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In his column today, Paul Krugman dismantles the myth that Rick Perry's policies allowed Texas to escape the recession without feeling any economic pain.

The basic point: while Texas did indeed have more net job growth than other other parts of the country, it also had more net population growth, and during the recession, it's unemployment rate—and the total number of unemployed—have grown as well. Here's a chart Krugman posted on Friday illustrating how the unemployment rate in Texas is on par with that of New York or Massachusetts:

Texas boosters will nonetheless argue that that the unemployment isn't the right thing to look at. You have to look at overall job growth, they'll say, to which Krugman today responds:
So Texas tends, in good years and bad, to have higher job growth than the rest of America. But it needs lots of new jobs just to keep up with its rising population — and as those unemployment comparisons show, recent employment growth has fallen well short of what’s needed.

If this picture doesn’t look very much like the glowing portrait Texas boosters like to paint, there’s a reason: the glowing portrait is false.

Still, does Texas job growth point the way to faster job growth in the nation as a whole? No.

What Texas shows is that a state offering cheap labor and, less important, weak regulation can attract jobs from other states. I believe that the appropriate response to this insight is “Well, duh.”

Undoubtedly, some Texas boosters will say that this means the U.S. as a whole should become more like Texas and reduce wages throughout the country so that we can compete with countries like China. Thanks to the differences between trade among states and trade among nations, they're wrong, but even if they weren't, it would be amusing to watch Republicans run a campaign centered on the premise that the solution to our economic challenges is to cut everybody's paycheck.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 06:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Tweet Perry's Texas "Miracles" from this site (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cassandracarolina, Terminus
    •  While you are correct in these statements... (0+ / 0-)
      What Texas shows is that a state offering cheap labor and, less important, weak regulation can attract jobs from other states. I believe that the appropriate response to this insight is “Well, duh.”

      The cost of living is much cheaper than in NY or Mass or a lot of other parts of the country. So the fact that salaries may be lower may have a rational basis.

      $250,00 - $300,000 gets you a new, large home. Not a MacMansion, but a nice sized family house. It's hard to find anything comparable in or around LA/SF/NYC/Mass/PA/NJ for this amount.

      What I pay per sq. foot for my apt, can't be matched in any of those places. I've checked.

      While regs may be a problem here, there is only one issue that really appears to cause problems and that's pollution from businesses. If the people here chose to ignore it, then that's their choice.

      Most seem to love this state. It's actually a state of mind. You also pointed to the growth in population. yes, many people choose to move here.

      Please don't take this as a vote of support for Perry/Parry. I just wanted to shed some light on the subject. That said, I despise his politics and that of most Texas' politicians.

      Progressives will win when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

      by auapplemac on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:52:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Add to the pollution is the decimated (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        state of public services in Texas; truly, it represents the conservative vision for this country.  Poor public education, high rates of people with no access to health care, or having no insurance.

        Sorry, scratch the service of Texan "economic miracles" and you have a public realm that has been starved to death.

        The most violent element in society is ignorance.

        by Mr MadAsHell on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 11:14:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, not entirely true. (0+ / 0-)

        A good friend (older) just sold his housein a very nice post-war neighborhood for $299,000. It's a ranch with three bedrooms, nice living area full garage and large yard )front and back). it's located in a Boston bedroom community with easy rail access to the city, near Route 128, the main road to Boston, and close to lots of stores and services.
        Real estate around here can be had for pretty good prices.

        A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. Franklin D. Roosevelt

        by MA Liberal on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:14:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Compare that used home to these new ones... (0+ / 0-)

          in the Dallas area

          Really no comparison.

          Your friends home here would go for about $150,000 to $175,000.

          Progressives will win when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

          by auapplemac on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 02:14:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  True. (0+ / 0-)

            But I was responding to the comment that there are no homes for $200,000 or under. There are actually lost of homes here that sell for those prices.
            And I expect that in a state like Texas prices would be lower. Heck, my best friend;'s sister and hubby bought a large house in Binghamton, NY, about ten years ago, with lots of land and an in-ground pool for around $90,000.
            Here, we are close to Boston, close to the ocean and many beaches, and have lots of things to do. The more desirable the area, the higher the prices.
            Things in Mass, especially near the Boston area have been, and always will be than other parts of the country. But it is still affordable. You might just have to settle for a smaller house for the same price.

