The conservative mantra is: lower taxes help the economy grow. Reich shows how Texas and Kansas disprove that while, in California, the opposite is true.
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich has a way of explaining what’s going on in the economy in terms that are so clear and entertaining that he’s a pleasure to watch. With a Trump presidency looming, he’s also a critical counter to incoming conservatives.
Robert Reich Entertains, But It’s A Warning For The Future.
Take taxes, not the most entertaining of subjects — usually. But throw California and Texas into the same mix and the results are not only entertaining, but crucial to what is going to happen to this country in the near future.
The United States has been experimenting with taxes. The conservative mantra is that lower taxes help the economy grow. But, as Reich points out, both Texas and Kansas disprove that theory while California demonstrates that the opposite is true.
Texas and Kansas have some of the lowest taxes in the country and their economic growth ranks near the bottom. According to Reich, Kansas saw its economy actually shrink last year. A new federal report, just published last week, placed Kansas dead last in the nation for growth in the last 3 months.
An analyst for the L.A. Times calls California — with some of the nation’s highest taxes, most regulations, and highest wages — ‘smoking hot’ in terms of its own growth last year. It sits almost at the top in the nation.
The reasons are simple. Reich lists what California is doing right that promotes such a robust economy:
- investing in education and skill-training.
- maintaining great research universities that spawn innovation in industry.
- putting money into a modern infrastructure.
- providing services to a diverse population.
- protecting the population’s health and the state’s beauty through regulations.
Because the economy is growing so fast, California’s employers must pay top wages in order to attract enough workers. Along with that growth go some significant problems — like high housing costs and clogged roads — but those are issues that revenue can be invested in.
Texas Has Made Fatal Errors In Judgement.
The problems with Texas’ stagnating economy certainly have been made worse by the oil bust; however, Reich points at one very big difference between Texas and more successful places. The state didn’t bother to invest in diversifying its economy — apparently assuming the oil boom would go on forever.
In fact, the government has made choices that discourage other industries from locating in Texas. For instance, as the population grows, the state pays less and less per student for education. It’s a pattern that’s repeated in many other conservative states. The burden is being picked up — or not — at the local level.
Without a well-educated populace, who are employers going to hire? Why would they flock to a state that refuses to invest in its people?
Watch Reich lay out the proof that liberal tax policies work — and conservative ones don’t — in the following video:
Feature photo, screenshots from YouTube video.