In Case You Missed It... California Should Copy Texas

December 08, 2009

California Should Copy Texas

Investor’s Business Daily Editorial
Dec. 7, 2009

AUSTIN – The following Investor’s Business Daily editorial highlights the differences between Texas and California’s economic and energy policies, and why California should look to Texas as an example of strong, economically competitive principles:

California: While Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger worries about rising seas, his state sinks below the waves. Don't mess with Texas, they say. But California and the nation could follow its lead.

Last Wednesday, Gov. Schwarzenegger released a new report based on research compiled by the California Energy Commission claiming that by 2100 San Francisco Bay would be more bay than San Francisco, with Fisherman's Wharf and Treasure Island under the rising waters of climate change.

His show-and-tell, which included a new Google Earth application the commission spent $150,000 to help develop, goes a long way toward explaining the once-Golden State's slide into an economic and budgetary abyss.

The governor and legislative Democrats in 2006 approved a new law requiring California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2020. This 2020 vision was myopic, and the state has been losing industry, jobs and people ever since. But the governor persists, warning Wednesday that "we must also be prepared if climate change continues to worsen."

State Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine, is among those who have questioned the science behind such economic decisions, as others have done at the national level, particularly in the wake of the Climate-gate scandal involving Britain's Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

"Combined with the $21 billion deficit we're facing in the coming year, this shows we ought to be focusing our attention on more mundane things — like living within our means," DeVore says. "To use this all-encompassing rubric of climate change as a power grab to usurp property rights is something we shouldn't be doing."

While the state focuses on windmills, solar panels and electric cars, vast offshore oil resources go undeveloped and nuclear power is ignored. An energy-starved California, according to a recent Milken Institute report, has lost nearly 400,000 manufacturing jobs.

Large areas of the state are being turned back into desert due to a man-made drought to save obscure species of fish such as the delta smelt in the San Joaquin Valley.

More than 450,000 acres have been allowed to go barren as farmers in an area that once fed the world line up at food pantries. Unemployment, at 17% across the Valley, reaches upward of 40% in towns such as Mendota (2006 population: 9,752).

It's no surprise, then, that Californians have been voting with their feet, leaving the state in droves. Between 2005 and 2007, some 2.14 million fled to other states, while only 1.44 million moved in from other states. The state motto seems to be "Go East, Young Man."

Texans are more fortunate. Gov. Rick Perry doesn't offer human sacrifices to the earth goddess Gaia. He focuses on jobs and economic growth. Texas is growing, creating economic wealth and attracting entrepreneurs and workers.

An article in the October edition of Trends magazine, titled "America's Future: California vs. Texas," states rather starkly: "From the Great Depression on, California was a dream destination for Americans. Now it looks like a nightmare, taking on new debt at a rate of $25 million a day."

Texas has encouraged alternative energy, as part of its all-of-the-above approach, but has not mandated it to the exclusion of everything else and not where the cost exceeds the benefit.

Once the oil capital of North America, Texas is rapidly turning into the capital of wind power. It has reached the point that more than 3% of its electricity, enough to supply power to 1 million homes, comes from wind turbines.

Texas has prospered, according to the article, due to an emphasis on laissez-faire markets and individual responsibility vs. California's reliance on central planning and subsidizing a vast and growing social safety net.

The Lone Star State has created 70% of the new jobs in the entire U.S. since 2008 and has more Fortune 500 headquarters than any other place in the union. California has 51, New York 56 and Texas 64.

Maybe the jobs summit should have been held at the governor's mansion in Austin.

The editorial can be also be seen here:

Key Points

  • Investor's Business Daily editorial highlights differences between economic and energy policies in Texas and California
  • Texas continues to have one of the strongest economies in the nation