Because no state in the union has a better economy, let’s look "up close and personal" at the Texas miracle. Texas practices what I proudly call “Wild West Cowboy Capitalism.” And it works!
Texas has zero state income tax, zero capital gains taxes, and zero death taxes. It is a “right to work” state where employees may choose to join a union, but are never forced to. It is pro business and anti-lawyer (discouraging class action lawsuits and the first state to pass a “Loser Pays” law). Texas is also tight-fisted with welfare and entitlement benefits- unlike New York and California. The result of this limited government attitude is people with high incomes, assets, and ambition are moving into Texas, while those who lack work ethic, and feel entitled to handouts are moving out. Good riddance.
But the most important attribute of Texas is that its constitution limits the time that politicians can meet. The Texas Legislature is limited to meeting only 4 months every other year. That pretty much explains everything. Texas and my state of Nevada have no state income taxes and the fastest growing populations in America…not in spite of, but because the politicians aren't allowed to sit in their seats all year long thinking of new ways to re-distribute income, impede business, and destroy jobs.
Let’s look at the remarkable results of favoring hard working job-creators over entitlement addicts, and business owners over lawyers. Texas now has more Fortune 500 headquarters than New York. It tied for the highest state economic growth in America over the past 50 years, while displacing New York as the second largest state economy. The annual Texas economy has passed $1 trillion, accounting for 8.3% of the entire U.S. economy. In the last three years one third of all jobs in America were created in Texas, and in the past decade, more jobs were created in Texas than in the other 49 states COMBINED.
One smart businessman, Andrew Puzder, sums it up. Mr. Puzder, CEO of California-based CKE Restaurants with over 3000 restaurants including Carl’s Jr. and Hardees was recently quoted in the Wall Street Journal. He calls his home state of California “the most business-unfriendly state…” Opening one of his restaurants in California takes 2 years and costs $200,000 more than opening one in Texas, where it takes only 6 weeks. Is it a surprise that CKE has stopped opening new restaurants in California, but plans to open 300 in Texas?
So there you have it. Now you know why everyone’s ex’s live in Texas (or soon will), and why businesses, as well as people, choose states that treat them better, give them more freedom, and allow them to keep more of their own money. Imagine that? The results of smaller government, restrained politicians and lower taxes is dramatically increased wealth, happier citizens with a higher quality of life, and far higher job creation.
PS. My Texas friends want everyone to know, “Come on down, ya’ll are welcome. Just leave your liberal politics at home.”