Political consultant Stephen Frank reports on a dreadful symmetry between my home state of California and Texas.
California was formerly the "Golden State" where opportunity beckoned for everyone. From the Great Depression until the mid-'80s California attracted jobs, entrepreneurs, and people looking for a new start. It had good roads, good schools, and good jobs.
Texas, on the other hand, was big but also subject to an oil field boom-and-bust mentality. There was opportunity there, but it didn’t have the combination of beaches, weather, and Hollywood cool that characterized California.
Today the situation is reversed. California has bad roads, bad schools, and a crushing nanny-state government with regulators that treat business like it’s the enemy. As a result Texas is now the land of opportunity and California is losing residents and jobs.
In January of this year Texas gained 30,000 new jobs, while California lost 31,000 jobs in February. The figures are even worse when you factor in that Texas as 12 million fewer residents than California. What’s more, February is the fifth straight month that California has lost jobs. If that’s Gov. Brown’s idea of a recovery, God help us all.
The states even respond differently to the weather. Texas is in the third year of a drought, yet farmers and ranchers are still expanding. California has a drought, too, but here government increases the damage by denying water allocations to farmers that are depending on it to offset Mother Nature.
Here it’s more important to protect a baitfish that may or may not be endangered than it is to protect the jobs and livelihoods of taxpaying citizens.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry in his speech at CPAC 2014 last week in Washington, D.C., spoke of the contrast between blue state and red state visions. In the blue vision the state “plays an increasing role in the lives of citizens.” Taxes are high, public employee pensions are out of control, and jobs are leaving.
Perry contrasted that smothering philosophy with the red state vision where “freedom of the individual comes first and the reach of government is limited.” There taxes are low, spending is low, and opportunity is high.
So is it any wonder that the unemployment rate for California is 8.7 percent compared to the 6.2 percent rate in Texas? In fact, the only company — outside of Silicon Valley and Hollywood — I know of that’s currently doing well in California is U-Haul and even it has some problems.
As Perry observed, “If you rent a U-Haul to move your company it costs twice as much to go from San Francisco to Austin as it does the other way around, because you can’t find enough trucks to flee the Golden State.”
Or enough businessmen foolish enough to want to move to California.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and chairman of the League of American Voters. Mike is an in-demand speaker with Premiere. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.