            A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. Franklin D. Roosevelt

            by MA Liberal on Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 09:33:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I find that "Well, duh".... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, Kinak, JeffW, Mr MadAsHell also an appropriate response to just about anything Rick Perry says that isn't complete bullshit. The man couldn't grasp a complex thought if the fate of the Western world depended on it -- and if Americans were stupid enough to give a Dumbya clone another term in the White House, it very well might.

    Do you suppose Republican politicians hate people who work for a living because they've never done it themselves?

    by wiscmass on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 07:13:59 AM PDT

  •  Dukakis ran on the "Massachusetts miracle" in '88 (5+ / 0-)

    And the state did do very well in the mid-80s.  But then it started to have budget problems and the Bush campaign started going on about the pledge of allegiance and Boston harbor.

    Lesson 1:  a governor running on the economic health of his or her state is like riding a tiger.

    Lesson 2:  if you hang your candidacy on your state, you leave yourself open to what's wrong with it.

    Lession 3:  if you can get traction by attacking on vetoing the pledge of allegiance, you certainly can get traction by attacking on advocating secession.

  •  Besides, is it a wise stategy to tout job (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kinak, cassandracarolina, JeffW

    creation in Texas (let's assume for a moment that that is actually true) that was achieved at the expense of other states when running to be president of those very same other states?

    It seems to be a bit counterintuitive of a strategy, but I suppose that that type of thing has never slowed a Republican  . . ..

    •  Not a wise strategy if you're a critical thinker (5+ / 0-)

      But again, most Americans aren't.

      Just another day in Oceania.

      by drshatterhand on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 07:33:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, he's particularly proud of poaching (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cassandracarolina, JeffW

        jobs from California, but isnt' likely to win that state in any event.

        Florida & Michigan might be more problematic, however - if, like you say, people start thinking just a tad critically.

        It'd be nice of the leading Democrats would prod them in that direction (as compared to declaring victory after things like the debt ceiling fiasco and then "moving on").

    •  That's a very good point (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy, churchlady, JeffW

      Many of us in TX moved here and took our jobs from the northern US, so we're really just moving the same number of jobs geographically rather than creating jobs.

      Of course, someone so deeply "religious" as Perry loves the sound of the word "creation".  

      You cannot enlighten the unconscious.

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:00:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, moving a job from Michigan or California (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dannyinla, cassandracarolina, JeffW

        is hardly the same as creating one . . .

        Or, even intelligently evolving one I'd almost dare say.

      •  foreign-owned businesses have invested (0+ / 0-)

        heavily in Texas as well.. so that is not completely true.

        •  Looking for some evidence for your (0+ / 0-)

          claim that foreign businesses have invested in Texas, I came upon the strangest thing, this article from DailyKos that is posted on the Wall Street Journal Blog:

          European companies look to America for cheap labor
          (Posted on  Daily Kos at Sat, Aug 13, 2011 at 01:44AM)

          The announcement that a German company is opening a small manufacturing facility in Wisconsin brings up a question that just a few years ago would have been unthinkable: Is this another case of a European company coming to the United States for the cheap labor? As contrary to the stature we're accus (visit source article)

          WTF is up with that, is Kos now in bed with Rupert Murdoch?

          •  Well.. German mfgs have done this for years (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roadbed Guy

            They have brought Mercedes, BMW, W & Audi plants here.

            Of course these are all placed in right-to-work states down south.  But I'm not so sure you would call that "cheap labor".  Those folks down in Tennesee and Alabama are making comparable pay to UAW workers up north.

            Audi announced they are opening a new one soon:

            Audi Latest Automaker To Plan North American Assembly Plant

            As the article mentions, SUV's are more popular here than in Europe, so this is the logical place to manufacture them.. they might even end up exporting some.

            As far as Texas goes.. high tech firms from Asia are making their presence in the US down there.. Medical firms, for some reason (tort reform?) have also flocked to Texas.

