Texas v. Unionocracy of California: Exhibits A to E
The following article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.
Exhibit A: California has lost more than one million jobs in the last several years, while employment levels in Texas have remained relatively stable.
Exhibit B: In early 2006, California's unemployment was actually slightly below Texas, but is now 4.3 percentage points higher than Texas (12.3% vs. 8%).
One-way rental rates for a 26-foot truck from U-Haul:
From Dallas to San Francisco: $734
From San Francisco to Dallas: $2,116
From Houston to Los Angeles: $706
From Los Angeles to Houston: $2,051
In other words, it’s almost three times more expensive to rent a truck to leave California (from San Francisco or Los Angeles) and move to Texas (Dallas or Houston) than it is to leave Texas and move into California, suggesting that there is a huge outmigration of trucks and people away from California to Texas.
Exhibit D (via Nick Schulz):
Both states have similar demographics (although California has many more Asians). But California has what should be significant advantages—it is much richer ($42,102 per capita GDP to $37,073) and it spends 12% more on educating each student than Texas. Despite this, Texas kids are one to two years of learning ahead of California kids of the same age. And blacks, whites, and Hispanics all do better in school in Texas than they do in California.
Exhibit E: George Will offers some insights into California's problems in his column today:
California, a laboratory of liberalism, is spiraling downward, driven by a huge budget deficit.
William Voegeli tartly says that "Rome wasn't sacked in a day, and California didn't become Argentina overnight." Indeed. It took years for liberalism's redistributive itch to create an income tax so steeply progressive that it prompts the flight from the state of wealth-creators: "Between 1990 and 2007," Voegeli writes, "some 3.4 million more Americans moved from California to one of the other 49 states than moved to California from another state." (U-Haul truck rental rates above demonstrate the high outbound demand for people and trucks leaving California.)
It took years for liberalism's mania for micromanaging life with entangling regulations to make California's once creative economy resemble Gulliver immobilized by the Lilliputians' many threads. It took years for compassionate liberalism to make California's welfare menu contribute to the state becoming an importer of Mexico's poverty. It took years for servile liberalism to turn the state into what Voegeli calls a "unionocracy," run by and for unionized public employees, such as public safety employees who can retire at 50 and receive 90 percent of the final year's pay for life.
George Will's Conclusion: California's economy is being suffocated by the weight of government.