Fortune Offers Four Reasons Why Texas Beat California at Beating the Recession

A few profs and economists, among them SMU's own Bernard Weinstein, are among those in the new issue of Fortune trying to figure out how "Texas powered through the global fiscal crisis," while California "remains locked in such a pronounced slump compared to its economically and demographically similar cousin to the southeast." I seem to recall we've been here before -- like, oh, same time last year in an Economist special issue that's now taken up residence behind a pay wall. (Excerpts available here.)

Doubtful you'll find the reasons surprising at this late date, but let's summarize before you jump for the details:

  • Diversity of jobs -- accountants over homebuilders
  • It pays to be friendly to business owners.
  • Taxing sales instead of income distorts the economy less and allows for more flexibility.
  • Power of the people can backfire.

I believe that last one is Rick Perry's new campaign slogan.

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