Lone Star Success News

Texas Is Different

July 30th, 2014

by Susan Combs

Texas is big, and bold. Sometimes we are accused of being all hat and no cattle when it comes to making claims about how great we are. Well, the good news is that lots of people outside the state think Texas is doing things right. In fact, a lot of things are being done right.

Just last fall TIME Magazine, on its cover said “Why the Lone Star State is America’s Future.” It cited a whole host of reasons, prominent among which is the robust job market. All over the country, young people are living with their parents in unprecedented numbers because they can’t get a job.

They can get a job here. And they can live better for less money, which is part of the Lone Star Success.


So they’re moving to Texas. And when they get here we wave at them. Yep. We wave at total strangers. I do it myself. And by the way—women and men wave differently. In West Texas where I have a ranch, men raise just a finger from the steering wheel. Don’t worry. It’s a polite gesture. We women are more likely to show the whole hand and accompany the wave with a smile. And the other vehicle driver waves back. Amazing! Imagine that in New York state. You probably can’t.

So when you get here, land is relatively cheap. You can buy land, build a house, construct a business, or just roam around. The access to large plots of land is great for expanding a family or building a business.

And we are doing great in the business world. In 2014, for the tenth year in a row, Chief Executive Magazine listed Texas as the best state overall for doing business. And on the friendly front, Thumbtack.com gave Texas a top score on the small business friendliness ranking. These rankings are compiled from small businesses all across the country, and the chief economist of the group pointed to the key indicators businesses look to: ease of compliance with tax and regulatory systems and good training programs.

And when you get here, you don’t want to leave. What about other states? The story is different. In Illinois, 50% of their residents would pack up and move out if given the opportunity, according to a Gallup poll published by Business Insider. Think about why. High tax burdens, looming pension problems, which will undoubtedly ratchet up costs on the average citizen to pay for unsustainable obligations, and a heavy tilt towards unions.

I’m a fourth generation Texan and my kids are fifth. They all live in Texas. Two of them spent a lot of time in other states—one in Illinois and one in Massachusetts. And they got back as quick as they could. Makes this mom very happy.

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Susan Combs
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

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