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A narrative that is often heard in terms of comparing the economies of California and Texas is that Texas is doing so much better now than California due to the “business friendly” conservative policies of the former and the “business unfriendly” liberal policies of the latter.  Indeed, the unemployment rate is much higher in my home state of California (11.8 percent in June) than in Texas (8.2 percent).  Anecdotal stories abound of California companies leaving the state due to a poor business climate and relocating in Texas.  According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Texas accounted for 237,000 or 48 percent of the 496,000 jobs created in the entire United States between June 2010 and April 2011.  Figures like that will undoubtedly be touted by Texas governor Rick Perry as part of his presidential campaign.  

Paul Krugman in his column today and others do a good job poking holes in the myth of the Texas economic “miracle.”  But analysis by Chris Thornberg of Beacon Economics shows that California’s liberal policies may not be as negative as the narrative would indicate.  Some of the key findings follow:

1.  Net job losses due to relocations from California to other states vs. relocations into California are insignificant (less than one percent of job losses in California).  Despite Perry conducting “hunting trips” into California to lure try to lure businesses away, the state is not losing a significant number of jobs to Texas, a finding confirmed by UCLA’s Anderson Forecasting project.

2.  Texas’s economy appears to be growing faster in nominal terms, but when corrected for inflation, the growth of the two states is roughly the same in the last 15 years.  And California has and continues to outperform Texas in terms of manufacturing output.  Indeed, a report earlier this year by the Public Policy Institute of California shows that California's "employment, wages, and output continue to grow at or above the national average" despite our relatively low business climate rankings (due to the state's "liberal" policies).

3.  The states have two different types of economies.  California has a better educated workforce (in terms of the percentage of its workforce with college degrees); as a result, more of its economic output is in higher skilled jobs such a professional, scientific, and technical services, information, and management.  Even the manufacturing jobs in California are concentrated in high skill sectors such computers, electronics, and transportation equipment.  By comparison, Texas has a higher portion of its economic output in mining/extraction (related to energy), wholesale trade, transportation, and manufacturing.  Of the Texas manufacturing, there is a higher representation in areas requiring lower education and skills such as fabricated metals, machinery, petroleum, and chemicals (largely petroleum based).  The net result is that the median household income in California is more than $10,000 a year higher than in Texas.  

4. We Californians need that extra income because housing prices are sky high in coastal regions of the state when compared to Texas.  The Beacon Economics report shows that housing prices in the Silicon Valley (San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara) are three times what they are in Austin.  That more than government policy is the cause of Texas doing better than California in terms of job growth.  Businesses can buy or lease property at a much lower rate in Texas, and have lower wage costs as workers will accept lower wages due to the lower cost of living.  And the higher housing prices meant that California was more adversely affected by the housing bust than Texas, as the proportion of economic output related to real estate is nearly double in California as compared to Texas (16.0 percent vs. 8.9 percent).

5.  Government is larger in California than in Texas in terms of state and local expenditures as a percent of Gross State Product (GSP).  But California’s percentage is roughly the same as the rest of the country.  And in terms of employment, Texas actually has more government employees as a proportion of its workforce than California.  One reason why expenditures are less in Texas is that government workers there are compensated much less than those in California, again, largely due to the cost of living.  Another reason is that California spends more on social services, public safety, and the environment.  As a result, we have a smaller proportion of our population living in poverty (14.2 percent in California vs. 17.2 percent in Texas), our property crime rate is roughly a quarter lower than Texas (the violent crime rate is about the same), and environmental standards are higher.  Texas did increase taxes in the 1980s to invest in education, which probably helped fuel today’s economic growth.  But California students still have higher SAT scores and more students going on to higher education, even though a slightly smaller percentage of the state’s GSP is spent on education than in Texas.  This gap will probably increase due to the ridiculous standards that are being set by the conservative Texas State Board of Education.

