The Reality of Our Terrible Economy

Big Red Car here.  Hey it was 72F yesterday.  The Boss took a long, long walk in shorts and a tee shirt around Town Lake (the damn Lab tripped him and he went down hard but executed a paratrooper three point landing, so nothing broken — that Lab is in big trouble).  That Lab is dumber than dirt.  Sorry, Bella.

So the economy is generally pretty lousy in the United States but the United States is not a monolithic economy.  There are regional economies which are more or less reflective of the overall view.

Austin, By God Texas

Austin, Texas — Central Texas — is one such area which has fared a bit better than the average bear.  It didn’t get as bad when things were at rock bottom and it’s doing a bit better now that things are supposedly getting better.  The Big Red Car thinks that much of the supposed recovered is pure baloney.

The streets are certainly not paved in gold — they were once — but we can see a bit of a hot dog in our pot of beans.  First hot dog, then filet mignon.  But always a bit of barbecue, ya’ll.

Austin is currently (Dec 2013) showing a steadily decreasing unemployment rate and a 4.5% level of unemployment.  That is with no labor force participation rate shenanigans.

Here is something you will not see everywhere in the United States.

This is a Help Wanted sign at the local Cafe Express.  They are starting folks at $11/hour plus benefits.

We will know the economy is really recovering when you see a lot more signs like this.  Incidentally, there was a similar sign at Mighty Fine Burgers and they were also offering $11/hour.

I will not belabor the fact that the governing philosophy of Texas — low levels of regulation, no government intervention, no personal income taxes, a coherent energy policy — contributes mightily to its success.

Austin is not even the brightest star in the Texas firmament.  Midland — Oil Patch, ya’ll — is showing 2.8% unemployment.  Remember we’re experiencing an oil boom — exploration, fracking, horizontal drilling — in the Lone Star.  Still 2.8% is tighter than a tick and is full employment.  You need a job — consider moving to Midland, Texas.

You can see all the Texas Data on unemployment here.  It is enlightening.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway?  I’m just a Big Red Car.  But I do live in Texas, ya’ll!



8 thoughts on “The Reality of Our Terrible Economy

  1. While Texas thinks about the economy, here is what some think about in our (birthplace of American Revolution) town of Concord, MA. Taken from the new Town Meeting Warrant:

    The Town of Concord – by petition – to amend town bylaws:
    “No owner of a dog shall permit such dog:
    to worry, kill, maim or otherwise injure another’s fowl, livestock or domesticated animal
    to harass, kill, maim, or otherwise injure wildlife”

    Please define worry and harass…

    • .
      I revere the American Revolution and the courage that our Founding Fathers showed in revolting against the strongest army on Earth. Oh, yeah, whipping them and neutering their navy was no small thing either. It was once the cutting edge of liberty.

      Texas is the last free state in the Union. I’m keeping a visa for you for when you are ready.


  2. Yep, I was in Huston over Christmas.
    It’s even busy there too, lots of building going on too. Good ole Texas.
    I gotta get to Austin when we are down there next.

    • .
      When the oil bidness is good, Houston is paved with gold. The restaurants are full and you feel the buzz.

      That is the result of a coherent state energy policy — drill, drill, drill, baby.

      If we can do it in Texas, we can do it in the whole US of A.

      Do it, America.


      • LOL, well I would guess the success is due to the factors you mention – low levels of regulation, no government intervention, no personal income taxes, a coherent energy policy. It would be interesting to compare regional successes in Texas to states with similar oil and gas supply but lack other ingredients. Pennsylvania and the Appalachian Basin is one that comes to mind.

        Of course we cannot forget the affect of technologies such as fracking that has helped to “re-energize” the industry.

        • .
          When one compares California and Texas, it is easy to get a sense of how governing philosophy impacts the economy. California has extraordinary natural beauty and a unique Pacific Rim and Mexican connection.

          About 250K Californians move to Texas annually.


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