Some claim that Georgia’s public policies should emulate those of Texas; however, a review of the Texas economic model by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities clearly shows why Texas is not a model Georgia can or should follow.
Although Texas is out pacing most states in job growth, it’s important to point out that the growth has nothing to do with economic policies. Texas has several unique advantages that boost its economy and drive it its job growth:
- Population growth and immigration from its neighboring Mexico
- Relatively low cost of living and massive supply of land, which helped Texas to avoid the foreclosure epidemic that crippled the economies of other states
- Abundant oil and gas resources that most other states lack
- Economic boost from factories in Mexico as well as increased trade as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the collapse of the Peso.
Not even these built in advantages are enough to balance Texas’ overall economic health. It’s important to look at the big picture. Texas has the highest share of minimum-wage workers of any state, 25 percent of all Texans lack health insurance, and Texas has the 11th highest poverty rate in the nation. These economic results are not something that Georgia should aspire to.
For Georgia to prosper economically we need to remain competitive in tax policy, while at the same time make smart public investments in a trained workforce, infrastructure, and overall quality of life. It will take balanced and smart public policies to grow jobs and assure a strong economy.