Texas Job Numbers and Inter-State Migration

Political Math’s piece on Texas’ amazing job growth has been getting a lot of attention around the ‘Net. As regular Pileus readers know and as Political Math’s piece confirms, job growth is largely a consequence of population growth, and population growth is largely a consequence of warm climate, low cost of living, low taxes, and high personal freedoms. Since Texas enjoys all four of those characteristics in spades (personal freedoms maybe a little less so), it is unsurprising that Texas has grown so much. To what extent can Rick Perry claim credit for that job growth? I think he can claim a bit of credit to the extent that he can point to a record in which he has supported policies that have kept cost of living and taxes low and personal freedoms fairly high.

5 thoughts on “Texas Job Numbers and Inter-State Migration

  1. Perry will take all the credit but should take no credit. The governor has no say in legislation save the veto power and the ability to call a special session. The legislature meets but once every two years for sixty days.

    All legislative power in Texas is centered around the lieutenant governor and to a lesser extent the speaker of the house. They legislate primarily on the funding levels of the state agencies. The state itself is run by these separately chartered agencies. The agencies answer to none save their own agency heads and their charters.

    The governor appoints the state agency heads. This is the only real power the governor enjoys in Texas. Who the governor appoints to run a state agency has a high degree of discretion. The agency heads effectively determine what is the law in Texas and how it shall be enforced.

  2. Sorry what I should have said was, Whom the governor appoints to run a state agency will enjoy a high degree of discretion in running that agency. The agency heads effectively determine what is the law in Texas and how it shall be enforced.

    I will add that for anyone who understands and follows Texas politics; Perry’s only real accomplishments are: 1. successfully switching parties, 2. getting elected more times and serving longer than any previous governor and 3. being the only governor to burn the Governor’s Mansion down, literally.

  3. There’s a saying in baseball that a Manager can’t improve his team’s chance of winning, but he can ruin it. And then there’s Calvin Coolidge’s autobiography, a must read.

    If Perry did “nothing” while Texas prospered, that is virtue and to his credit. Right now, its hard to find candidates who’s behavior and talk display deep humility about the abilities of government intervention.

  4. I’ve always thought the climate argument was a bit dubious – as if good weather is a recent characteristic of the Sunbelt and cold weather is new to the northeast. Although often cited, it cannot explain the timing in the growth of particular regions.

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