Is Texas All That Special? A Debate

It started with Paul Krugman yesterday publishing a chart that showed Texas unemployment trends roughly similar to New York’s. The Economist replied with a chart of its own showing that Krugman’s chart was misleading, but warning that people should not read too much into Texas’ good fortune because the reasons for it are “idiosyncratic.” It concluded, unhelpfully, with this:

Texas is different from other states, but the policy implications of that difference are far muddier than many writers would have you believe.

A commenter said rubbish to that.

He pointed out that there are only two policy areas where a state can affect economic conditions: taxes and regulation. He then referred to a study from George Mason University that ranks the economic freedom of the 50 states. In overall freedom, Texas ranks 5th:

Table V: Overall Freedom Ranking

 1. New Hampshire 0.432

2. Colorado 0.421

3. South Dakota 0.392

4. Idaho 0.356

5. Texas 0.346

6. Missouri 0.320

7. Tennessee 0.284

8. Arizona 0.279

9. Virginia 0.275

10. North Dakota 0.268

I suppose it goes without saying that New York ranks dead last.

Newsletter

Get a weekly recap in your inbox every Sunday of our best stories from the week plus a primer for the days ahead.

Find It

Search our directories for...

Restaurants

Restaurants

Bars

Bars

Events

Events

Attractions

Attractions

View All

View All

Comments