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« Second Amendment Facts. | WILLisms.com | Texas Getting Under California's Skin. »

Texas Versus California: A Story Of Welfare States.

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 964 -- California Is America's Welfare Capital-

Did you know that California, with just 12% of America's population, has 34% of American welfare recipients?

Or that Texas has both one of the lowest per capita welfare costs and one of the lowest percentages of its population receiving welfare benefits?

It is so.

There really are two basic models for governance in this country, and we're seeing the results play out in stunning high definition right before our very eyes.

There's the California model, which stresses the primacy of radical environmentalism, the overregulation of both the big and the minutiae of daily life, the imposition of high and punitive taxes on success, the unquestioned supremacy of big, bossy labor unions, and the celebration-- or at least acceptance-- of expansive and nannying government. The result is perpetual fiscal peril, net domestic migration outward to other states, a scandalously horrendous education system, decaying infrastructure, stubbornly high unemployment, and the worst poverty in America.

Other ominous signs for California: Los Angeles and Orange counties experienced a 15.6% decline in under-15-year-old population, highest among the nation's metropolitan areas, in recent years (Texas, Utah, North Carolina, and several other states saw increases). Atlas Van Lines' latest analysis of outbound versus inbound moving trucks shows that California is a net exporter of people to other states, while Texas is the nation's biggest net importer. As people flee the state, it's no wonder California's mortgage foreclosure rate is roughly double the national rate (while Texas' is nearly half the national rate).

This graphic, from the San Diego Union-Tribune, shows just what an outlier California is in terms of its citizens collecting welfare benefits. Indeed, Texas is something of an outlier, as well:


click image for larger version or click here for the original version from the San Diego Union-Tribune

If you're trying to figure out what the quadrants indicate, the further to the right you go, the more a state spends per welfare recipient. The further to the top you go, the higher percentage of a state's residents are welfare recipients.

As you can see, California is practically in a quadrant unto itself, indicating a lot of people receiving a lot each in welfare benefits. Meanwhile, Texas is situated precisely in the opposite corner of the graphic, indicating that a low percentage of Texas' residents are receiving welfare, and among those who are receiving welfare, they're receiving smaller benefits than those living essentially anywhere else in the country. Again, the original graphic is here, if you want to take a closer look.

So what hath these experiments in politics and policy wrought?

We already covered California, the most naturally beautiful and abundant state, with the best climate and best proximity to emerging global markets, which is a slow motion man-made nightmare.

So what about Texas?

Well, since the beginning of the recession (which has long been officially over), four out of five big city jobs in the entire country were created in Texas' big cities. Indeed, unlike the rest of the country as a whole, Texas has added and is adding jobs across all income levels, including in the middle class. Only 14 major U.S. metro areas have added jobs since recession began, and all six of Texas' major metros rank in the top eight.

In Texas, you can get a degree that employers want for ten thousand dollars. Total.

Eight Texas cities are in the top sixteen for wage growth over the past half decade (among the largest 200 in U.S.), and eleven Texas cities are in the top eighteen for job growth over that time. Meanwhile Texas' small cities also performed extremely well among the national list of small cities.

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.

Since 2002, Houston has grown high tech STEM (science-technology-engineering-math) jobs five times faster than Silicon Valley. Austin four times faster, and, big-picture, Texas ranks at the top in terms of small business employment growth. And over the past couple of years, Texas accounts for nearly a fifth of the nation's total population growth.

Texas cities dominated Forbes' latest annual list of America's Fastest Growing Cities. Business Facilities also just named Texas its "State of the Year" for its successes over the past year. Not surprisingly, five of the six fastest recovering cities in America are Texas cities.

Fiscally, Texas has two separate "surpluses" of at least several billion dollars-- an $11.8 projected Rainy Day Fund balance, and an $8.8 billion revenue surplus, which, admittedly, will see a few billion whittled away due to past budget gimmicks and federal Medicaid mandates. Nevertheless, because of a growing tax base of new businesses and new workers, Texas tax revenues are coming in at robust, record levels; Texas sales tax revenue has risen for 33 straight months now.

And, reminiscent of the California wine industry surging onto the scene some decades back, when California was still the promised land, a Texas single-malt whiskey even recently won a prestigious international blind taste competition in the United Kingdom.

Texas will remain a thorn in the side of progressives until they can centralize everything-- Hunger Games-style-- in Washington, D.C., and reshape the whole of America in the image of California. We cannot let them succeed.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Since The Beginning Of The Recession, Four Out of Five Jobs In America's Large Metropolitan Areas Were Created In Texas.

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Posted by Will Franklin · 30 January 2013 03:43 PM