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Of the many things the left hated about George W. Bush, one of the biggest is the fact that he’s from Texas. It is hard to overestimate the disdain elite liberals have for the Lone Star State. To them Texas is the backwater of backwaters – unsophisticated, racist, misogynist and homophobic – a desert wasteland of cactus and tumbleweeds populated by latter-day Neanderthals.
I do not exaggerate. A woman from New York that I know very well nearly missed the airplane for her first trip to Texas several years ago. Why? She made a last-minute dash into one of the shops at LaGuardia to buy pantyhose, fearful that such products of civilization are not available in a place as primitive as Texas. She was not joking.
Hollywood perpetuates the stereotype. The drawling, over-bearing, poorly-dressed, beer-sodden, cowboy-booted oaf continues as the clichéd characterization of a Texan in movies and TV shows.
Coastal elites either do not know or choose to ignore the fact that the University of Texas uses its size and resources to conduct more primary research in more academic and industrial disciplines than any university in the country. Limousine liberals in New York and Washington would likely be skeptical if told that a big reason for NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center being placed in Houston was so that the Apollo moon project could benefit from a steady flow of young engineers from Rice University.
From the perspective of the ruling-class elites, there is nothing to recommend Texas. It is a miserable, Red State, George W. Bush-spawning hell-on-earth.
So how, then, do they explain the job numbers just released by the federal government? In the past ten years, even in the face of a withering recession, Texas added 732,000 private-sector jobs, a quarter million in the past year alone. No other state added as many as 100,000.
Thirty one states lost jobs. Which states lost the most? Liberal enclaves like California and Michigan, which taken together shed nearly one and a quarter million private-sector jobs.
So what is it about Texas? For us natives, it’s not complicated.
First there’s the low-tax ethos that is a part of Texas’s DNA. Texans become opposed to the idea of a state income tax while still in the womb. It’s a “starve-the-beast” gene, unique to Texas, which serves to limit the amount of revenue that state politicians can use to buy votes. This congenital aversion to taxes, coupled with a part-time legislature that convenes for only 140 days every other year, has served to limit the size and scope of state government.
And then there’s the fact that Texas is a right-to-work state, which keeps unions out of the pockets of employers and politicians out of the pockets of unions. Plain and simple, it just costs less to do business in Texas and business has noticed.
Assuming you could get coastal liberals to un-wrinkle their noses at the very mention of Texas (which is unlikely), what could you teach them from this jobs data?
Simple. Keep government small. Keep its nose out of business. Let the citizens keep their own money.
Prosperity will follow.
Why is something so obvious so hard for so many to see?