February 7, 2013

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: California vs. Texas:

Two of our biggest and richest states, polar opposites on the political spectrum, are taking radically different approaches to attracting new jobs. Policymakers in Washington and beyond will be watching closely to see who comes out on top.

As the match rolls on, a few things are clear. California still has the upper hand, with an economy larger than Canada’s or India’s and untapped energy reserves to rival Nigeria. But Texas has all the momentum. It places at or near the top in every ranking for business climate, whereas California consistently scrapes the bottom. It spends far less than California on education but ranks significantly higher. And California business leaders are growing more frustrated by the day, as Sacramento seems determined to squeeze them for ever more revenue.

This is the Ali vs. Frazier of interstate rivalries. It promises to be the fight of the decade.

It may turn out more like the Rumble In The Jungle.