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The Oh So Terrible Condition Of Texas

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2012/07/11

Perry, the radical Leftist resident of Delaware who comments at The First Street Journal, decided to spout off “facts” that somehow “prove” Texas is terrible, and worse than the rest of the country.

Well of course our Editor wants to claim a pattern here, but he isn’t willing to peel back the curtain here, realizing that there is more to the quality of life than so-called business friendliness.

Consider this:

* Unemployment is higher than the national average,

* TX has a serious budget shortfall,

* TX has had to seriously cut back on education,

* TX is running out of groundwater, with no solution in sight,

* TX is currently in the second year of a serious drought,

* cattle and grain production has dropped precipitously,

* highest uninsured health care in the country,

* TX is turning down the medicaid expansion federal money,

* John Hitchcock lives in TX,

* and the highest number of death penalties in the country.

You name it, problems in TX are severe.

“Unemployment [in Texas] is higher than the national average.” From his very comment, he includes — but does not link to — something said on CBS last autumn, which included this dandy little statement: Texas’ unemployment has nearly reached the national unemployment level. We’ll check out that claim soon, but let’s point out here that Perry Hood’s claim at the top of his comment is directly contradicted by his link-free quote (something he does with regularity, quoting something without providing a link or a name) at the bottom of his comment.

As I previously noted in an article which made “Post of the Day” at Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion on June 21, the May unemployment figures showed Texas has had a lower unemployment rate than the national average for 65 straight months (and that will only continue to be the case). It’s some strange alternate universe in which Perry the Delaware Socialist lives where Texas’ 6.9 percent May unemployment rate is somehow worse than the US 8.2 percent unemployment rate.

From June 2006 to June 2011, Texas was one of only nine states plus DC that added jobs. During that time-frame, Texas added 537,500 jobs, or over 73 percent of the total jobs added (a rate of 2,138 new jobs per 100,000 population). At the same time the US lost 4,818,000 jobs (a rate of 1,561 jobs lost per 100,000 population). And, point in fact, during 2006 and up till March, 2007, the US was still adding jobs at a rate fast enough to easily keep pace with the population growth. So that only amplifies the rate at which the US lost jobs while Democrats held control of Congress.

In an article I wrote noting again how the Leftist-ruled states of California and Illinois are shedding jobs and productive people with their tax-heavy and regulation-heavy (especially in California) agenda, I pointed out yet another Leftist state’s demise. Maryland, in its anti-Tenth Commandment “soak the rich” Class Envy and Class Warfare mentality created a new tax on the wealthy, most productive residents. What happened? They fled the state and went to more Conservative, more business-friendly, less tax-heavy states. And, in violating the Tenth Commandment, Maryland’s tax revenue stream actually shrank. By quite a bit. Maryland raised taxes on “the rich” and lost money in the process. That’s an outcome we Conservatives have been loudly declaring would be the case with the Leftists’ Class Warfare “soak the rich” mentality. Of course, the “economics experts” are completely shocked to find when the Federal Government puts policies in place that closely track what those self-same “experts” espouse, the results are very notably dismal — again and again and again and again, providing the absolutely knee-slappingly hilarious, yet sobering “unexpected” mantra that those “experts” have been everpresently spouting for the past three and a half years.

Now, Texas does have its share of problems. Barack Obama’s Contempt of Federal Court activities in shutting down off-shore oil drilling and exploration, one of Texas’ largest industries. Barack Obama’s EPA working feverishly to shut down some of Texas’ electric generating plants while Texas is growing much more quickly than the rest of the nation in terms of both population and jobs. And, of course, Texas’ decades-long (or should I say Century-Long) explosive population growth, far exceeding that of the US as a whole, which means Texas has to produce far greater numbers of jobs per 100,000 population than the US as a whole — just to keep pace with population growth.

And how is Texas doing? The state’s unemployment numbers have remained well below that of the US for years and the unemployment rate is dropping faster than the US as a whole. As forecast by the Conservatives among us.

