Thanks to our state’s traditional ‘can do’ approach to life and business, Texas has long been the preferred destination for risk takers and entrepreneurs, including two very intelligent leaders from Sweden I met at the South by Southwest conference. They had come to SXSW in Austin to learn more about the Texas model of economic success.
It was a real treat to meet with these two women – one a former member of the Swedish Parliament and the other the head of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce. They were on a mission to discover why Texas is so successful and what makes us different from other states. After their visit to Austin, they were continuing their time in the U.S. with a visit to California. I assured them the contrast would be stark.
As a group of Texans from various walks of life sat around a conference table, the Swedes peppered us with questions about the essential differences between Texas and California in terms of state government. It didn’t take long for the topic of tax policy to come up, and they surprised us by saying their home country, clearly left-leaning and progressive, had reduced their tax rates and modernized a number of institutions. They generally felt Sweden’s economic punch was significant, and they clearly understood that Texas’ no income tax policy is a big magnet for businesses looking to relocate.
The head of the Stockholm chamber is focused on attracting businesses to their area and so her interest is obviously consistent with ours here at home. However, from what I gathered, Texas’ governmental policy structure is not really replicated anywhere in Europe.
The same could be said here in the United States. When entrepreneur Paul Murphy decided to uproot his tech company, Clarify, from England to America last year, he didn’t choose Silicon Valley. He chose Austin, Texas. In fact, Forbes recently ranked Austin above all other cities in …Read more