I’m sure this was hard for Rick Wartzman to write…

…but good on him for doing so:

For the last few weeks, I’ve been unable to get a startling statistic out of my head: Since the recession officially ended, Texas has created more than four of every 10 new jobs in America.

That’s right, Texas: the reddest of red states, home to gun lovers and school textbooks that openly question whether the Founding Fathers intended the separation of church and state. I am no ideologue. Still, whenever I get political, I tend to tilt reflexively to the left, making the jobs figure a bit disconcerting at first.

But there’s no escaping it. The number is real. Which means that if you care about putting people back to work at a time when nearly 14 million in this country are unemployed, maybe Texas has something to teach us.

I did find it interesting, though, how later in the piece Warzman attempted to tie the fact that Texas has so many workers paid at or below minimum wage to the fact that it’s a right-to-work state. When I read that I thought of the NLRB harassing Boeing about its decision to open a plant in North Carolina, another right-to-work state. And I thought, well, maybe Texas would have more high-paying jobs if industry wasn’t afraid of the government exercising its muscle on behalf of the gorramed union thugs like that. Now, I know it’s not nearly so simple. I remember back a few years ago in Orange there was a buzz about a certain shipbuilder in Southeast Texas bringing in foreign workers. Well, the biggest reason they brought those workers in was that they couldn’t find people locally with the skills they needed.

Still, though, I thought of something Tamara wrote back in March of ’08, as the presidential primaries were getting good and revved up:

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that part of the problem (vis-a-vis job creation — ed.) is that at some time in our past, manufacturing jobs became considered “middle class”. It’s one thing for a job to provide a “living wage”, the term so beloved by the collectivists on the other side of the aisle. It’s another thing to think that putting bolts in holes all day should pay enough for a bass boat, two cars, a used Harley, and a time-share in Destin.

Thing is, though, it seems so many on the left think a living wage is something that pays for all that. Rick Wartzman seems to be honest enough with himself that he probably doesn’t think such, but I could be wrong. If I am, though, there seems to be hope for him.

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