The so-called free-market miracle of Texas

August 18, 2011 | By | 3 Replies More

Daniel Gross pulls out real numbers to show that the economic “miracle” of Texas was made possible by massive growth of state government:

[T]here’s less than meets the eye to the Texas miracle. When a state’s population grows, it has to add more public employees to provide services β€” more cops, more teachers, more DMV clerks. This chart posted by Ryan Avent of the Economist shows that Texas’s jobs growth in recent years has come mostly from the oil and gas industry, and from things funded by the government: education, healthcare, and federal and state employment. This chart posted by blogger Matt Yglesias shows that Texas’s government payroll has been in a huge, long-term uptrend. Jared Bernstein, former economic aide to Vice President Joe Biden, notes that Rick Perry’s Texas has been the capital of government job creation. From 2007 through 2010, Texas lost 53,000 jobs on net, not a bad performance in an era when the U.S. economy shed several million. But that’s because it lost 178,000 private sector jobs while adding 125,000 public sector ones. Notes Bernstein: “47% of all government jobs added in the US between 2007 and 2010 were added in Texas.”

But there’s more . . . In 2010, while Rick Perry was railing against government spending his actions betrayed his words:

Perry himself entered Texas into controversial contracts with Washington lobbyists who helped bring billions of dollars in federal money to Perry’s home state, some of it via earmarks. Some of those lobbyists would wind up pleading guilty in a separate major bribery scandal.

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Category: Economy, Free Market

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Jim Razinha says:

    ProPublica has a nice collection of Perry web-articles here: Our Handy Guide to the Best Coverage on Gov. Rick Perry and His Record.

    Pretty amazing political opportunist…bottle up that wind shift prediction, find the right audience and get elected.

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