“Texas has a serious budget shortfall.” No, that would be Illinois, California, Maryland, New York, etc, etc. Places the Democrats have run into the ground. Texas has a Constitutional requirement to run a balanced budget. And its biennial Budget is balanced and was balanced without raising taxes, much to the chagrin of Paul Burka, Leftist Senior Editor of Texas Monthly magazine, whose rants I documented and shredded in an 8,500 word article that Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion also named “Post of the Day”. If you don’t want to read the entire thing (and you should), drop down near the bottom where Paul Burka rants and raves about the absolutely demanding, governing-free Conservatives and their orgasmic feeding frenzy of not eating. It’s a real knee-slapper.

“TX has had to seriously cut back on education.” Let’s let IowaHawk handle this one. In his first article, IowaHawk provides this:

So how does brokeass, dumbass, redneck Texas stack up against progressive unionized Wisconsin?

2009 4th Grade Math

White students: Texas 254, Wisconsin 250 (national average 248)
Black students: Texas 231, Wisconsin 217 (national 222)
Hispanic students: Texas 233, Wisconsin 228 (national 227)

2009 8th Grade Math

White students: Texas 301, Wisconsin 294 (national 294)
Black students: Texas 272, Wisconsin 254 (national 260)
Hispanic students: Texas 277, Wisconsin 268 (national 260)

2009 4th Grade Reading

White students: Texas 232, Wisconsin 227 (national 229)
Black students: Texas 213, Wisconsin 192 (national 204)
Hispanic students: Texas 210, Wisconsin 202 (national 204)

2009 8th Grade Reading

White students: Texas 273, Wisconsin 271 (national 271)
Black students: Texas 249, Wisconsin 238 (national 245)
Hispanic students: Texas 251, Wisconsin 250 (national 248)

2009 4th Grade Science

White students: Texas 168, Wisconsin 164 (national 162)
Black students: Texas 139, Wisconsin 121 (national 127)
Hispanic students: Wisconsin 138, Texas 136 (national 130)

2009 8th Grade Science

White students: Texas 167, Wisconsin 165 (national 161)
Black students: Texas 133, Wisconsin 120 (national 125)
Hispanic students: Texas 141, Wisconsin 134 (national 131)

To recap: white students in Texas perform better than white students in Wisconsin, black students in Texas perform better than black students in Wisconsin, Hispanic students in Texas perform better than Hispanic students in Wisconsin. In 18 separate ethnicity-controlled comparisons, the only one where Wisconsin students performed better than their peers in Texas was 4th grade science for Hispanic students (statistically insignificant), and this was reversed by 8th grade. Further, Texas students exceeded the national average for their ethnic cohort in all 18 comparisons; Wisconsinites were below the national average in 8, above average in 8.

Perhaps the most striking thing in these numbers is the within-state gap between white and minority students. Not only did white Texas students outperform white Wisconsin students, the gap between white students and minority students in Texas was much less than the gap between white and minority students in Wisconsin. In other words, students are better off in Texas schools than in Wisconsin schools – especially minority students.

In his second article on the subject, IowaHawk provides even more evidence that destroys the Leftist meme.

Average ACT Composite Score 2010
White students: Wisconsin 23.5, Texas 23.3 (national 23.1)
Black students: Texas 17.6, Wisconsin 16.9 (national 17.5)
Hispanic students: Wisconsin 19.8, Texas 18.7 (national 19.4)

As an aside, reader Dr. William Borland (Principal Research Engineer, Georgia Institute of Technology, lah-tee-dah) points out that 2010 state-specific public high school dropout rates are now available- and bolster my case.

2010 Public High School Event Dropout Rates
White students: Wisconsin 1.4%, Texas 1.8% (national average 2.8%)
Black students: Texas 6.3%, Wisconsin 7.8% (national average 6.7%)
Hispanic students: Texas 5.3%, Wisconsin 5.4% (national average 6.0%)

While no dropout event is good, Texas is hardly the outlier national shame claimed by Krugman. In fact, it has below national average dropout rates for all 3 ethnic groups considered, consistently in both 2007 and 2010 measures. Among white students, Wisconsin had the second lowest state event dropout rate (NJ #1), where Texas was tied for 7th. Among black students, Wisconsin was #39, Texas tied for #24. Among Hispanic students, Wisconsin was tied for #21, Texas was tied for #17.