            Texas is big on chemical export as well.  That might have something to do with the availability of petroleum-based.

            article on Texas exports:

            Trade through Texas ports support hundreds of thousands of jobs. The Port of Houston, which ranks first in the United States in foreign tonnage, alone provides more than 785,000 jobs, and generates $117.6 billion in economic activity and $3.7 billion in state and local taxes in the State of Texas.
    •  Not really counterintuitive.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy

      The argument goes like this:

      The Texas model shows how to get the country out of the jobs recession:

      1. Lower taxes (Texas has no income tax - probably the biggest factor that businesses/people are moving to Texas - a fact Jed and Krugman ignored).  This will bring jobs back from overseas.

      2. De-regulate - same argument as above - brings jobs back from overseas.

      3. Tort reform - they just passed loser pays.

      Of course, those are all pro-business policies - and one could argue, anti-consumer/anti-worker policies.  But that's what the Repubs are going to run on next year.

      It is indeed a gamble - but these are arguments that can and will work on voters who have seen several years of joblessness.    If he is the nominee, he will attack Obama on stuff like the NLRB shutdown of the Boeing plant in S.C. (he mentioned it in his kick-off speech on Saturday), etc.

      When you haven't had a job for 3-4 years, even goofy arguments like this begin to make some sense.

      •  It's basically the race to the bottom argument (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, Mr MadAsHell

        with similarities to how New England's textile jobs moving to the low wage, low regulation southern states (briefly!) and then being offshored entirely in due course.

        The jobless tend not to vote all that much (unless you mean old people, who don't have jobs but aren't usually classified that way . . .) anyways.  So, they're probably not the target audience for this schtick.

        •  The jobless tend not to vote? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JeffW, Victor Laslo

          You sound like one of those "The unemployed need not apply" types.

          By that I mean you have a notion of the jobless formed in a different time and economy.

          I'll bet that jobless people -- and the wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, worried former co-workers, etc, of the jobless will get out and vote in the coming elections.  Might as well throw in all of the frustrated under-employed and uncounted unemployed who have simply given up looking.

          They might not vote in quite the same percentages as others, but there are a lot of them and elections in this country are not decided by huge margins.  Obama's landslide victory came with 53% of the popular vote.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:17:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I wasn't trying to smear anyone (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            just pointing out the statistics . .  

            •  I know. Statistics are sometimes useful, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JeffW, Victor Laslo

              sometimes not.

              When there are so many unemployed as we have now, especially when so many are people who held decent jobs for a long time, or are college grads who can't find those elusive first good jobs, statistics based on more normal economies can be thrown out the window.

              It's like the bias against hiring the unemployed.  It's always stupid and unfair, but, in a good economy, you can at least understand the reasoning that somebody who's out of work is somehow a problem, inferior, a slacker, what-have-you.
              In today's economy, those assumptions are idiotic.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:22:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Depends on how you look at it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      For example:

      Illinois has some of the worst unemployment in the country, even though we are losing people to other states.

      If I were Perry, I'd say that people are moving to Texas to find jobs that they can't find back home.  Texas can keep up with the influx even when other states are losing jobs even faster than people.

      Something along those lines.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:13:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, maybe if you were Perry you'd say this: (0+ / 0-)
        If I were Perry, I'd say that people are moving to Texas to find jobs that they can't find back home.  Texas can keep up with the influx even when other states are losing jobs even faster than people.

        But since you're not, you probably wouldn't want to disseminate such blatant lies .. . . (hehe hehe hehe he)

  •  ,,, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, JeffW

    The more cogent point he will make is that oil wealth created the jobs and that if the whole US would open itself to resources extraction then we will have jobs galore.

  •  Texas is a welfare state (5+ / 0-)

    . . .that recieves far more from the feds than it pays in, thanks to the large number of military bases and NASA, etc. So, of course they are somewhat recession proof and should benefit sooner from positive changes in the economy. It's positively shameless for Rick Perry to take credit for that but then, that's the nature of politics, isn't it: especially GOP politics.

  •  High oil prices help Texas (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, cassandracarolina, JeffW

    because Texas gets the economic benefits of Gulf & west Texas oil supplies. Texas has large numbers of oil refineries.

    Many other states suffer quickly when oil costs go up.

    Texas isn't doing so well when you take oil out of the picture.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 07:36:35 AM PDT

  •  They ARE running such a campaign (7+ / 0-)

    Michele Bachmann dreams of eliminating minimum wage. Every damn one of them is anti-union.

