The subject came up yesterday after our house received a campaign email from Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who plans to run for re-election next year. See the link above.
Of course you never receive a single campaign email. These are like bosons, whose quantum mechanical properties increase the likelihood of other bosons. To demonstrate we do live in a boson world, Greg Abbott’s campaign mail continues to populate our inbox. So, here’s the latest:
Our Texas economy is thriving under Governor Abbott’s leadership.
According to Forbes’ list of Best States For Business 2017, Texas’ economic climate ranks #1 due to our strong employment numbers and rapid growth. Companies are continually relocating to our state, creating jobs and spurring economic expansion.
During Governor Abbott’s first term, Texas has added more than 500,000 jobs and experienced its lowest unemployment rate in the past 40 years—and he’s just getting started!
Number 1! And from Forbes no less. That is impressive, but not the complete story:
Hey! Number 1 in economic climate, number 2 in best states for business and growth prospects. Number 1, number 2. Who’s keeping score? Forbes is, and there is more:
The $1.6 trillion Texas economy is the second biggest in the U.S., behind only California. Texas ranks first for current economic climate thanks to strong employment and gross state product growth over the past five years. In addition, there are 100 of the 1,000 largest public and private companies in the U.S. based in Texas, including giants like AT&T, ExxonMobil and Dell. Startup activity is also tops in the nation among larger states per the Kauffman Foundation. One of the only things holding Texas back is the education rate among its labor supply. Only 83% of adults have a high school degree, which is second lowest among the states.
Besides ranking number 1 in economic climate, Texas also ranks number 21 in regulatory environment and number 30 in quality of life. Those measures might need some study. Start with quality of life, for which Texas does poorly. A quick reading indicates Forbes relies on “Mercer , the global human resources consulting firm.” Here is what Forbes has to say on it:
To determine the rankings, Mercer evaluates local living conditions according to 39 factors including political and social environment (such as political stability), economic environment (currency exchange regulations and banking services), sociocultural environment (media availability and censorship), medical and health considerations, schools and education, public services and transportation, housing and consumer goods.
Additionally from Forbes:
Western European cities dominate the list, with Vienna topping it for the seventh year in a row, followed by Zürich, Auckland, Munich and Vancouver, making the last one the top-ranking North American city. Seven Western European cities filled out the top 10. Düsseldorf came in sixth, Frankfurt seventh, Geneva eighth and Copenhagen ninth.
No North American city makes the top ten. Here is how North American cities fare:
In North America, Canadian cities ranked highly, with Toronto coming in at 15, Ottawa 17, Montréal 23, and then the first United States city, San Francisco, ringing in at 28.
All right, now, we are getting close. How about cities in the U.S.A.?”
In the U.S., the City by the Bay was followed by Boston (34), Honolulu (35), Chicago (43), New York City (44), Los Angeles at (49), and Washington DC (51).
No Texas city makes the cut in the revealed rankings. You will be heartened to know that Baghdad and Damascus round out the bottom of Mercer’s list.
But Texas is number 21 in regulatory environment. I performed a quick search to determine which numbers are best, high numbers or low numbers. Forbes seems to say that compliance with government regulations is a burden on businesses, so does that mean Texas ranks close to the middle in state-imposed regulations?
We do know this. Texas is a major center for the petrochemical industry, and the hazards related to these operations are acknowledged. Anybody who lives near an oil refinery or has driven past one on a good day will know these operations make their presence known. Government regulations dictate what must be done to minimize the risk of catastrophic events, and they also place restrictions on the amount and type of pollutants refineries can emit.
Enough said about that. Governor Abbott’s letter concludes:
Governor Abbott knows that small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and we must create an environment that encourages more Texas entrepreneurs to start and grow their enterprises.
Texas deserves a champion of economic liberty—that’s Governor Abbott.
We are glad to learn this comes with the added bonus of an undereducated workforce and a less than standard quality of life.
Keep reading. The Governor will have more to say.