The Texas two-step.

Conflicting reports coming out of the liberal blogosphere about what the hell is going on in Texas.

In one corner, there’s Krugman and Salmon, who don’t think (or at least doubt) there is any such thing as a “Texas miracle.” Felix had this post recently showing a graph demonstrating that the employment to population ratio fell drastically under Perry in Texas, harder and faster than it did for the country at large. Not sure how much stock I put into it because the figures include kids and convicted felons and anyone else not conceivably expected to be a member of the labor force, so any discrepancy in the proportions of those groups between Texas and the nation at large would seem to distort the ratio. But it’s still neat to think about.

Then there’s Matt Yglesias, who has this post with a FRED graph showing public sector employment in Texas. Hard to tease out what is a function of population growth (i.e. more kids, more teachers) from what is out-of-trend growth in government. Looks pretty consistent though. Yet Yglesias frames it as if the TX public sector labor market stability was an economic boon to Texas. If it was, how can he not be challenging, if not outright rejecting, the Left’s accepted wisdom that Texas has no economic performance to tout?

And while the left keeps sorting out its Texas message, a conservative newly-graduated Dartmouth alum and intern in the Wall Street Journal of all places should have struck the most devastating blow to Perry’s conservative credentials. Charles Dameron’s piece on Perry’s wheeling and dealing with a government-backed venture capital fund in Texas smacks of crony Capitalism and constitutes anything but principled, limited governing.

I understand that economic performance is a big deal. But Perry has far less influence on the economic growth of Texas than he does on administering a fund out of his office. Why don’t we focus on the actual record of governance just a bit more here…


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