    In fact, they've been running that campaign for 140 years or thereabouts, and the American people still buy it.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 07:37:08 AM PDT

  •  All This Talk About the Gov. Not Job Creating (4+ / 0-)

    How many actually have followed what came into their states as to the recovery funds, i.e. stimulus, that wasn't enough but did stop the collapse and helped local communities as well as small businesses around the country.

    Lets just look at the recent on three states in the very recent news:

    Now in many places, like Texas, this is just the recovery funds, much more came from the Federal Government over these past couple of years as to FEMA and the devastating storms and droughts that are affecting their states and residents.

    Texas also has a number of Military bases which have been going through many upfits, as has NC, and changes under private companies with also the VA investing in existing or new facilities.

    And many of these have or are running out as the projects are completed or have been completed.

    No wonder so many pols ran to the ribbon cuttings etc. and had their media photo's taken while attempting to take credit for all that cash and those community saving jobs, even helped prop up their state budgets that were in the red and going deeper!

    You can find plenty, especially if your state media aren't covering it, more at the Federal pages.

    CCR:"If you're a torturer, be careful in your travel plans. It's a slow process for accountability, but we keep going."

    by jimstaro on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 07:37:22 AM PDT

    •  Speaking of Jobs (4+ / 0-)

      Heard a clip this morning on bachmann saying how she and her hubby have Huge experience in creating jobs for their company. First, how many are employed at her husbands health care clinic and Second, how many of those jobs would they be able to pay, let alone have customers, if not for the Federal Government funding not only at the clinic but her families farms etc.!!!!

      Romney's running on Job creation and his claim for that boils down to buying companies and stripping them of employee's or cutting wages and benefits etc. and or selling of the pieces, while reaping huge bottom line personal wealth!!

      CCR:"If you're a torturer, be careful in your travel plans. It's a slow process for accountability, but we keep going."

      by jimstaro on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 07:44:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dallas Morning News today (5+ / 0-)

    Business Section has a "snapshot" on poverty and wages in U.S., Texas, and Dallas County. Lot's of graphs.

  •  Everyone else's paycheck (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, cassandracarolina, JeffW

    They will simply convince people that only other people's paychecks and/or jobs will be cut * cough * unions * cough *.

    Watch the MSM cast Ranger Rick as the second coming of Reagan. Watch for it.

    It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness - Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Fish in Illinois on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 07:53:44 AM PDT

    •  They both have hair and an endless supply of (0+ / 0-)

      hot air to carry on about topics damaging to most Americans, if Americans' ears were tuned well enough to hear the messages.

      They share other similarities. Both also have an ability to sound like they know what they are talking about, while spouting what is often utter nonsense. But, as handsome, charming men, they have been believed on some pretty unbelievable assertions.

      The supercommittee is about as likely to come to an agreement as Charlie Sheen is to become a spokesman for Focus on the Family. Michael Tomasky

      by 4Freedom on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:00:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Who cares if he'll cut our paychecks and (0+ / 0-)

    take away all our benefits. He'll bring God back into the white house. That's dadgum good enough for me.

    O, it is excellent to have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant." --Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

    by Wildthumb on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:02:03 AM PDT

  •  Texas has over 1 million unemployed. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, JeffW, Terminus

    They also have the highest percentage of minimum wage jobs.

    We were saying this months before everyone else.

    The top graph is Progressive led Dayton Minnesota, the bottom graph is Perry led Texas.

    •  Devil's advocate (0+ / 0-)

      Okay...everyone get their guns out, cause some you more dedicated kossacks are gonna want to shoot me on this one.

      Playing the devil's advocate, I just KNOW this isn't a comparison between a cherry-picked city of 55,000+ population vs. the state of Texas with tens of millions of people with so much difference in various cultures and other demographics.

      Another little note.  Why are both of those lines showing an exponential upswing since 2008? away :-).

      - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

      by r2did2 on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:25:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  But it doesn't matter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr MadAsHell

    The refutation takes a while ... and, in the face of two big statements, will never be heard. Here's the case:

    1. Rick Perry is creating jobs in Texas.
    2. Unemployment under Barack Obama is high.

    Oh, there are so many ways to shoot holes in this, but the message is simple, direct, and easy to lap up. Sadly, it will work, truth be damned.

