This isn’t a piece by conservative Jonah Goldberg saying what all conservatives already know. This is a piece by a self-identified liberal writing in the Los Angeles Times acknowledging a FACT that is frankly the death knell of liberal economic policy.
43% of ALL jobs created in the United States since June of 2009 have come from a conservative state that represents 8% of the national economy. And Barack Obama has taken credit for every single one of them even as he demonizes the policies that actually produced all of those jobs.
Now, notice how this liberal tries to give credit to the most successful job-engine in America, and then steal that credit away from the conservatives and the conservative policies that brought that job-engine about.
Texas, the jobs engine
Conservatives hail it and liberals dispute the story, but one thing is certain about the Lone Star State’s employment success: The number is real.By Rick Wartzman
July 3, 2011
For the last few weeks, I’ve been unable to get a startling statistic out of my head: Since the recession officially ended, Texas has created more than 4 of every 10 new jobs in America.
That’s right, Texas: the reddest of red states, home to gun lovers and school textbooks that openly question whether the Founding Fathers intended for the separation of church and state. I am no ideologue. Still, whenever I get political, I tend to tilt reflexively to the left, making the jobs figure a bit disconcerting at first.
But there’s no escaping it. The number is real. Which means that if you care about putting people back to work at a time when nearly 14 million in this country are unemployed, maybe Texas has something to teach us.
Unfortunately, that’s not the posture many commentators have taken. Instead, when the data from Texas emerged — touted first by Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas — conservatives were quick to celebrate, embracing the jobs tally as powerful evidence of the superiority of Republican ideas as well as proof that Texas Gov. Rick Perry would make a good president. But that’s overly simplistic [me: yeah, that’s right. Let’s keep re-analyzing this until we somehow we make it a victory for Obama liberalism in spite of the fact that Republicans have been running this state at every single political level].
Meanwhile, those on the liberal end of the spectrum immediately set out to shoot the numbers down. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, for instance, held up a giant bologna and mocked the notion of a “Texas miracle.” That view, however, is too cavalier. [Me: yeah, you’ve got a better way to steal credit from conservatives, don’t you, Wartzman?].
So what’s actually happening?
First, the basics. According to the Dallas Fed, Texas generated 43% of the net new jobs in the U.S. from June 2009 through May 2011 — an enormous share when you consider that the Lone Star State accounts for about 8% of the nation’s economy. (Critics, including Maddow, have been quick to note that the unemployment rate in Texas, at 8%, falls in the middle of the pack among the states. Yet total employment is a much more telling and reliable statistic than is the jobless rate.)
Aspects of the Texas economy are unusual, if not unique, and it will be difficult or impossible for other states to replicate them. For example, the energy industry is booming right now, as are agricultural commodities destined for export — a boon for a huge cotton and beef producer like Texas. [Me: Let’s simply ignore the fact that MANY states have abundant oil resources, but THOSE states are refusing to drill for them because they have a particularly nasty species of vermin called “liberals” running them. Meanwhile, Democrats in California have gutted what had been the most productive agricultural region in the entire world by shutting off their water and protecting a stupid little fish. It’s as if the other states are cutting their own throats and then pointing out that Texas is only doing so well because it hasn’t cut it’s own throat too].
What’s more, thorny tradeoffs surely exist. Texas is attracting businesses, in part, because it has low taxes. But that, in turn, makes for a smaller safety net, which is one reason Texas has a high incidence of poverty and, compared with every other state, the biggest proportion of its population without health insurance. There are also serious questions about the quality of jobs in Texas. A “right to work” state, it is tied with Mississippi for having the biggest percentage of workers paid at or below the minimum wage. [Me: I’d rather have a job and make my own way than live off of a welfare state paid by other people’s money until the safety net collapsed. But that’s just me. This amounts to another way of saying, ‘Yes, Texas is creating all the jobs; but we want socialism in America, not jobs. Aside from that, the data shows that Texas shares higher poverty rates with every single other state in the southern region (which shows that poverty is a problem with the entire region rather than a problem with Texas). But hey, we have to bash Texas for being successful, right? You need to understand something: Democrats don’t give a DAMN about creating jobs; they only care about leftwing UNION jobs, as what’s going on in South Carolina over a Boeing plant amply demonstrates].
But even with these significant caveats, Texas has long been the most robust jobs engine in the country, and its policies and practices deserve deeper reflection. Some say, for example, that an increase in education funding 25 years ago lifted the quality of the workforce. “That set the table for job expansion,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Mitchell Schnurman has asserted. (Budget pressures in Texas are now forcing education spending to go in the other direction.). [Me: you heard right; let’s give all the credit to what Democrats did 25 years ago so we don’t have to give any credit at all to what Republicans have done ever since. Because liberals must always get the credit no matter how far back you have to go to do it; and conversely, conservatives must always get the blame no matter how far back you have to go to do it].