Here’s a chart from a September17, 2009 article at Demablogue:

We have been dumping more money per student into Public Education for over 40 years without seeing any improvement in test scores. Obviously, to any reasonable person, dumping even more money into the broken system will not fix the broken system. Continuing on with IowaHawk:

Hey, it’s been a fun two days based on a simple 30-minute study of educational statistics. As regards the effect of teacher collective bargaining on student learning, I wouldn’t call what I did conclusive; just pointing out the fallacy of aggregate statistical comparisons. For a definitive study of the effect, I would point to Caroline Hoxby’s (Harvard/ MIT /Stanford, lah tee dah) 1996 QJE paper [pdf], which statistically controls for additional variables. Her main conclusions: collective bargaining increases the input provided to schools (spending, construction and the like), but actual decreases school output (test scores and the like). If you don’t like Greek letters, here’s Hoxby discussing the effect on YouTube.

[Video added.]

Perry would do very well not to listen to Paul Krugman as the above very clearly shows the fraudulent huckster’s tomfoolery. Also, from IowaHawk:

But hey, if credentials and oak-framed vellum degrees are your bag, let me share this email with you:

Dear Mr. Burger:
I edit I have a blog on the site. I would like to do a blog that will depends heavily on your material,quoting you at length, as I also think Krugman is a nobel prize winning fraud and because your data are intrinsically interesting… I will link the piece to your site, obviously.

Paul E. Peterson
Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government
Director, Program on Education Policy and Governance
Harvard University
Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution

Degrees-y enough for you? Despite getting my name wrong, I accepted Prof. Peterson’s request and encouraged him to go at my results hammer-and-tongs. His comments are here.

As for Mr. Krugman, I’ll only note the remarks of his former ombudsman at the New York Times, Daniel Okrent:

“Op-Ed columnist Paul Krugman has the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers in a fashion that pleases his acolytes but leaves him open to substantive assaults.”

No shit, Sherlock.

“TX is running out of groundwater, with no solution in sight.” “TX is currently in the second year of a serious drought.” I don’t know what “groundwater” Perry is talking about. Perhaps it’s the water that’s on the ground, which is directly affected by rain. Because there’s plenty of water under the ground. And I had to stop researching and writing this article for about 3 hours as a strong thunderstorm swept through the area, providing rivers of water running down the gravel drive and ponding heavily in the yard. But Perry doesn’t want people to know that Texas has had one of its rainiest Springs in many years, far above average precipitation.

“Cattle and grain production has dropped precipitously.” Because only Texans eat the beef from Texas cattle. There’s no export to other states or other countries. And no other states ever get effected by droughts (the Carolinas and Georgia a few years ago) or floods (the Great Plains states a few years ago). What foolish claptrap. And with the far wetter-than-average Spring, which is continuing into Summer, the cattle-and-grain issue will very easily resolve itself, without government intervention. That’s not to say the same thing about California’s very agriculturally rich Central Valley, where radical Leftist environmentalist wackos in the California EPA and the US EPA turned the water off, destroying the agriculture, destroying businesses, destroying employment, destroying private wealth, destroying lives. California’s Central Valley problem could be very easily solved. Turn the water back on, you radical Leftist nutjobs!

“Highest uninsured health care in the country.” That may or may not be the case, but Texans are a very Independent, Liberty Loving people on the whole. If they do not want to buy health insurance, that should be their prerogative, and absolutely no concern for the Socialist busy-bodies like Perry. Heck, for individual adults under 30, health insurance is a bad investment, overall. They don’t tend to get all that sick, so their overpayments just go to take care of other people and not themselves. That’s not what makes a good investment.

“TX is turning down the medicaid expansion federal money.” Imagine that. A principled position for Independence and Liberty, refusing “free” OPM (other people’s money) with all the Federal regulations, restrictions, throat-slashing strings attached, coming from an “entitlement” program that is quickly becoming bankrupt. How dare Texas stand up for fiscal responsibility, Liberty, Freedom and Principle! Texas should help bankrupt the US so we can become a Socialist dictatorship that much faster!

“John Hitchcock lives in TX.” That’s just a hate-filled personal attack coming from The First Street Journal’s resident hater. That is all.

