Dissecting The Texas Jobs “Miracle”

Before you start throwing darts at me, know that this isn’t a pro-Rick Perry post. I don’t know too much about the guy at this point and by and large what I do know hasn’t caused me to conclude that he’s the man. What this is about is a recommendation to read a post at Political Math (ht. Marginal Revolution) which dissects the Texas job numbers.

No need for any suspense here, the post which is written by someone who avows that he doesn’t like the idea of Perry becoming our next President pretty much puts to rest any doubts that the Texas job market is one outstanding outlier. It’s not long, has lots of good data and I suggest you take ten minutes to read it.

As someone who is to say the least highly skeptical of the ability of government to in the short-term meaningfully affect employment, I found this passage at the end of the post particularly worthy of note.

One can argue that Perry had very little to do with the job situation in Texas, but such a person should be probably prepare themselves for the consequences of that line of reasoning. If Rick Perry had nothing to do with creating jobs in Texas, than why does Obama have something to do with creating jobs anywhere? And why would someone advocate any sort of “job creating” policies if policies don’t seem to matter when it comes to the decade long governor of Texas? In short, it seems to me that this line of reasoning, in addition to sounding desperate and partisan, hogties its adherents into a position where they are simultaneously saying that government doesn’t create jobs while arguing for a set of policies where government will create jobs.

Or, to an uncharitable eye, it seem they are saying “Policies create jobs when they are policies I like. They don’t create jobs when they are policies I dislike.”

Keep this bit of wisdom in mind as we seem to be headed for another bit of job creating stimulus.


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