  •  They already run on it: (0+ / 0-)

    "it would be amusing to watch Republicans run a campaign centered on the premise that the solution to our economic challenges is to cut everybody's paycheck"

    They just are effective in convincing voters that it someone else's paycheck that will be cut, just like their voters believe it is someone else's Medicare and Social Security that will be cut.

    “when Democrats don’t vote, Democrats don’t win.” Alan Grayson

    by ahumbleopinion on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:15:28 AM PDT

  •  Now we just need to make sure that CNN and the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    rest of the big media start reporting the truth about Perry.

  •  Lefty Coaster posted a diary on this ... (0+ / 0-)

    @ 1:21AM today

  •  A person would have to be pretty desperate.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    r2did2, JeffW

    for a job to move to a state with such oppressive politics, religion, and ignorance like Texas.....

    plus, throw in the oppressive heat and a couple of habanero peppers...WHEW...that's a stew full of heartburn right there now.......

  •  Darryl Issa's conflicts of interest are NOT (0+ / 0-)

    a myth. Let's start investigating where the stink come from instead of blaming the President for everything including the kitchen sink.

    DK is about to assist the turnover of the American nation to blatant Republican power grabbing 21st century tycoons.

    What a country!

  •  The mainstream media has spoken! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's a miracle in Texas!  Anything that denies the narrative must be denied!  Get into lock step here, folks!  Punishments for those who get out of step!


    "It was like that when I got here." - Homer Simpson

    by rbird on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:35:44 AM PDT

  •  How much environmental de-regulation versus (4+ / 0-)

    other states is happening?  Are there studies/statistics on child respiratory illnesses and water conditions etc..?  If the numbers go together with the lax regulations then there is another hammer, albeit a smaller one in some peoples' eyes, but if kids are more sick in Texas....

  •  Perry also used stimulus to pay down TX Debt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, JeffW
  •  Case in point (3+ / 0-)

    Caterpillar recently opened a plant in Seguin, TX, which Perry touts at one of his biggest job achievements. Let's look at the deal a little more closely:

    Caterpillar is consolidating plants in Illinois and South Carolina in Seguin, closing plants in two other states. So the total number of jobs actually shrinks and the Texas jobs are poached from other states.

    Caterpillar got $10 million from Perry's slush fund, I mean the Texas Enterprise Fund, where the beneficiaries of the fund always seem to end up on his donor lists. And $11 million in county and city tax incentives.

    Caterpillar and Perry touted that the average wage at the plant would be $21 an hour. BUT they held a job fair last week, advertising the jobs as CONTRACT positions - no benefits - with a starting wage of $10.90 an hour, with the possibility of them becoming staff positions in a couple of months.

  •  One of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    these days republicans will learn how to read charts and care about facts, but until then it will be impossible to win an argument with them.

    Citizenship is a contact sport!

    by horowitz on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:33:31 AM PDT

  •  Ugh. (0+ / 0-)

    Why do chartmakers hate colorblind people?

    Oh, there you are, Perry. -Phineas -SLB-

    by boran2 on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:04:18 AM PDT

  •  They'd get plenty of votes (0+ / 0-)
    it would be amusing to watch Republicans run a campaign centered on the premise that the solution to our economic challenges is to cut everybody's paycheck.

    Oh, as far as Fox Nation is concerned you can cut paychecks all you like; it proves that white employees have character. Just don't tax anybody; it proves that the black and unemployed have none.

  •  it doesn't matter if it's a myth... (0+ / 0-)

    ...George Walker's supposedly  tenure as governor of Texas was also pretty pathetic...a lot of the same statistics people are citing today about Texas was true under George Walker Bush's tenure, as well, including being one of the most polluted states, being one of the most poorly educated states, etc., etc., etc.'s amazing what massive amounts of big oil money can do to help..paper over the truth.

    Fortunately, Rick Perry doesn't hold as many of the same political "aces" up his sleeve as George Walker Bush did (i.e. daddy's little black book of filthy rich political contacts, etc.).

    Unfortunately, Rick Perry doesn't seem to be quite as dumb as George Walker Bush. That might be a problem, since a large amount of resources had to be used by Bush just to prevent people from knowing how shallow and unknowledgable he really was.

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