Houston Newspaper: ‘In the Texas vs. California rivalry, California is winning’

From the Department of News We Already Knew, But It’s Always Nice to Hear
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Let’s get the buts out of the way first, because there are always buts. But California’s economy is expected to cool off. But we still face a massive housing shortage. But the state has yet to properly deal with its insane unfunded pension crisis. And those are just the known problems. The Trump administration’s immigration and trade policies could hit the state hard.

California is carrying the American economy right now, but, but…all of those things.

Still, Texas politicians have been bashing California for so long now that it was more than a little satisfying to read this headline in the Houston Chronicle: “In the Texas vs. California rivalry, California is winning.” Texas is losing. It has been messed with. Dog reiki for everyone, California. On the house. The piece was published under the byline of the Chronicle’s economics reporter, Lydia DePillis, who writes:

“Average wages in California, which are already a few dollars an hour higher than in Texas, grew faster than they did in the Lone Star state for most of the past year. Texas’ unemployment rate bumped above California’s this past March. And California’s economy grew faster than Texas’ in 2016, 2.9 percent to 0.4 percent.”

Lest you have any doubts, her reporting includes charts.

Via the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

You simply cannot argue with something that official-looking.

The tempting thing to say is, California is the best. We’re No. 1. All other systems are Dickensian nightmares that will set the nation upon a dystopian path that culminates in The Handmaid’s Tale. But that’s not the lesson here.

The lesson is that there’s more than one way for a state to have a successful economy. That’s a sentiment that is seldom shared because you can’t score partisan points saying things like, “There is more than one way to do something.” Don’t @ me, but maybe states can be highly taxed and highly regulated like California, or maybe they can be more business-friendly like Texas, and they can each succeed in a way that pleases their citizens.


Joe Donatelli is the Senior Writer at Los Angeles magazine. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook.


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