Thursday, June 7, 2012

Texas or California

Yes. Yes I do think Governor Walker’s victory Tuesday in Wisconsin is indicative of what will happen nationally in November. It was a statement about what works better: doing what’s right to get people working and keeping more of their own money, instead of mounting debt to pay for union and special interest demands.

This special election doesn’t necessarily show who will win the Wisconsin electoral votes in November, but it might. One thing that it wasn’t was close. That is going to be important, because rigging elections only work when they’re within a couple of percentage points. In Wisconsin, I understand, Madison had an incredible turnout: 119% of registered voters. We shouldn’t worry with Eric Holder’s DOJ sending in an army of poll watchers, though. Oh yeah, except it’s his DOJ that has refused to prosecute voter fraud but claims that voter ID laws are intended to cause voter fraud. (Read Injustice, by J. Christian Adams. I wrote about it October 12th, October 18th, and March 14th. )
Anyway, my reasoning for believing the Walker victory is a predictor is that I believe the ideas of truth win out over the lies that are necessary to convince people to submit to tyranny.
A couple of days ago I read a piece by political analyst Michael Barone, wherein he talks about the migration from high-tax states to low-tax states—which happen to be more economically vibrant places to make a living. With the current downturn in the economy nationally, mobility has nearly subsided. But what happens when (if?) the economy improves? Here’s his summary:
Continued domestic out-migration from high-tax states? Certainly from California, where Gov. Jerry Brown wants to raise taxes even higher. With foreign immigration down, California is likely to grow more slowly than the nation, for the first time in history, and could even start losing population.
Fortunately, governors of some other high-tax states are itching to cut taxes. The shale oil and natural gas boom has job-seekers streaming to hitherto unlikely spots like North Dakota and northeast Ohio. Great Plains cities like Omaha and Des Moines are looking pretty healthy, too.
It's not clear whether Atlanta and its smaller kin--Charlotte, Raleigh, Nashville, Jacksonville—will resume their robust growth. They've suffered high unemployment lately.
But Texas has been doing very well. If you draw a triangle whose points are Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, enclosing Austin, you've just drawn a map of the economic and jobs engine of North America.
Texas prospers not just because of oil and gas, but thanks to a diversified and sophisticated economy. It has attracted large numbers of both immigrants and domestic migrants for a quarter century. One in 12 Americans lives there.
America is getting to look a lot more like Texas, and that's one trend that I hope continues. [Emphasis mine.]
I think we could reasonably use California and Texas as the metaphorical picture for what doesn’t work and what does. The snapshot hasn’t always looked like this. California was at one time vibrant and rather conservative. When that changed, outgrowth began (somewhat balanced up until recently by international immigration); since 1990, Californians have been pouring into other states. We left in 1989, only to find ourselves followed to the northwest by Californians who drove up housing prices and tended to institute some of their cultural oddities in their new home. (This was affectionately called “Californication.”)
Texas, on the other hand, was run endlessly by Democrats up until the early ‘90s. In-migration increased in Texas once air conditioning was invented, but oil and computer technologies have been major draws. Since the state became statewide conservative (except for a few odd pockets like Austin and inner cities), it became a great place for business. We came here in 1998, a few years after the conversion.
What we have before us is evidence that high taxes and strangling regulations give you economic calamities of European proportions. But low taxes (Texas has zero income tax; California is about to raise theirs to 13%), and business-friendly laws lead to relative prosperity. From where I sit, inside this triangle of economic engine, unemployment is too high and opportunities that were here before the recession that started in 2008 have not yet returned. But compared to the nation, our distress is much less—and we are likely to recover as soon as the federal government gets out of the way, because we’ve already gotten out of our own way.
Wisconsin has made significant progress since Governor Walker was elected on a promise to do exactly what he did that so upset the unions that they tried to recall him. This week the people strongly voted to keep moving toward being more like Texas. Good direction.

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