So yes, we have economic problems in California.  But only a small part of those are caused by the state’s liberal policies.  We have a different type of economy and a different type of workforce, which makes it more conducive for us to focus on higher level, higher income jobs.  We’re not in a position to generate the masses of lower income jobs that Texas has created, although we can do better.  We’re at a disadvantage because of our high property costs, and unless they can create more land in coastal California, there isn’t much that public policy can do about that.

Originally posted to EWembley on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 11:29 AM PDT.

Also republished by California politics, TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wow, and you wrote all of that w/o even (12+ / 0-)

    mentioning Enron!

    I admire your restraint.

    Also, just for the record, this is somewhat misleading:

    According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Texas accounted for 237,000 or 48 percent of the 496,000 jobs created in the entire United States between June 2010 and April 2011.

    Many more jobs than that were "created" if you look on a state by state basis - it's just jobs were "lost" in other states bringing the national level to 496,000.

    •  Good point (10+ / 0-)

      Much of California's economic problems (and TX gain) in the past decade is due to a Texas company screwing over California with the help of a Texas GOP presidential administration, then falsely blaming it with the media's help on a California Democratic governor.

      The only place where Republicans are anywhere close to responsible is in the dictionary.

      by DemDachshund on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 04:44:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Enough blame to go around... (5+ / 0-)

        The Dem Governor and Legislature missed the root cause which caused them to make poor choices.  In particular the only reason Enron was able to do what it did was an unplanned extended shutdown of a reactor at San Onofre due to a busted turbine blade.  A single reactor supplies about 5% of the power in California.  So, if the state generally runs at 94% of capacity and you knock out 5%, then all Enron has to do is divert 1% to cause huge price spikes and brown outs because on a day to day basis electricity demand is pretty inelastic.

        If you look at the timing of events the "crisis" started not long after the San Onofre turbine blade broke and ended almost immediately when it came online.  Interestingly, there were not supply problems during the refuel just prior to the turbine problem.  Basically, the planned outage was timed for a period of lower demand in California.  It was when the turbine broke during restart that things got out of whack.

      •  Love (0+ / 0-)

        your name.
        Fellow daschshund lover in CA.

        What do we want? Universal health care! When do we want it? Now!

        by cagernant on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:16:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Rick Perry's math (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bushondrugs, rmx2630, GMFORD, Roadbed Guy

      Texas's net jobs / Nation's net jobs = % Texas created, so:

      If Texas created 273,000 net jobs, and the nation created 496,000 net jobs, then Texas created 40% of the new jobs.

      If Texas created 273,000 net jobs, and the rest of the nation broke even, then Texas created 100% of the new jobs.

      If Texas created 273,000 net jobs, and the nation lost 496,000 net jobs, then Texas created −40% of the new jobs.

      If Texas created 273,000 net jobs, California lost 273,000 net jobs, and the rest of the states broke even, then Texas created ∞% of the new jobs.

      If Texas and North Dakota each created 273,000 net jobs, and the rest of the states each lost 10,000 jobs, then Texas created 414% of the new jobs.

      No wonder the guy was such a star student.

  •  You can lay some of the higher living costs (4+ / 0-)

    at the foot of public policy. Environmental regulations greatly restrict the amount of housing that can be built, especially in the coastal zone, and greatly increase the cost of the housing that is built. Ten percent income tax versus zero in Texas means salaries must be higher for the same standard of living, all other things held equal. I'm not sure if there's a difference in health care costs per capita, but the argument would be that Texas' tort reform would've lowered that, making health care easier to afford.

    •  It's pretty standard to claim (11+ / 0-)

      that environmental regulations "greatly increase the cost of housing that is built."

      I've seen several studies that show that the contribution of environmental/growth control/zoning regulations to the overall cost of housing is in the neighborhood of 10%.  Housing costs have many complex determinants, and it simply is not possible to isolate environmental regulations and claim they are a substantial reason why housing costs are high.  This is simplistic, misleading, and mostly wrong.

