Texas is at the top of the game, economically-speaking. Rarely a month goes by without new awards, recognitions or data showing that the Lone Star State outshines not only the other states but to the world.
Heck, even Barack Obama had to come to Texas to brag about job creation. Ironic. The grow-government, nanny-state, Euro-style liberal who would regulate, manage and tax everything in sight, had to come to lower-tax, lower-regulation Texas to find examples of private-sector job growth.
Surely there is a lesson in that. And for more people than just Mr. Obama.
It’s a lesson I fear will go unlearned.
Texas is where it is economically because we have a lower tax structure, fewer regulations and less government management than other states and nations. We have an appropriate level of government.
Yet increasingly there are calls for more government , more regulations and higher taxes. This recently-ended legislative session saw state legislators spend every single dollar that’s come into the treasury, growing government like never before in state history.
A recent BBC article, “10 reasons why so many people are moving to Texas” led moderate Republican State Rep. Dan Branch of Highland Park (and wannabe statewide candidate for Attorney General) to tweet:
Manage the growth? That’s precisely what got every single bloated government in trouble: the insatiable desire to “manage” the economy, direct entrepreneurs, shape industry. It fails, miserably, every time.
Sorry, Mr. Branch, but the landscape of the 20th and 21st centuries is littered with the policies to “successfully manage” economic growth. Don’t take this personally, but you are not smart enough to manage an economy. Hint: no one is. That’s why the free market works and managed markets don’t. The most “successful” economy is the one where “growth” is managed the least.
We don’t need Austin to “manage” growth any more than we need Washington to do so. No matter how well intentioned Dan Branch or Barack Obama may be, they have no ability through government agency or mandate to dynamically do anything other than destroy prosperity.
The role of government is highly limited one. Texas has succeeded in part by recognizing that more than others. Our economic decline will begin in earnest when the people start allowing government to be more than it should.
Photo: Dan Branch in the Texas Tribune.