. People will yell and gnash teeth about "the children" and cuts and all of that for a little while. There will be grandstanding and heartfelt pleas about "the poor" and more about "the children."

And life will go on. I've written about this more extensively already-- we will be fine. The "shortfall" is immensely overblown in the short-term sense, and probably underblown in the longer-term when you look at the burgeoning costs associated with the state share of federal entitlement programs like Medicaid, not to mention state employee/retiree pension and health care costs.

At any rate, Texas' state government will spend a little less over the next two years-- still more than a few years ago. And the very Earth itself will not open up and swallow entire cities.

But, yeah, the economy is not as robust as it was a few years ago. Relatively speaking, however, Texas remains on top.

Indeed, with SXSW happening in Austin, Texas right now, it sometimes seems like Texas is the center of the universe. And maybe it is:


This map is a domestic migration map of the United States. Over at Forbes, it's more interactive. You can click on each county and see people moving in and people moving out. There's no place in America where people move exclusively in or out, but the black lines indicate that in Austin, Texas (and in most Texas cities), there are vastly more people moving in than out.

They're moving here for some reason, and I doubt it's just the bragging on WILLisms.com about Texas drawing them here.

Check out the contrast of Austin to Los Angeles County in California:


A beautiful city. "You're going to Hollywood." The City of Angels. Beaches.

And look at all of that red, indicating people moving out, especially to places like Texas and the Southeast.

Look, every state is having economic problems, even the better-performing states.

But this recent surge of liberal commentators, liberal politicians, liberal bloggers, liberal establishment journalists, and the like, all making the case that California and Texas are basically in the same boat, or that the Texas economic model is a myth or overblown, are kidding themselves and very likely intentionally deceiving their audiences.

Texas was recently named the top exporting state in the United States for the ninth straight year. Shouldn't that have been California, with its proximity to Asia, Silicon Valley, and natural deep water ports?

Texas still added more jobs in the past year than any other state, by far. It was one of the very last states into the recession, and it's one of the fastest and earliest out.

Texas remains the top dog on the block. It's just that the entire block is a bit run down these days. That's not new news.

So when someone says that Texas isn't really a good economic model, remind them that if not for Texas in the past decade, the United States wouldn't have created any net new jobs at all. Remind them that, relatively-speaking, there is still a land of opportunity in America, and it's called Texas.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Administrative Bloat.

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Posted by Will Franklin · 17 March 2011 08:41 AM