John Stossel

The owners of the basketball team the Houston Rockets give prospective players pamphlets that detail how many Rolex watches and Bentleys they could buy just from tax money they'd save if they move to Texas.

This data doesn't stop a prominent pundit in my state, The New York Times' Paul Krugman, from writing that the Texas economic miracle is "a myth" because Texas still has high poverty rates, a high high-school dropout rate and a low percentage of people with health insurance.

Behind this clash is the larger disagreement about how to handle the economy -- promote growth by shrinking government or boost public services for the poor. The state-by-state contrast keeps getting sharper. Crudely put, blue states keep getting bluer, and red states keep getting redder. Krugman looks at Texas and sees policies -- and Republican politicians -- he doesn't like.

But people don't just vote at the ballot box or by their choice of newspaper subscriptions. They vote with their feet. And by that measure, the state that publishes Krugman's columns -- New York -- and the state where he's a college professor -- New Jersey -- are losing big-time.

Ironically, one reason Texas continues to have problems with poverty, despite its population growth, is that people don't just move between states. They also move from other countries in search of opportunity. For about a million people, that meant moving across the border from Mexico to Texas. They start low on the economic ladder but do tend to move upward over time.

For some reason, politicians most sympathetic to those immigrants are clueless about why U.S. citizens move from state to state.

Let people live where they can be free, and get rich.


John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at >johnstossel.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. ©Creators Syndicate