Gov. Rick Perry Tells TheBlaze Why Texas Is the Number One Place in the Nation to Do Business

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (Credit: AP)

Five of the top six cities for good jobs in the U.S. are located in Texas, a state that also enjoyed a budget surplus of roughly $8.8 billion in 2012. That’s no coincidence, Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) told TheBlaze.

To determine the ten best cities for good jobs, Forbes obtained data on the 100 largest metropolitan areas from Moody’s Analytics, which gets the majority of its data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The cities were ranked on more than just raw job growth and volume of low-wage jobs added. Forbes took into account unemployment rate, employment growth, per-capita income, estimated future employment, future job growth numbers and other factors.

Here are the top 10 cities for good jobs, a list dominated by Texas:

1. Dallas, Texas

5-year expected annual job growth rate: 2.8%
Per capita income: $39,548
Unemployment rate: 5.9%

2. Houston, Texas

5-year expected annual job growth rate: 2.6%
Per capita income: $42,804
Unemployment rate: 6%

3. Austin, Texas

5-year expected annual job growth rate: 3.2%
Per capita income: $35,222
Unemployment rate: 5.2%

4. Fort Worth, Texas

5-year expected annual job growth rate: 2.6%
Per capita income: $36,089
Unemployment rate: 5.9%

5. Seattle, Washington

5-year expected annual job growth rate: 1.9%
Per capita income: $50,497
Unemployment rate: 6.5%

6. San Antonio, Texas

5-year expected annual job growth rate: 2.6%
Per capita income: $32,776
Unemployment rate: 5.8%

7. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

5-year expected annual job growth rate: 1.7%
Per capita income: $36,915
Unemployment rate: 4.8%

8. Denver, Colorado

5-year expected annual job growth rate: 2.1%
Per capita income: $45,337
Unemployment rate: 7.5%

9. San Francisco, California

5-year expected annual job growth rate: 1.9%
Per capita income: $67,098
Unemployment rate: 6.5%

10. Salt Lake City

5-year expected annual job growth rate: 1.9%
Per capita income: $37,186
Unemployment rate: 5%

During the very first Republican primary debate, Mitt Romney said Gov. Perry was “dealt four aces” when asked whether the Republican governor deserved credit for the rapid job growth in Texas. It’s an argument that the left regularly uses when trying to explain away the overwhelming economic success of such a conservative state. Critics of conservative policies claim the Lone Star State’s booming oil and gas industry is the sole economic driver.

However, Perry told TheBlaze in a recent phone interview that those who make that argument are “misinformed,” or in the case of Romney, “intentionally trying to misinform the public” to push a political agenda. Without conservative polices that encourage job growth and cater to businesses, he explained, Texas wouldn’t be the beacon of economic freedom that it is today.

“This is a state that was tamed and conquered by a very, very tough, independent and freedom-loving people,” he said. “They fought for their independence to become a republic and eventually joined the United States. And they always maintained that independent streak.”

Perry admitted that “God blessed Texas with its natural resources” like oil and gas, but argued the booming industry alone did not make Texas great.

Gov. Rick Perry Tells TheBlaze Why Texas Is the Number One Place in the Nation to Do Business

A drilling rig is seen near Kennedy, Texas, Wednesday, May 9, 2012. A UTSA report says South Texas’s Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas bonanza supported nearly 48,000 jobs last year while creating overnight boom towns cashing in on a $25 billion economic windfall. (Credit: AP)

Consider this: In 1984, before the country was plunged into a “substantial recession,” Perry said the oil and natural gas industry made up about 14 percent of Texas’ total gross state product (GSP). Fast forward to present day, the same industry — which has exploded thanks to the huge expansion in the shale gas industry — now makes up less than 10 percent of the state’s GSP.

“So this idea that Texas just has a bunch of oil and gas and it’s not because of anything we’ve done — that it just kind of happened — is a critic’s view and is not based in reality,” Perry told TheBlaze. “Here’s reality: In 2003, Texas became a Republican controlled state for the first time ever. People thought when George Bush got elected, Texas became a Republican controlled state — nope. We still had a Democrat lieutenant governor and a speaker that controlled the two bodies and George Bush was kind of the odd guy out at the time.”

It wasn’t until January 2003 when the Texas Senate, House and lieutenant governor all became united as Republicans to stand for conservative principles like low taxes and fair, predictable regulations, Perry said.

“That is when Texas started on a trajectory that takes us to where we find ourselves today, by almost any legitimate viewer, as the number one state in the nation to do business,” he added. “We have created a climate here that is the envy of the rest of the country. And it is because of policies that have been put into place that removed hurdles for businessmen and women so that they know they can expend their capital and have a chance to earn a return on investment. They hire people who in turn create the wealth and drive the economy in Texas.”

In January 2013, Texas had an unemployment rate of 6.3 percent, compared to the nation’s 7.9 percent unemployment rate.

So why don’t other flailing states, like California, simply imitate Texas’ policies to get back on the path to prosperity? Perry says it comes down to a “simple but nonetheless true” psychological experiment.

“When you give a monkey the choice between an addictive drug and food, it will starve to death,” the governor said. “These citizens are addicted to government largesse, to the point of seeing their states come apart.”

Pointing to California as an example, Perry said the state’s residents were given the opportunity to stop out-of-control spending and taxation, but instead voted to raise taxes even higher on themselves in the November 2012 elections.

“I will suggest to you, it is the addiction to government promises, government programs, government largesse, that will be the demise of a great state like California,” he added. “I’m greatly fearful of it, but I’m afraid that’s the truth.”

Featured image via Getty