Also deserving of further exploration are the strict lending guidelines that Texas banks instituted after the S&L crisis of the 1980s. Those standards spurred institutions to keep larger capital reserves and take on fewer problem mortgages than were seen elsewhere in the country. As a result, the state emerged relatively unscathed from the most recent real estate meltdown. [Me: this is an quick reference to the Democrat-imposed Fannue and Freddie subprime lending policies that were supposed to make home ownership a right for minorities who couldn’t repay their loans. George Bush tried to reform these policies 17 times, but Democrats – who ran both the House and the Senate when our economy crashed – would have none of these common-sense Republican reforms. Fortunately conservative Texas passed their own laws to protect them from the Community Reinvestment Act and all the other Democrat horrors].
At the same time — and this, of course, is the tough part for those on the left to swallow — it is clear that the state’s limits on taxes, regulations and lawsuits are contributing to the job machine. “The most important thing I think that’s happened to us is tort reform,” Fisher, the Dallas Fed president, has said. He added that when John Deere and other companies have decided to hire in Texas, they’ve been largely driven by steps the state has taken to cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice suits and to make it harder to bring product liability and class-action cases.
For those whose knee-jerk instinct is to dump on such logic, they would do well here to consider the source. Fisher served in President Carter’s Treasury Department and as a high-ranking trade official for President Clinton, and was a two-time Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate. Although the former investment banker is certainly not an ardent leftie, he is no right-wing zealot either.
To be sure, Texas is not without lots of problems. And its remarkable employment growth is not without attendant concerns. But for those on the left to dismiss the state’s jobs story out of hand, just because Republicans have embraced it as a showpiece, is counterproductive and foolish.
Counterproductiveness and foolishness are two of the three hallmarks that define the left. Hypocrisy is the third.
A lot of Californians are whining about the fact that many “Texas jobs” came at California’s expense. And the whiny liberals are right; many of those employers DID escape from the liberal hellhole known as the People’s Soviet State of California. But here’s the question: do you want America to be more like California – which among other things features a $500 billion black hole of economic death known as unfunded liabilities from state union pensions – or do you want a job? Do you want a demagogic excuse for why all the jobs are going elsewhere, or do you want a job? Do you want to sit on your fat pimply sweaty ass living on welfare until the system crashes and you starve to death, or do you want a system that actually produces something?
If you want the former vote for Obama, vote for Democrats, and then go to hell when you die. If you want the latter, for God’s sakes, please vote for the Republicans who are actually creating jobs in America.
Democrats look back at 2008 and blame “failed Republican policies.” Basically, all they have to point at is the fact that George Bush was president when it happened. They ignore the fact that Democrats had total control of the House and near total control of the Senate for nearly two years prior to the disaster happening. They claim that Republicans refusing to regulate was what created the mess. They ignore the fact that Democrats REPEATEDLY refused ANY regulation whatsover of Fannie and Freddie which had overwhelming control of the housing market that actually caused the meltdown. Look at the actual facts:
The last link above refers to a Boston Herald story which has since been scrubbed. It’s amazing how articles that taint Democrats have a way of “vanishing.” It’s one of the reasons I blog. I want to preserve the record of what actually happened to this country.
All this to say that Democrats had a false demagogic narrative based on lies.
But the American people bought those lies in 2008. And Democrats had dictatorial control of the White House, the House of Representatives and a filibuster-proof Senate for nearly two full years. And they took their same failed policies which led to the economic collapse of 2008 and expanded them. And they promised Americans that their godawful stimulus would work. It not only failed; it completely failed even by the Obama White House’s own constantly-shifting standards. And it cost us $3.27 TRILLION we didn’t have.
Now, amazingly, the fact that the president happens to be a Democrat – and the fact that that Democrat took bad news and made it far worse – no longer matters. Now Democrats want to say that it’s the Republicans – who only control the House of Representatives – are blocking economic progress. Even though it DIDN’T matter that Nancy Pelosi was running the House of Representatives into the ground in 2007 and 2008. To go along with Harry Reid doing the same thing during the same time period in the US Senate.
Democrats don’t run on facts; they run on demagoguery. Remember that the man who led Texas into the job-creating machine that it is not only has nothing to do with George Bush, he actually didn’t like Bush as a big spending and compromising “compassionate conservative.” Because Democrats and their mainstream media propagandists are already starting to tell the demagogic lie that Rick Perry is somehow identical to George Bush simply because the two men were governors of the same state.