There is a lot of bad news coming out of Washington and many of our state capitals these days. But there is a lot of good news, too, and if we heed the lessons of these positive examples, I believe we can make a big difference in turning our fortunes around.
Texas is a great example of putting the great resources of this country to good use. The lesson? Growth policies work. When you focus on growth and innovation, and encourage the American dream, great things happen. Businesses are flocking to Texas, not just Texans creating new businesses, but other businesses moving there to become a part of what is happening there.
Here are some examples:
- Texas leads the nation in job growth. Since 2001, the state has created jobs at 5 times the national average.
- It’s not just low-paying jobs, either. Texas is 2nd in the nation in wage growth, and according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas it is far outpacing the rest of the country at every wage level.
- Cost of living stays low, 10 percent less than the national average overall thanks to a lighter regulatory burden.
- Texas’s energy sector is booming because it has heartily embraced critical innovations in fracking and horizontal drilling.
This is no fluke. It’s the result of good policy that gives people the freedom to create, to grow, and to live. Prosperity doesn’t come from government; it comes when government allows our most creative and innovative people to get to work.
We can follow the Texas blueprint. Other states have, and plenty more ought to get on board. Here are ways the rest of the country can pursue a pro-growth, pro-innovation, pro-small business environment.
- Tax reform. Lower tax rates for corporations and individuals can make us more competitive.
- Lighten regulation. Regulations are invisible costs that consumers don’t see—but hold businesses and entrepreneurs back, making it difficult for new innovators to jump through all the hoops and compete with the established players.
- Energy independence. The United States has enough domestic reserves to be energy independent—who would have ever believed that 10 years ago? We should take advantage of those resources.
- Tort reform to drive down the cost of litigation for businesses.
- Right to work. Right to work states are growing more jobs at the fastest pace.
Our states are laboratories of democracy, and we ought to be following the lead of the most successful policies. States like Texas are leading the way. At AMAC we are about finding solutions to our problems—encourage everyone you know to be a part of what we’re doing here to keep America great!