Thursday, February 28, 2013
While the contrast is not as stark as that between East and West Berlin during the
days of the iron curtain, it is still dramatic: Joel Kotkin compares the
economic malaise of the left-dominated blue states with the vigor of the "red
state growth corridors" in The Wall Street Journal:
Energy, manufacturing and agriculture are playing a major role in the corridor states' revival. The resurgence of fossil fuel-based energy, notably shale oil and natural gas, is especially important. Over the past decade, Texas alone has added 180,000 mostly high-paying energy-related jobs, Oklahoma another 40,000, and the Intermountain West well over 30,000. Energy-rich California, despite the nation's third-highest unemployment rate, has created a mere 20,000 such jobs. In New York, meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is still delaying a decision on hydraulic fracturing.I am not fond of the idea that our fifty states are "laboratories of democracy" since it glosses over the fact that such "experiments" often entail some or all of the states being compared grossly violating individual rights. (And that's after we set aside the fact that the United States isn't a democracy, anyway.) That said, Kotkin's article does show the practical benefits of even relatively lower looting of businesses and meddling in the economy. While there is looting and meddling going on, we might as well salvage the lesson.