“And the highest number of death penalties in the country.” This is a good thing. A very good thing. Violent felons who snuff out innocent lives, be warned. Try that in Texas and you lose your own life. Also, Texans are among the most heavily armed, and we have the Castle Doctrine. Enter my property uninvited after dark at your own risk.

Of course, I produced the evidence a month ago regarding Texas’ economic strength compared to the rest of the country.

The economic strength rankings of the US’s 366 metropolitan areas is out, and the Killeen-Fort Hood-Temple area (where I live and work) is 30th nationally. Dover, Delaware is ranked 158, Detroit is 215, Cleveland, Ohio is 185.

Overall, Texas is doing very well, with Austin at 5, San Antonio 10, Houston 12, Dallas-Fort Worth 14, Killeen-Temple 30, and Corpus Christi 49.

Among other things, cost of living and job growth are strongly considered to create the rankings.

Let’s do a little math. Of the 366 metropolitan areas in the US, Texas has 6 in the top 49. Washington DC, with its absolute dependence on Federal Government jobs and not economy-growing jobs, ranks number 1. With 6 metropolitan areas in the top 49, each of those six Texas metropolitan areas is guaranteed to have outperformed at least six entire states. With 4 of the top 14 metropolitan areas, each of those four Texas metropolitan areas is guaranteed to have outperformed at least 39 entire states. Is it any wonder Texas is the number one state in the Union, economically?

Posted in Conservative, economics, education, Elections, Liberal, media, Oil, Over-regulation, Personal Responsibility, Philosophy, politically correct, Politically Incorrect, politics, society, truth | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Moving From California To Texas?

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2012/04/19

You’re not alone. For several years, California businesses have pulled up stakes and moved to Texas. Here are a couple quick videos featuring Andrew Puzder, CEO of CKE restaurants (that’s Carls Jr, and Hardees), a multi-billion-dollar business that moved from California to Texas, very briefly touching on some of the reason why.

As I said, the business exodus from California has been ongoing for several years. Here is a video from mid-October, 2010, noting that over 150 businesses had fled California up to that point in 2010 alone, and that it was a continuing occurrence and not the start of the flight.

A business that spent 42 years in Orange County, California, moved to Corpus Christi, Texas in 2011. The main reason cited? Taxes and fees.

The businessman’s Texas building has double the square footage at a quarter of the cost.
His corporate truck registration fee is 1/7 the cost it was in California.
His electric bill while running the air conditioning for a full month in Texas is less than 1/3 the average bill in California.
California charges sales tax on leased equipment, unlike most states. Every month of the lease, there’s another month of sales tax.
When California residents put a cap on property tax increases, California Government officials just switched to skyrocketing fees, such as Orange County’s sewer connection fee, which went from 50 a year to 800 a year, a 16-fold increase.
In the same time-period, his fee for a business license nearly doubled.

In other words, California made it far too expensive to remain. Do read the above-linked article.

The Orange County Register reported 69 businesses had moved all or part of their businesses out of California between January 1, 2011, and April 15, 2011, a rate exceeding it’s 2010 pace, according to a firm that had been tracking the exodus since 2009. The OC Register cites Joe Vranich, a relocation consultant, who gives a Top Ten list of reasons why businesses are fleeing California:

Why do these and the other companies move out of California? Vranich has updated his top 10 reasons that California companies call the moving van.

No. 10 is new: Energy costs soaring because of new laws and regulations. Commercial electrical rates are already 50% higher than the rest of the country, Vranich says, and Gov. Jerry Brown just signed a new law increasing the amount of power utilities must buy from renewable sources plus regulations for the California Global Warming Solutions Act will start soon.

The other reasons, Vranich says, are:
9. High and unfair tax treatment
8. Regulatory burden
7. Unfriendly legal environment for business
6. Most expensive place to do business
5. Provable savings elsewhere
4. Public policies and taxes create unfriendly business climate
3. Uncontrollable public spending
2. More adversarial toward business than any other state
1. Poor rankings for California on lists ranging from taxes to crime rates to school dropout rates.

