Governor Rick Perry was a one-man boon to Texas.
Perry, a onetime Democrat who became governor when George W. Bush was elected president in 2000 … did more than any Texas governor in modern times — and maybe ever — to sell that model nationwide, staging raiding parties on California and other states and offering tens of millions of dollars in incentives to encourage businesses to relocate and do their hiring in Texas. - Mark Z. Barbak, Los Angeles Times
Since January 2001, nearly a third of the private-sector jobs created nationwide have been in the Lone Star State, Barbak reports. "Our formula for success is simple," Perry told a chamber packed with Republicans who run the House and Senate. "Keep taxes low, implement smart regulations, provide an educated workforce and stop lawsuit abuse at the courthouse."
Perry was unshaken in his belief in the state.
"There's a reason more people move to Texas than any other state. Because this is the best place in the world to find a job and raise a family and pursue your dreams," Perry said.
So proud of his state he would joke about Texas’ rivalry with California, according to a recent
by Manny Fernandez. New York Times article
Perry cited a report that found that Texas beat California in 2012 in technology exports. And he recalled being in a Laguna Beach resort in Southern California, on a visit to lure businesses to Texas. “I’m making my pitch about Texas, about our tax, regulatory, legal system, our skilled work force,” he said. “And just about the time the sun is touching the horizon, the Pacific, I turn — it’s glorious, it’s magnificent — and I said that is Exhibit A of how a state could foul something up so bad that you would leave that.”
As far as the workforce is concerned, the state has replaced all the jobs it lost in the 2008 and 2009 recession by November 2011, according to Fernandez.
While Perry touts all of these accomplishments, he is not without his critics.
Daniel S. Hamermesh, a professor emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin and economics professor at Royal Holloway, University of London, says that Perry benefited from a situation beyond his control — an oil and gas boom that has increased the state’s tax revenues and created jobs across the state. “The effect of any administrator, governor, even a president, on employment growth, given all the checks and balances in our system, is very, very small,” said Hamermesh, as reported by Fernandez.
But not everyone agrees with that sentiment either.
When Toyota last year announced it was moving 4,000 employees from Southern California, Kentucky and New York to Plano, Texas, Perry got the credit. While a $40 million incentive helped Toyota make its decision, Fernandez reports that a “spokesman said the governor was instrumental in helping Toyota open its San Antonio manufacturing plant in 2006."
“He was and is a hell of a salesman,” said Bill Hammond, the chief executive of the Texas Association of Business. “The guy picks up the phone and calls these guys, the C.E.O.s that are considering. They get a lead, and he’s on them. Governor Perry’s focus was jobs, bringing and keeping jobs to Texas.”