      The most violent element in society is ignorance.

      by Mr MadAsHell on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 05:13:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Paul Krugman has suggested... (5+ / 0-)

        ...that one of the determinants is strict zoning rules.  There's also geographical issues -- bodies of water and mountains will obviously limit the directions in which a metro area can grow. Yet another issue, most likely, is higher construction costs for building housing that is reasonably earthquake proof.  So you're right that it's not simple -- but considering that it is a major factor that hurts California's competitiveness, a good, thorough look at California's housing policies is likely in order at some point.

        Ironically, there is one lesson from Texas that other states should learn from -- but it's not one that Rick Perry is likely to talk about.

        Paul Krugman has noted that one of the reasons for low housing costs (and the relative lack of a housing bust) in Texas is that we have relatively strict mortgage regulation -- amazingly, when people can't treat their houses as ATMs, they're less likely to pay overinflated prices for those houses.  Since that's a lesson in the value of smart government regulation, we know that Rick Perry will leave that particular Texas lesson unacknowledged.

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 06:57:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  actually, most (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mr MadAsHell, cville townie

          housing in California uses the same construction methods as Texas. I think the differences due to seismic safety requirements are minor - they're pretty much the same kind of requirements you'd want to make sure your building is safe in a hurricane.

          Housing costs in Texas were lower then in California even in the early 1980s - long before people began treating them as ATMs. So that argument fails, too. I suspect most of the housing price inflation started out from scarcity, and then the speculators and 'investors' moved in an d raised prices even farther. (A house that cost $40,000 in 1965 was selling for $150,000 in 1980, and $750,000 in 2000.)

          (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

          by PJEvans on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 07:36:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yup. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cville townie

            Supply/demand thing.

            Coastal areas are largely built out, but the demand for housing is still  high because the coastal areas is where most of the jobs still locates.  Which is why traffic sucks - much of the newer housing is inland where its more affordable.  Ironically, the zoning regulations out there are for larger lots, which creates sprawl.  And, ironically, this is the area hardest hit by the latest housing bubble.

            I do agree that stricter mortgage rules would not only have soften the housing bubble here, but would also have dampened demand for owner housing.

            The most violent element in society is ignorance.

            by Mr MadAsHell on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:24:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Texas had a housing bubble and bust (0+ / 0-)

            during the 90's when everywhere else housing prices were booming.  It think that may have saved them from the bust we just went through which most likely contributed to what looked like an easier recovery.  It had nothing to do with Perry, he is a moron and apparently a terrible governor in a state where being a governor is a no brainer(not much actual power in the position).

        •  If You Really Want to Stabalize House Prices... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LarryNM, bushondrugs

          And avoid artificial bubbles, go back to the Texas laws of the 1970's.  Refinancing was not allowed so you couldn't pull out your equity every couple years. Until about 1978 we had usury laws that capped interest at 10%.

    •  Actually the coastal regions are pretty much built (7+ / 0-)

      out. For example- San Francisco- you can't hardly find a dirt patch in town.  

      The real reason the price of real estate is high here is supply and demand. Lots of people want to live here, and there is only so much coastal land to go around. But if you don't mind living in the central valley, the housing cost is not much different than Texas.

      Also, TX is not the only state that has Tort Reform. CA was one of the very first state to enact Tort Reform for health care back in the 1970's.

    •  RW squawking points (5+ / 0-)

      I'm not sure if there's a difference in health care costs per capita, but the argument would be that Texas' tort reform would've lowered that, making health care easier to afford.

      False, false and false.

      1) in case you were simply misinformed. I will give you the benefit of the doubt.

      2) or else:

      “ Obama plays a dangerous game. The chessboard has taken on unforseen dimensions. ”

      by ozsea1 on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 05:41:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's not a difference... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sychotic1, LarryNM, ozsea1, cville townie per capita health care costs in Texas versus the rest of the nation.  If anything, we may be slightly above the national average.  While there is some evidence that suggests that Texas' "tort reform" may have helped attract more doctors to the state, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that the result has been lower health care costs.

