What to Read on Rick Perry and the “Texas Miracle”

State Growth Rates: How Was Your Recession? — Ryan Avent

Perry’s Growth Failure in Texas — Dean Baker

A Short Course in Miracles — Paul Krugman

Yes, Texas has added more jobs — but it has to, to keep up with population growth. And bear in mind that if you lose your job in Texas, there isn’t much of a safety net.

The Texas Omen — Paul Krugman

[The] Texas budget gap is worse than New York’s, about as bad as California’s, but not quite up to New Jersey levels.

Among the states, Texas ranks near the bottom in education spending per pupil, while leading the nation in the percentage of residents without health insurance.

Behind the Population Shift — Edward L. Glaeser

If economic productivity — created by low regulations or anything else — was causing the growth of Texas,…then [it] should have high per capita productivity and wages.

Low incomes and productivity in [Texas] strongly suggest that [its] expansion is not driven by outsize economic success.

More on the Texas Story — Paul Krugman

What could be causing that? [There] are two, not mutually exclusive stories: immigration and high birth rates among immigrants, leading to rapid population growth; and workers moving to Texas despite low wages because of cheap housing and a generally low cost of living.

What to Read on State Finances

The Shameful Attack on Public Employees — Robert Reich

They say public employees earn far more than private-sector workers. That’s untrue when you take account of level of education. Matched by education, public sector workers actually earn less than their private-sector counterparts.

The final Republican canard is that bargaining rights for public employees have caused state deficits to explode. In fact there’s no relationship between states whose employees have bargaining rights and states with big deficits.

The Texas Omen — Paul Krugman

Wasn’t Texas supposed to be thriving even as the rest of America suffered? Didn’t its governor declare, during his re-election campaign, that “we have billions in surplus”? Yes, it was, and yes, he did. But reality has now intruded, in the form of a deficit expected to run as high as $25 billion over the next two years.

Some Right, Some Wrong in “60 Minutes” Story on State Budgets — Nicholas Johnson

[States] aren’t guilty of “reckless spending.”  Total state and local spending, not including federal grants, is no larger now as a share of the economy than it was 20 years ago…  State general fund spending in 2011 will be 6 percent lower than it was in 2008, without adjusting for inflation…

Behind the Population Shift — Edward L. Glaeser

Low incomes and productivity in the growing states of the Sun Belt strongly suggest that their expansion is not driven by outsize economic success.

A rich body of research shows that regulation, which is intense in the Northeast and California but lax in the Sun Belt, explains why housing is supplied so readily down South. The future shape of America is being driven not by quality of life or economic success but by the obscure rules regulating local land use.

Blame Canada! (…or China…or Goldman Sachs…)