In his zeal to undermine Rick Perry — which Zac Crain did yesterday with fewer words and more accuracy — Paul Krugman set out Sunday to prove that the Texas economy is an “unmiracle.”Â Kevin Williamson at National Review takes a look at Krugman’s analysis and finds it not only factually wrong butÂ deliberately misleading.
Are wages low in Texas? There is one question one must always ask when dealing with Paul Krugman’s statements of fact, at least when he’s writing in the New York Times: Is this true? Since he cites New York and Massachusetts, let’s do some comparison shopping between relevant U.S. metros: Harris County (that’s Houston and environs to you), Kings County (Brooklyn), and Suffolk County (Boston).
Houston, like Brooklyn and Boston, is a mixed bag: wealthy enclaves, immigrant communities rich and poor, students, government workers – your usual big urban confluence. In Harris County, the median household income is $50,577. In Brooklyn, it is $42,932, and in Suffolk County (which includes Boston and some nearby communities) it was $53,751. So, Boston has a median household income about 6 percent higher than Houston’s, while Brooklyn’s is about 15 percent lower than Houston’s.
Williamson then goes on to note what Krugman surely knows: the cost of living in Houston is far less than Boston and Brooklyn — which means the standard of living is much higher.
Krugman can preach to the choir all he wants about Rick Perry. (Unfortunately, it’s the wrong choir. His readers don’t vote in Republican primaries.)Â But there is no reason, other than ideology, to mess with the facts about Texas.