The PJ Tatler

The Texas Take on Economic Freedom and Creativity

It hasn’t been a secret, Roger, that Texas has a political and cultural climate that favors economic freedom and promotes creative entrepreneurs. Of course the NYDCLA media (New York, Washington, Los Angeles) rarely frame the discussion in terms of  freedom and creativity. That media axis prefers to frame Texas as a politically and culturally benighted state that is anti-environment, anti-worker (code word for anti-union), favors “the rich,” and fails to provide a morally-acceptable social safety net (ie, denies welfare rights).  The “racist” meme crops up, too. In other words, Texas ain’t progressive.

The Great Chris Dodd-Barney Frank recession has altered that narrative somewhat. Tatler covered the recent trip by California politicians to Texas. They were looking for magic bullets to slay the Golden State’s debt monster.

Economic creativity is a magic of a sort, but it is sweat equity magic. You get an idea, you see an economic niche, you seek capital, then you sweat, and work, and placate investors, then keep working some more. Then you succeed and the progressives label you greedy. Tsk. Sure, Texas has leftists, but to their chagrin the vast majority of Texans wouldn’t damn you as greedy, but would regard you as an employer.

Excessive bureaucratic regulation squeezes the space for economic experimentation by start-up entrepreneurs– the new idea men and women whose small businesses will spark genuine economic growth. Bureaucratic regulations that favor embedded political constituencies (eg., unionized Newport Beach, CA lifeguards making $100K a year) impose further burdens (ultimately, confiscatory taxes). The entrepreneur sees the built-in costs, runs the numbers, and moves–to Texas.

When compared to New York and California, Texas has managed to avoid those errors.  The Texas model isn’t perfect– no model is perfect. But in Texas creative entrepreneurs have a better chance.