Another Texas vs. California roundup:
— Red State Women (@RedStateWomen) July 23, 2014
Another Texas vs. California roundup:
— Red State Women (@RedStateWomen) July 23, 2014
Some other stuff bubbling up, so here’s a Texas vs. California update to tide you over for a while:
Enjoy Independence Day tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s another Texas vs. California roundup:
“San Bernardino, California, said that to exit bankruptcy it must terminate a union contract that pays an average annual salary of $190,000 to each of its top 40 firefighters,” according to an article in Bloomberg. That’s just salary. Firefighters receive the generous “3 percent at 50″ retirement package that allows them to retire with 90 percent of their final years’ pay at age 50. And there are lots of pension-spiking gimmicks and other benefits on top of that.
“These cities are run for the benefit of those who work there. Public services are a side matter at best.”
Toyota’s move to Texas is a high-profile relocation, but Texas has been used to adding — and filling — new jobs at a superlative pace. The state added more than 1.9 million new jobs over the period from December 1999 to April 2014, more than 35 percent of the entire nation’s total for that 15-year period, noted Michael Cox, an economics professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. And Texas had an unemployment rate of just 5.1 percent in May, 16th-lowest in the United States.
Meanwhile, Cox noted, Texas’s median wages are 28th-highest in the nation; and they rank 8th-highest after adjusting for taxes and prices. Texas schools rank 3rd, he said, after adjusting for variations in student demographics, a raw statistic which places Texas 28th in the nation.
“We’re able to accomplish all this and more because the business environment in our state is largely competitive, and free markets solve problems,” Cox told me. “Texas is a meritocracy, where incentives still work to produce good results.”
Drive almost anywhere in the vast Lone Star State and you will see evidence of the “Texas miracle” economy that policymakers like Gov. Rick Perry can’t quit talking about….
This hot economy, politicians say, is the direct result of their zealous opposition to over-regulation, greedy trial lawyers and profligate government spending. Perry now regularly recruits companies from other states, telling them the grass is greener here. And his likely successor, Attorney General Greg Abbott, has made keeping it that way his campaign mantra.
It’s hard to argue with the job creation numbers they tout. Since 2003, a third of the net new jobs created in the United States were in Texas. And there are real people in those jobs, people with families to feed.
But the piece also notes that Texas has led the nation in worker fatalities for seven of the last ten years. I’m not going to get into the details of worker compensation that make up the bulk of the piece, and it is quite possible there is some room for improvement in worker safety. But I do want to note that, as the second largest state in the union, and the one with the biggest oil and gas industry, it’s not terribly surprising that Texas would have the largest number of fatalities, since oil and gas has a fairly high fatality rate (though not injury rate) compared to other industries (see page 14 here).
Believe it or not, there seem to be a few actual glimmers of sanity in California in the latest roundup:
I’ve been busy with other things, so until Dwight covered it, I didn’t realize that indicted California state senator Leland Yee’s suspended campaign still came in third in the race for California Secretary of State, pulling in a quarter-million votes.
Yee finished ahead of ethics watchdog Dan Schnur, a former chairman of the state Fair Political Practices Commission, who framed his campaign around cleaning up Sacramento. Yee also finished ahead of Derek Cressman, a Democrat and former director of the good-government group Common Cause.
“Sure, he’s been indicted on a gun trafficking and murder-for-hire scheme, but I really liked his opposition to banning shark fin soup.”
Alternately, maybe all California voters just naturally assume that all Democratic office holders in their state are crooked.
In other Leland Yee news:
“There are sensitive materials identifying numerous individuals who are not believed to have engaged in any criminal activities, but who were nonetheless captured on FBI surveillance or documented in FBI reports, for example after being introduced by charged defendants to undercover agents. Such materials, if improperly disclosed, could be used to besmirch these otherwise innocent individuals,” noted the April 8 motion for a protective order.
Chow’s lawyers, Tony Serra and his team, who claim their client is innocent, take issue with this reasoning.
”He knows the politicians, the celebrities who were investigated and through this order of his gagging us, there’s an implication he’s almost protecting their reputation,” Serra said about Breyer.
Lots of news on the Texas vs. California front. An audit turns up $31 billion in California budget mistakes, Democrats hike the minimum wage there, Jerry Brown tries to do something about the growing CalSTARS pension deficit, and people and businesses continue to depart the “Golden State” for Texas…
The California Bureau of State Audits set off a scandal on June 1st by disclosing that the State Controller’s Office made accounting misstatements amounting to $31.65 billion. The timing of the announcement may be devastating to the Democrats who expected to use their super-majority to pass billions of dollars in increased spending, but may now find the net effects of the accounting restatements are a $7 billion General Fund deficit.
