Texas vs. California
From "America’s Future: California vs. Texas" in Trends Magazine:
What's the worst state to do business in? According to readers of Chief Executive magazine, it's California. In the same poll, Texas won first place as the best state in which to put your headquarters. As reported in The Economist, the two largest states in the nation have very different philosophies and very different success rates.
What’s wrong with California, and what’s right with Texas? It really comes down to four fundamental differences in the value systems embodied in these states:
1. Texans on average believe in laissez-faire markets with an emphasis on individual responsibility. Since the '80s, California’s policy-makers have favored central planning solutions and a reliance on a government social safety net. This unrelenting commitment to big government has led to a huge tax burden and triggered a mass exodus of jobs. The Trends Editors examined the resulting migration in “Voting with Our Feet,” in the April 2008 issue of Trends.
2. Californians have largely treated environmentalism as a “religious sacrament” rather than as one component among many in maximizing people's quality of life. As we explained in “The Road Ahead for Housing,” in the June 2009 issue of Trends, environmentally-based land-use restriction centered in California played a huge role in inflating the recent housing bubble. Similarly, an unwillingness to manage ecology proactively for man’s benefit has been behind the recent epidemic of wildfires.
3. California has placed “ethnic diversity” above “assimilation,” while Texas has done the opposite. “Identity politics” has created psychological ghettos that have prevented many of California’s diverse ethnic groups and subcultures from integrating fully into the mainstream. Texas, on the other hand, has proactively encouraged all the state’s residents to join the mainstream.
4. Beyond taxes, diversity, and the environment, Texas has focused on streamlining the regulatory and litigation burden on its residents. Meanwhile, California’s government has attempted to use regulation and litigation to transfer wealth from its creators to various special-interest constituencies.
MP: The 4.2% difference in October jobless rates (12.5% in CA vs. 8.3% in TX) tells the story (see graph above). In fact, California's unemployment rate has been more than 4 percent above the rate in Texas every month this year except for January, and that is the first time in state jobless rate history back to 1976 that there has ever been a 4-point difference in the unemployment rates between those two states.
HT: Enterprise Blog