        So Republican arguments for "tort reform" to drive down health care costs are entirely unsupported by the evidence here.

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 06:59:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  most of the coastal areas (0+ / 0-)

      are either completely built up, or aren't suitable for building (being a bit to the vertical side of the protractor).

      I think property taxes in California may have a lower base rate than in Texas, and the sales taxes are pretty much equal, last I checked. If there's lower health care costs in Texas, it's probably because wages are generally 30 percent lower, along with housing costs.

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 07:31:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, the best part of the PPI report... (16+ / 0-)

    ...which is linked above, is how it points out something that's often discounted:  your state's climate has much more to do with whether it does well than any tax or government policies.

    Texas is simply never going to have the edge that California has, unless half of California falls into the sea or is covered in lava.

    In the end, one state is a drought-prone plain (Llano uplift exempted) with hellish summers and short trees, and the other has some of the best weather in the world coupled with a majestic landscape.

    The rich and skilled can live more or less wherever they want, and if your state isn't pretty and temperate, odds are you simply can't make your taxes low enough to lure them there.

    (Sorry, North Dakota)

    •  And if people want to complain about uncertainty (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sychotic1, LarryNM, nirbama

      hurting business... there's nothing quite like a category 5 storm headed your way to create uncertainty and disruption. Even if it doesn't actually make landfall in your area.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 06:31:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd describe (0+ / 0-)

      the Llano uplift, if you mean the part of West Texas that's above the Caprock, as the most habitable area, if you're a Californian. It even comes with wine grapes....

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 07:38:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, I rather like the Llano Uplift. (0+ / 0-)

        Together with Austin, I imagine most Californians would feel relatively at home there.

        West Texas is pretty in it's own way... it's just a very dry, hot, and empty way.

  •  Randi Rhodes (7+ / 0-)

    had an insightful quotation about the percentage of Texans without a High School degree. I think they placed 50th nationally. Ouch.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy: that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. - John Kenneth Galbraith

    by beefydaddy18 on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 02:56:46 PM PDT

  •  asdf (16+ / 0-)

    California's problems are not at all due to our liberal policies.

    They are due to the numerous regressive and anti-democratic abominations baked into our Constitution.

    GOP: The Party of Acid rain, Abortion of the American Dream, and Amnesty for Wall Street.

    by Attorney at Arms on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 04:40:17 PM PDT

  •  Also, how much worse would the economy be (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, EWembley, LarryNM, cville townie

    in Texas without the liberal, educated Austin area and the economic boom created by progressive investment in university education?

    And California's economy is driven by the open creative minds of the liberal Bay Area and its educational infrastructure.  

    How does Rick Perry's creationist view of science and education help the country take advantage of those kinds of educational investments?

    The only place where Republicans are anywhere close to responsible is in the dictionary.

    by DemDachshund on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 04:47:20 PM PDT

    •  Well, investment in university education (0+ / 0-)

      does come from the state and is not limited to Austin

      Barack Obama for President '08

      by v2aggie2 on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:55:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ...and neither is "liberal" limited to Austin (0+ / 0-)

        cf: 2008 election results: Dallas Co., Bexar Co. (San Antonio), Harris Co. (Houston), El Paso Co.  Roughly 78% of the state's population.

        Be prepared to be surprised by Texas, and soon.

        Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

        by tom 47 on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 11:11:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The first thing that the newly employed in Texas (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LarryNM, cville townie


    Ask the customer if they would like fries with their order.

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 04:47:21 PM PDT

  •  Since it's your headline (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, EWembley

    the phrase is conventional, not convention, wisdom.

  •  Everything in Texas is big! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cville townie

    Especially, the bullshit! They stack it deeper and higher.

