Rick Perry's 'Texas Miracle' Is Pure Myth

Texas hasn't escaped unemployment—and 'Perrynomics' wouldn't work nationally
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2011 11:13 AM CDT
Paul Krugman: Rick Perry's 'Texas Miracle' Economy Pure Myth
Republican presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry.   (Getty Images)

Rick Perry’s campaign will probably focus on an “alleged economic miracle” in Texas, predicts Paul Krugman: People think the state “sailed through the Great Recession almost unscathed thanks to conservative economic policies," which Perry will no doubt argue that he can replicate nationwide. Thing is, there was no miracle, writes Krugman in the New York Times. Yes, the recession started later in Texas because its economy benefited from high oil prices; but “from mid-2008 onward unemployment soared in Texas, just as it did almost everywhere else.”

The "Texas miracle" is an illusion tied to a fact: For the last two decades, the state's population growth has been double the norm, thanks to a high birth rate, Mexican immigration, and the lure of warm weather and low housing costs. That speedy population growth has brought "purchasing power" to the state. That means more local jobs, but also low wages, which in turn attract corporations to the state. But such “Perrynomics” won’t work on a federal level: "Every state can’t lure jobs away from every other state." Indeed, low wages nationwide would make our economic troubles even worse. Perry's "prescriptions for job creation would work about as well in practice as his prayer-based attempt to end Texas’s crippling drought," concludes Krugman. Click to read his entire breakdown of the "unmiracle." (Read more Rick Perry stories.)

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