The Texas lesson

Aerial of the Texas Medical Center, an area in...Image via Wikipedia
Michael Barone:

If you want to see a place where the private sector in America has been booming and generating jobs, you should look at Texas. That’s my take from these absolutely fascinating numbers compiled from Bureau of Labor Statistics figures by The Business Journals, tracking the increase or decrease in private sector jobs in the ten years between April 2001 and April 2011. Any precise ten-year period is somewhat arbitrary, of course, since the two endpoints can fall at different points in the business cycle, and so picking different starting and end points will produce different pictures. But the numbers here look pretty unambiguous.

In those 10 years, Texas gained 732,800 private sector jobs, far ahead of the number two and three states, Arizona (90,200) and Nevada (90,000). The nation overall lost more than 2 million private sector jobs, with the biggest losses coming in California (623,700), Michigan (619,200) and Ohio (460,900).


The lesson of the previous decade seems clear: if you take a previously prosperous and creative state and subject it to high taxes and intrusive regulations, it loses 5% of its private sector jobs; if you take a previously somewhat less prosperous and creative state and govern it with low taxes and light regulation, it gains 9% more jobs, even as the nation’s economy is suffering.

There is another lesson hidden in the data. Hostility to energy creation is a job killer and openness to energy exploitation creates a vibrant economy and thousands of jobs.

Look at what is happening now in the Eagle-Ford formation in Texas where there is a job boom not just with drillers and oil companies but with support operations and in everything from housing, motels and food establishments. The same thing is happening in small states who have allowed drilling like North Dakota and Montana. It could be happening in other states if Obama and the Democrats would quit trying to strangle domestic production.

The photo is of the Texas Medical Center complex in Houston.
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