    When I cannot sing my heart. I can only speak my mind.

    by Unbozo on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 05:29:03 PM PDT

  •  The Cost of Those Jobs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EWembley, LarryNM

    There seems to be no clear indication if these jobs are actually permanent or simply temporary.  In any event, there are far more telling statistics when comparing states.  It is said that one can best measure civilizations by how well it takes care of its most vulnerable.  By this metric Texas has an infant mortality rate 6.45/1000 residents compared to 5.22/1000 residents in California.  Hence, Texas selects far more harshly against the reproductive success of its residents than does California.  These are are based on 2005 statistics, so the discrepancy following the onset of the Great Bush Recession and the soon to Commence Republican Double Dip between the states is likely to have grown even larger.  

    Of course, conservatives are quick to reject such a metric since after all corporate profits are far more important to them than people.  For all their talk of the importance of the unborn, deaths among the only recently born are remarkably easily ignored by conservatives even though their numbers are much, much larger than the number of abortions performed.  Thus, it seems clear that the moral climate as well as the actual climate is much, much worse in Texas than in California.  Perhaps, that explains why so many in California are still willing to put up with the higher property values, higher cost of living, and higher unemployment rather than moving to Texas.

  •  Just moved from SF to Dallas (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Having lived in the bluest part of CA and now in the heart of TX it's pretty clear that the criticisms of the TX economy are misguided.  Yes, salaries may be slightly lower but the cost of living (not just housing) is staggeringly lower in TX.  I am a university professor and I can tell you first hand hand that a $120k salary in San Francisco roughly translates to a $50k salary in Dallas.  Cost of living trumps everything.  Your quality of life is way better on a minimum wage in TX than on a median wage in CA.

    •  The cost of housing (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sue B, Sychotic1, wsexson, LarryNM, rmx2630

      and real estate reflects into nearly every expense people have in California. Child care is more expensive because child care workers have to pay their rent. Restaurants have to buy more expensive property and pay their people enough to pay for housing.

      But this is because people choose to live in California, supply and demand, not so much because of regulation.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 06:33:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps (0+ / 0-)

        Yes, people may be stupid enough to put up with single family homes costing $950k, daycare $25k, 6 grocery items $80 etc etc.

        But it doesn't change the fact that living on a minimum wage in TX results in a higher standard of living than a median wage in CA.  What people do with that reality is up to them.

        •  Sure, it's the beauty of the free market (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          People make choices based on what their circumstances are and what they value. No worries.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 07:08:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I have been to Texas (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          boophus, wsexson, LarryNM

          I will pass on Texas.  I wouldn't trade California for Texas even with the cheaper standard of living.  Wouldn't move for the same income (which is apparently a huge raise in your book).

          If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much stupid costs

          by Sychotic1 on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 07:22:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was there for about a 1 1/2 yrs in USAF (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sychotic1, Losty, LarryNM

            And I lived in CA for 20 years. I laughed when  someone took me to see a Texas mountain.... We have Buttes in the middle of Eugene, OR that big. And the bugs  freaked me totally... daddy long legs as big as saucers, Tarantulas the size of my hand and man those fire ants can ruin a good boink.

            Dry, dusty and the gulf is so much like a bath tub... I actually lived in Mn for 14 years and Lake Superior was truly fabulous compared to it .

            You couldn't get me to move back to Texas. I would move back to California as 2nd choice after Oregon then Minnesota 3rd.

            Fear is the Mind Killer

            by boophus on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:22:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, honestly more power to the Texans (0+ / 0-)

              but it was flat and hot and I felt like I was breathing through a wet towel most of the time.  I sweat from pores I didn't even know I had.  There were roaches the size of mice that CRUNCHED if you stepped on one and they weren't afraid of the all.

              If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much stupid costs

              by Sychotic1 on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:28:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I have lived in both (0+ / 0-)

            and now live in Texas.  

            Barack Obama for President '08

            by v2aggie2 on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:58:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I was surprised that sidewalks (0+ / 0-)

            seemed to be a luxury in TX urban areas.

