Monday, June 28, 2010

Texas is booming: New York not so much

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 6/28/10

The recession and housing slump have ended booming growth for many cities in the Sun Belt, USA Today reported last week, while some older urban centers and places with diversified economies are enjoying healthy gains, current Census estimates show.

This should be considered in light of Paul Krugman’s essay today in the New York Times titled The Third Depression. It is a better name than the “Great Recession” which doesn’t make any sense, and something better to call it than the “ . . . greatest depression since the Great Depression.” The Third Depression returns earlier to The Long Depression, an economic slump in the late Victorian era, which was called the Great Depression until the Great Depression. This should verify my claim that the Obama Democrats and Krugman in particular are locked in a cultural time warp asking devotedly every morning, What would Roosevelt do (WWRD?). Exactly as the political establishment of the South was until the 1940s, parallelized by cultural homage to the Confederacy which crippled them economically while the South at large was yearning to move on. To paraphrase the Divine Miss M, when its 3 am in LA, its still 1933 in New York.

A better approach comes from Robert J. Samuelson in today’s Washington Post. “There's a great deal economists don't understand,” he writes. And quoting Keynes, he says that practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.

To the layman, the refreshing thing about Keynes writing is that he often includes himself among the gods who fail. Earlier, Samuelson has advised economists to study history.

Texas cities are emerging as the growth leaders, according to the July 1, 2009, estimates. Four of the 10 fastest-growing — including No. 1 Frisco — and 11 of the top 25 cities that have populations above 100,000 are in Texas.

The country today is fully formed. The regions, from Texas to the Pacific Northwest have their own unique personalities as Jefferson said they would in time. And when that time came, he said, the kind of global overview Krugman today proposes would be overbearing, inhibiting, even totalitarian.

Texas Governor Rick Perry advocates instead a competition between states and regions as a relevant approach to the times.

In a recent interview with Hot Air and conservative blogger Melissa Clouthier, he said, “States that have good polices … those are going to be the states that people are going to move to,” and pointed out that Texas is among the fastest-growing states for good reasons: “That’s the place where there’s more liberty, more freedom, than any other state.”

More Fortune 500 companies call Texas home than any other state, said Perry. He pointed out that Bobby Jindal is trying to put Louisiana in position to knock Texas off the throne, and Haley Barbour is doing the same in Mississippi. What he wants is a federal government that stops strangling innovation and success with top-down measures that take all the money and leave states in a completely subservient — and ultimately redundant and obsolete — position.

Perry emphasized the need to keep competition between the states as laboratories for policy, “so that if somebody in CA comes up with a healthcare plan that doesn’t work - is a debacle, it doesn’t destroy the entire country.”