If there's one thing Rick Perry has going for him in his quest to become America's next president, it's his state's record of job creation. Since the country's economic recovery began, the state of Texas has been responsible for nearly 40% of all jobs created in the United States. That's an astonishing fact and one that poses a serious threat to President Obama's re-election. What are liberals to do?
Well, this may come as a surprise, but the liberal left isn't above stretching the truth when it comes to scoring political points. Shocking, I know.
Over at Think Progress, liberal bloggers furiously try to fend off the Texas jobs numbers and corresponding conservative talking points about the promise of the free market by manipulating facts with the help of their friends at the Center for American Progress. The newest liberal claim: Texas actually ranks "dead last" in job creation!
How did they arrive at this assertion? I'll let them explain:
The fact of the matter is that looking purely at job creation misses a key point, namely that Texas has also experienced incredibly rapid population and labor force growth (due to a series of factors, including that Texas weathered the housing bubble reasonably well due to strict mortgage lending regulations). When this is taken into account, Texas’ job creation looks decidedly less impressive:
According to the Center for American Progress and Think Progress, Michigan has actually been the most productive jobs state! Who knew?
So how did they come to the conclusion that Texas is the worst? As they point out in their post, the state of Texas has "experienced incredibly rapid population and labor force growth." Meanwhile, they don't note that Michigan -- the apparent best state for jobs -- has experienced a rapidly shrinking population as people leave the state trying to find work.
Check out this amazing map of workers' migration into Harris County, Texas:
Shockingly, it appears that workers and business owners from states like Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania are leaving their home states in search of work. And where are they going? TEXAS.
So while liberals' statistics aren't technically incorrect, they obviously reflect seriously obscure and illogical ways of looking at Texas' jobs market and Rick Perry's record as governor. It just goes to show that statistics can be tricky things when it comes to politics and you need to look past the talking points to get the full truth.
The folks at Think Progress and the Center for American Progress should probably stick to the advice of "Political Math" blogger Matthias Shapiro. Although Shapiro is admittedly no fan of Perry's, he's done his homework and sees the writing on the wall:
My advice to anti-Perry advocates is this: Give up talking about Texas jobs. Texas is an incredible outlier among the states when it comes to jobs. Not only are they creating them, they're creating ones with higher wages.