            When family moved there, they were told that you wanted to avoid "used" houses. You wanted a new house, because "used" houses would certainly be needing a lot of repairs. Years of minimal building codes are at least part of that.

            That said, there are some very neat places in Texas just as there are in every state in the union.

            This year is a tough year to be a Texan, with the drought. I feel for them. There is at least one big, wealthy horse farm liquidating because they simply can't get water and hay. I worry that in some places the aquifers will prove to be tapped out.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:38:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Not sure it's possible to have a higher (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          standard of living in TX than CA.  The weather, the mountains, the beach and the general overall beauty of CA are the best standard of living a person could have.

    •  minimum wage (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      doesn't go very far in Texas, either.
      (Been there, done that. And it was a local government job, too.)

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 07:40:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Texas Regressive Tax Structure (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cville townie

      Try living on a working class salary or pension in Texas.  Check the precentage of retirees in Texas compared to other states. Sure if you are above the middle of the Middle Class, but with the sales taxes and property taxes (which effect rent) and higher property tax rates in urban areas than Califonia. In the mid 90s there were standing room only meetings during the weekday afternoons about property tax problems. The "solution" was eventually to cut and cap property taxes some while sending money from the State to make up the differences for the local school districts. Texas schools are heavily funded by local property taxes. That took money from other state programs and the business tax increases didn't come anywhere near making up for for the lost State revenue, education has been cut and Texas is still at or near the bottom in social programs. That led to a $24 billion biannum deficit. Texas is there for the wealthy. It has needed but never has had an Income Tax and probably never will.

  •  The SF Bay Area alone gets 36% of venture capital (7+ / 0-)

    The Bay Area alone gets 36% of all venture capital in the US.  This is an area that has a completely 100% democratic congressional delegation.  This completely disproves the right wing bullsh*t about capitalists being deterred from investing by socialist policies. The capitalists themselves know better.

    •  San Francisco is an overpriced hellhole (0+ / 0-)

      A city of crackheads and tech-billionaires.  No middle class.  $950,000 for a 1600 sqft crappy house in the Outer Richmond.  

      •  leave any desirable place alone & that happens (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cville townie

        Especially in the West.  There's just so little outside the metro areas in terms of jobs, services, and amenities that people are going to live as close to the core as they can afford.

        If it makes you feel better, you'd pay just as much for a 1600 square foot crappy house in Wine Country.

        •  Thus rendering it no longer desirable (0+ / 0-)

          SF must be the most overrated city in the world.  I can see how it may have been genuinely great in the mid-90s but now.......overpriced, dirty, crime-ridden, drug-infested with a sprinkling of Maserati-driving Zynga-secondary-market-pre-IPO-owning 20-somethings who are too young and too blinkered to realize they're living in a shithole.  Worst of all there is no middle class, there is no diversity of thought, and there are no black people.  That's right folks - San Francisco, bastion of "tolerance" is one of the most segregated cities in America.  No wonder African Americans are returning to the South in record numbers.

          •  Where do you get this 'most segregated city' from? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sychotic1, LarryNM, rmx2630

            By what measures are you saying that? The SF schools system bends over backwards to place disadvantaged kids into schools throughout the city (placement is done by a priority system- and students from disadvantaged districts get more priority in their school choice) - so much so that it has drawn the ire of a lot of more well off residents. It is true that the African American population is declining. The African American population is declining in Oakland too, did you know that?

            •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

              "Bends over backwards" is right.  It doesn't work and it hurts hard-working middle class people who have all but fled the city.  And the African Americans are heading South.  The reverse migration is in full swing.

            •  I think (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              ramfar is happier in a community where everyone is just like him or her. Clearly multicultural areas aren't appealing.

              (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

              by PJEvans on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 07:43:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, Dallas is more diverse than you think (0+ / 0-)

                and yes -- Dallas County is Democratic

                Barack Obama for President '08

                by v2aggie2 on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:00:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  s/he's right (0+ / 0-)

                  EVERY contested race in 2008 and 2010 went to a dDemocrat in Dallas Co.  Hispanic lesbian County Sheriff (take THAT, Joe Arpaio!).

