Why do people move to Texas?

Christmas weekend, the Temple paper ran an editorial that pointed to Texas‘ population growth over the last decade as proof positive that Americans prefer to live in states like Texas.

What drew all these people? Well, according to the editorial, our population grew because during the ‘aughties because people prefer to live in a state with low taxes, limited civil services and few regulations to hamper business activities.

Really, it’s more likely that people move to states like Texas because corporations prefer this sort of regulatory environment and not because people like to live in areas with the poor infrastructure, shaky educational systems and a fragile social safety net extant in such states.

Corporations move to low tax, low service, lightly regulated states like Texas because the cost of doing bid’ness is significantly less here than in states that didn’t grow as fast as Texas.

These corporations can pay employees significantly less in states that are lightly regulated and provide thinner benefits to those employees, a conclusion drawn from the fact that while Texas may have led the nation in job growth over the last few years, those jobs were minimum wage jobs, not jobs that pay a living wage.

In Texas, big companies don’t have to worry about being held accountable for poor working conditions because low-tax, low service states have gutted the civil justice system to the point that average workers and small mom-and-pop business owners can’t even get their days in court. The Texas Supreme Court rules in favor of big business over average people 87 percent of the time.

Further, companies doing bid’ness in states like Texas don’t have to worry much about the environmental impact of their manufacturing processes or their taxes or any of those other annoying requirements of maintaining an infrastructure because, well, states like Texas don’t seem to care much about civic infrastructure, or education, or health care for kids, or clean air and water, or … well, the list goes on.

There are many good reasons to move to and live in Texas, but a business-friendly tax and regulatory environment isn’t necessarily among them.


About Richard Stone

... is a husband, a father, a writer, a journalist, an activist, an avid reader of trash science fiction and an occasional folk/bluegrass guitar player. He loves to travel, UT sports, community theater and sharing a good bottle of wine with good friends.
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