As the former Treasurer of Orange County, California it is my preliminary judgment that under state law the negative $7.847 billion impact from overstating general fund assets and revenues and overstating deferred tax revenues may create an “on-budget” deficit to the state’s $96.3 billion “General Fund Budget.”
Union-dominated states are sinking further into economic stagnation as Democratic politicians increasingly dominate the local political climate. In 2012, California Democrats won a supermajority in both houses of the legislature and proceeded to accelerate a tax and spending spree that has been ongoing for two decades. For example, California now has the nation’s top state income-tax rate, at 13.3 percent.
Those kind of policies have consequences. The Manhattan Institute released a report in 2012 that found that since 1990, California had lost nearly 3.4 million residents to other states with lower tax rates.
The U.S. is swiftly becoming a tale of two nations. States that are following the Reagan model of low taxes and incentives are booming while states that are opting for the Obama model of wealth redistribution and European welfare-state economics are stagnating.
As a growing number of Americans choose to call Texas home, it is critical that policymakers not lose sight of the reasons why: low taxes, limited government, and personal responsibility. Liberty is popular. That’s a message that needs reinforcement, particularly at the local level where some of the macro level trends involving taxes, spending, and debt are moving in the wrong direction. We can keep Texas and our cities beacons of prosperity and flourishing — but to do that, we must understand the principles that got us here, and defend them in policy and the public square.
Time for another Texas vs. California roundup:
“Texas is the best state for business and I don’t see anything to slow TX down. The education and quality of eligible employees is excellent right now. Business is booming and growing quicker and more rapidly in 2014 than any other year. It’s an exciting time in Texas.”
“California goes out of its way to be anti-business and particularly where one might put manufacturing and/or distribution operations.”
“California continues to lead in disincentives for growth businesses to stay.”
“California’s attitude toward business makes you question why anyone would build a business there.”
“California could hardly do more to discourage business if that was the goal. The regulatory, tax and political environment are crushing.”
California v. Texas in One Chart: More Housing Starts in Houston from 2011-2014 than the Entire State of California pic.twitter.com/hO5RetaTae
— Mark J. Perry (@Mark_J_Perry) May 10, 2014
Then factors that appear to explain from 13 percent to 30 percent of the differences in trust among the states: rate of union membership,with more trust in states with lower union membership; state’s level of soft tyranny, a measure of the power of state government over its people; percentage of state and local taxes as a share of income, with lower taxes leading to more trust; the right to keep and bear arms, with citizens trusting a government that trusts them to defend themselves; a business-friendly lawsuit climate; the days the legislature is in session, with less trust as the legislature approaches full-time; and the average commute time, with less time spent in traffic leading to more trust.
Lastly, a combination of from two to four of the previous factors correlates to 34 to 41 percent of the trust in each state with a mix of four: taxes, gun rights, lawsuit reform and commute time, showing the highest link to trust. Comparatively speaking, Texas lawmakers have done well in these four areas of public policy.
When building trust in state government, enacting liberty-minded legislation is a good place to start.
Here’s another data point for the Texas vs. California debate: U-Haul rates from California to Texas are still over double those from Texas to California:
Torrance, CA to Plano, TX: $2,626
Plano, TX to Torrance, CA: $1,264
Los Angeles, CA to Dallas, TX: $2,558
Dallas TX to Los Angeles: $1,232
Torrence to Plano, of course, being Toyota’s move from their old to their new U.S. corporate headquarters…
Big news, as one of the world’s largest car makers decides to abandon tax-and-spend California for the Lone Star State:
California has become infamous with business executives and owners there not only for high tax rates and complex taxing schemes but also for overzealous regulations and regulators that have managed to stifle the entrepreneurial energy of thousands of companies.
More details and repercussions from the indictment of California State Senator Leland Yee and his criminal associates on gun-trafficking and other charges:
Give the guy a break. When all is said and done, his alleged crimes come down to taking campaign contributions in return for issuing proclamations, using campaign funds to set up a meeting and taking campaign funds for writing a letter.
Never did he sell his vote, steal public money or actually put money in his own pocket, as far as I can tell.
None of Yee’s decisions affected the public.
I’ve gone over the FBI’s criminal complaint and, from what I can see, the biggest crime he was accused of was trying hustle some undercover FBI agents who were out to get alleged Chinatown gang leader Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow.
First, I don’t think Brown has read that indictment carefully enough. Second, notice how prominent Democrats seem to think that some felonies are just no big deal…