                  Nonetheless, there are some advantages to SF.  They just price many of us out of the market.

                  C'mon down to Texas for some Vietnamese pho, or barbecue, or Gulf seafood, or Chinese (three major cuisines are well represented), or Brazilian churrascurria, or Mexican food (pick your state or region), or Central American (Salvadoran, Guatemalan), or Ethiopian, or steak, or vegetarian, or Thai, or...

                  Diversity, we haz sum, too.

                  Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

                  by tom 47 on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 11:22:01 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Wine country maybe half that n/t (0+ / 0-)

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 06:34:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  So why do you want to live in outter Richmond? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Utahrd, Sychotic1, Losty

        You could buy that same house in Bayview for $200k. You could buy the same house in Oceanview for $400k. Or if you take one BART stop away in Daly City. Or a BART stop away in West Oakland for $100-$200k again.

        Everybody wants to live with the 'beautiful people'. Well- it's not cheap to live with the beautiful people.

      •  There are still places on the BART line that (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wsexson, Losty, LarryNM, bushondrugs, rmx2630

        you can rent on a middle class income.  My Mom rented in Emoryville and commuted to Downtown for 20 months.  She loved being in the bay area far more than she  enjoyed the  suburbs.

        If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much stupid costs

        by Sychotic1 on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 06:44:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Much of the Texas economy is military (8+ / 0-)

    Ft. Hood, Ft. Bliss, Ft. Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, Brooks Air Force Base, Goodfellow AFB, Randolph Air Force Base, Dyess Air Force Base, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi,.....I could go on.

    With two Wars still in progress there are hundreds-of-thousands of military-associated jobs on and around the Texas bases. I might add that they are all paid with federal taxpayer money.  Military people also support the local communities by renting homes and buying stuff.

    There are also all those military contractors - Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon all have large complexes in Texas.

    As General Smedley Butler once said - "War is a Racket".  Take the DOD money out of Texas and see what happens to the local economies.

    •  I live in San Diego (7+ / 0-)

      We have the Marines and Navy here in big numbers.  It's really hilarious to hear the conservatives here decry government spending when this region owes its status to government spending.  Without the spending on the military (personnel, manufacturing, research, retirement) and at the University of California at San Diego, we would be a sleepy little tourist region, probably the size of the Santa Barbara-Ventura-Oxnard region.

      •  That is what is amazing, so many conservatives (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Anna M

        scream about government spending...other people's spending, the spending that affects them, you better not touch.  Military bases are at the top of the list.  We need to close most of the bases in this country but the retired military won't stand for it.  They have to have their base/commissary privileges.  We are paying top dollar so they can save a few pennies on food.

  •  Funny thing about both places (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    v2aggie2, Anna M

    International trade generates a lot of jobs in Houston, Dallas, Laredo, Oakland, San Pedro, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

    Shouldn't states with little or no international trade like Mississippi and West Virginia be more prosperous than Texas and California?  I keep reading how international trade causes poverty.

  •  Anyone who spews the right wing nonsense that (0+ / 0-)

    we must reduce regulations and have a free market is just not credible to anyone with even the least bit of common sense..  Yet the GOP states this crap all the time and get a free pass in the media. Amazing !  We already know that reduced or un-enforced regulations on the private sector results in very undesirable consequences; things like our current economic crisis or other horrible abuse of our citizenry, tragedies like like the BP oil spill, fraudulent business practices, unsafe working conditions and environmental destruction.  This bull shit nonsense deserves to be mocked just like the person asserting it..  Yet the GOP cretins are always stating this garbage over and over despite all the evidence that it is false.  Next time they state it they should be told, in no uncertain terms,  that they are dumb jerks.  I cant imagine any sane individual wanting to abolish the Environmental Protection agency, yet that is what many on the right advocate.  The stupidity and level of irresponsibility is astonishing.

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