Today brings news that Austin just surpassed San Francisco in population to become the 13th largest city in the country. In fact, Texas had six of the top seven fastest growing cities over the past 14 months: Round Rock, Austin, Plano, McKinney, Frisco, and Denton placed 2-7, topped only by a post-Katrina New Orleans. And at only 7,000-odd residents behind Jacksonville and Indianapolis, expect Austin to be the 11th largest city in the country the next time this list is updated.
And that news gives me a great excuse to to another roundup of Texas vs. California!
Lest you think this is some kind of fluke, or that taxes are not the determining factor in this “escape from NY and California,” it isn’t just Texas that is gaining all these fleeing residents. The U.S. Census reported that all of the top 15 states for population growth during the past decade are no tax or low tax states like Nevada, Florida, Arizona, Utah, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. It seems Americans are smarter than politicians give them credit for- they are voting with their feet for lower taxes, pro business attitude, and more economic freedom.
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.