“There is little evidence that California’s business environment will improve considering that the legislature in 2011 has voted down litigation reform, tax-increase plans are underway, and a host of new regulations are to be implemented that will increase costs for literally every business,” Vranich says.

California is shedding business because California is making it increasingly cost prohibitive to operate a business within its borders. And that means California, a very high-tax state, is losing massive amounts of tax revenue — and jobs. All while California continues to profligately spend money like there’s no tomorrow. California Legislators and other government officials even came down here to Texas to find out how Texas is luring businesses away from California.

When California politicians want to visit California jobs, they increasingly have to leave California to do so. That’s why Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom traveled with a small entourage of other Golden State politicians to Texas, the biggest beneficiary of California’s economic policies. So many jobs have fled California to Texas, John Fund writes for the Wall Street Journal, that the governing class needed lessons from Texas Governor Rick Perry on how not to repel business:

“We came to learn why they would pick up their roots and move in order to grow their businesses,” says GOP Assemblyman Dan Logue, who organized the trip. “Why does Chief Executive magazine rate California the worst state for job and business growth and Texas the best state?”

The contrast is undeniable. Texas has added 165,000 jobs during the last three years while California has lost 1.2 million. California’s jobless rate is 12% compared to 8% in Texas.

“I don’t see this as a partisan issue,” Mr. Newsom told reporters before the group met with Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry. The former San Francisco mayor has many philosophical disagreements with Mr. Perry, but he admitted he was “sick and tired” of hearing about the governor’s success luring businesses to Texas.

And, of course, businesses aren’t all that’s fleeing the People’s Republik of Kalifornia. People are, too.

The Top Three states in tax revenue lost (1999 – 2009) due to people moving away:
New York

The Top Three states in tax revenue gained (1999 – 2009) due to people moving in:

While New York, California, and Illinois all have very high income tax rates, Florida and Texas have no income tax.

For those of you moving from California to Texas (really from any Leftist state to Texas), The Grouch at Right Truth has a little language translation aid for you.

Posted in Conservative, economics, Elections, Law, Liberal, Over-regulation, Philosophy, politics, society, Tax, truth | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

California And The Great Egress

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/06/23

PT Barnum is famous for using “The Great Egress” as a way to get people to leave his side-show tents. People didn’t know that “egress” means “exit” so they would go on to see the great egress for themselves. Well, California is having its own Great Egress, and they’re not the only ones. As I wrote in Voting With Their Feet (With Charts), major US Cities with decades-long Liberal rule have had their citizens running for the exits for decades. California is no different, except California replaces them with illegal aliens.

What’s hurting California is the mass business flight. Mark Perry at has the story.

California currently ranks #49 among U.S. states for “business tax climate” (Tax Foundation [pdf]) and #48 for for “economic freedom” (Mercatus). It shouldn’t be any surprise then that companies are leaving the “Golden State” in record numbers this year (see chart above) for “golder pastures” and more business-friendly climates in other states.

From Joe Vranich:

“Today, California is experiencing the fastest rate of disinvestment events based on public domain information, closure notices to the state, and information from affected employees in the three years since a specialized tracking system was put into place. …

The top five destinations are (1) Texas, (2) Arizona, (3) Colorado, (4) Nevada and Utah tied; and (5) Virginia and North Carolina tied.

Based on the legislature’s recent rejection of business-friendly legislation and Sacramento’s implementation of additional regulations, signs are that California’s hostility towards business will only worsen.”

So, people flee Leftist rule. Businesses flee Leftist rule for much more Conservative, people-friendly and business-friendly states. And the Leftists cannot figure it out. The way it is and has been since the beginning of time isn’t the way it “should be” according to them. Earth to Liberals: If you provide a welcoming environment, they will come; if you provide an antagonistic environment, they will flee.

I strongly encourage all worthwhile businesses to flee California and move to business-friendly states like Texas. But if you’re a Liberal, please stay in California. Your viewpoint and positions created the Califonia mess and you need to live in it. We don’t want you destroying Texas like you destroyed California.

Posted in Conservative, economics, Elections, Liberal, Over-regulation, Personal Responsibility, Philosophy, politically correct, Politically Incorrect, politics, society, Tax | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on California And The Great Egress

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