Whoa, Nelly! Rick Perry announced that he was running for President and the dump truck hired by the left-wing media unloaded the next day. They rolled out their columns disparaging the “Texas miracle” quicker than a Nolan Ryan fastball. As always, the serious question is: How accurate are their stories?
Before we investigate, allow me to introduce some perspective. At a recent party, I was engaged by two gentlemen who were fascinated that I was a columnist. One of them works for a major East Coast university. When he found out that I regularly read the left-wing media, he asked my opinion of Paul Krugman’s writing, and, in particular, if I had ever found inaccuracies in his columns. I stated that the problem is not whether his facts are wrong; rather it is his selective choice of facts and the misguided conclusions he draws from them. That is certainly the case with the barrage of attacks on Texas.
Here is a recap of what the echo chamber from the left is claiming about Texas:
1. The jobs exist because of the oil and gas industry.
2. It has the fourth highest poverty rate of any state.
3. The state is tied for most jobs that are minimum wage.
4. Texas has the largest number of adults without a high school diploma.
5. 26% of Texans have no health insurance – highest percent in the nation.
If you listen to the echo chamber, it certainly seems like Texas is one rotten place to live. But there’s something missing here – the population of Texas grew by 20.6% between 2000 and 2010, and it’s not all because of childbirth. People are moving to Texas in droves, an American migration that’s been taking place for a long time.
In order to see the big picture, let’s compare Texas to a highly unionized state like Michigan. In 1970 Michigan had 9 million residents; in 2010 there were 10 million. In 1970 Texas had 11 million residents; now there are 25 million. Let’s look at it another way. In the 1970’s, Michigan had 21 electoral votes, New York had 27, and Texas had 26. In 2012, Michigan has 16, New York has 20 and Texas has 38. See a trend here?
People, and businesses, are moving in herds from high tax, heavily-unionized states like Michigan to states like Texas that have low taxes and few job-killing regulations. Even though the left-wing media thinks that all Texans are gun-slinging Neanderthals, no one has put a gun to the heads of the people now calling Texas their home. That bears repeating: no one has forced them to relocate. They are moving to escape over-regulated, over-taxed, union-burdened states in order to be able to make their own choices about their lives.