Texas Gov. Rick Perry‘s cross-country campaign to promote his state’s favorable tax and regulatory conditions and attract businesses and jobs throughout his tenure hasn’t been based on him just talking the talk; Texas can absolutely walk the economic walk, too, as WaPo reports:
Texas experienced stronger job growth than the rest of the nation from 2000 to 2013, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Not only that, a pair of researchers note in a Thursday research publication, but Texas leads the nation in creation of jobs at all pay levels, too.
“Texas has also created more ‘good’ than ‘bad’ jobs,” they write. “Jobs in the top half of the wage distribution experienced disproportionate growth. The two upper wage quartiles were responsible for 55 percent of net new jobs. A similar pie chart cannot be made for the rest of the U.S., which lost jobs in the lower-middle quartile over the period.”
As we noted above, Texas does have a larger share of its population earning the federal minimum wage or less than any state but Idaho, but it helps that things are cheap.
Bam. And what, do we suppose, might be one of the hugely driving factors behind this robuster-than-everyone-else level of equitable job creation? It couldn’t possibly be that Texas has been conscientiously developing their energy reserves — like, for example, the Eagle Ford Shale, could it? While other states — like, say, California — have been quixotically ignoring their own resources in favor of their politically preferred pet projects? Joel Kotkin has yet another great piece out today detailing that very conspicuous phenomenon:
The recent decision by Occidental Petroleum to move its headquarters to Houston from Los Angeles, where it was founded over a half-century ago, confirms the futility and delusion embodied in California’s ultragreen energy policies. By embracing solar and wind as preferred sources of generating power, the state promotes an ever-widening gap between its declining middle- and working-class populations and a smaller, self-satisfied group of environmental campaigners and their corporate backers. …
In all but forcing out fossil-fuel firms, California is shedding one of its historic core industries. Not long ago, California was home to a host of top 10 energy firms – ARCO, Getty Oil, Union Oil, Oxy and Chevron; in 1970, oil firms constituted the five largest industrial companies in the state. Now, only Chevron, which has been reducing its headcount in Northern California and is clearly shifting its emphasis to Texas, will remain.
These are losses that California can not easily absorb. Despite all the hype about the ill-defined “green jobs” sector, the real growth engine remains fossil fuels, which have added a half-million jobs in the past five years. If you don’t believe it, just take a trip to Houston, where Occidental is moving.
And the beat goes on.