Saturday, July 11, 2009

California versus Texas

California versus Texas.

Not that Californian government comes cheap: it has the second-highest top level of state income tax in America (after Hawaii, of all places). Indeed, high taxes, coupled with intrusive regulation of business and greenery taken to silly extremes, have gradually strangled what was once America’s most dynamic state economy. Chief Executive magazine, to take just one example, has ranked California the very worst state to do business in for each of the past four years.

By contrast, Texas was the best state in that poll. It has coped well with the recession, with an unemployment rate two points below the national average and one of the lowest rates of housing repossession. In part this is because Texan banks, hard hit in the last property bust, did not overexpand this time. But as our special report this week explains, Texas also clearly offers a different model, based on small government. It has no state capital-gains or income tax, and a business-friendly and immigrant-tolerant attitude. It is home to more Fortune 500 companies than any other state—64 compared with California’s 51 and New York’s 56.

Except for the stupid "lack of culture" crack, probably due to some Euro-centric snobbery, the article makes a good case for Texas leading the nation forward.

I'm a Texan By Choice, got here as fast as I could. Texas doesn't have a state income tax, an over-bearing state government, and the people believe in individualism and strong values. This 'culture' is what makes it a good place to make a living and raise a family.

California had its golden age in the post World War II era right through the internet bubble. But California is not what it once was. I once had a job opportunity to move to California, about 10 years ago, but I took a pass at it. I couldn't bear to leave the Texas I had come to love, and California was just a place with traffic jams and high taxes. Maybe with 11.5% unemployment, the traffic is less, but the taxes are still killing the state. It's not too late for Cali to learn from Texas and recapture it's former glory, but it will take a major turnaround.

No comments: