A little over a year ago, the Wall Street Journal ran an article entitled “Toyota Escapes to Texas.” The announcement of the Japanese car company's plan to move its sales headquarters from California to Plano was the jumping-off point for a recitation of the many advantages our state's business climate has over California's.
Contributing factors cited included right-to-work laws “that have limited unionization and thus labor costs,” cheaper real estate “due to less restrictive zoning and environmental regulations,” and lower taxes.
This favorable comparison was made before oil prices dropped by half. How rosy do things look in Texas now?
The Journal answered that question a couple of weeks ago with an article entitled “No Economic Mess in Texas.”
“A funny thing has happened to the economic miracle in Texas that liberals predicted would go bust along with oil prices,” the article began. “America’s foremost state job creator of the past decade continues to produce opportunity and employment.”
The Journal pointed out that “the Texas economy is still enjoying moderate growth,” as indicated by data from the Dallas Fed. “Since prices in the oil patch began sliding a year ago,” the article noted, “pundits on the political left have been waiting for evidence to declare the Texas model a failure. They’re still waiting.”
Liberal governors are “tired of looking bad next to Texas” and were hoping the oil bust would cut us down to size. “But the overall economic resilience is a far cry from the Texas recessions that followed previous oil busts.”
It helped not to have all our eggs in one basket this time around: “The Texas strategy of avoiding burdensome taxation and regulation has attracted a variety of businesses across many industries that have diversified the state economy.”
The Journal concludes that “the resilience in Texas is proving again that limiting government is an economic growth strategy for all seasons.”
Instead of being jealous of our success, other states should follow the Texas model.