Rick Perry’s Texas Economy Racks Up Another Pro-Business Award

Texas Governor Rick Perry

When it rains, it pours.

The State of Texas picked up yet another accolade for its business-friendly regulatory climate, topping Site Selection magazine’s annual ranking of States that have landed the most commercial projects for the second year in a row.

Site Selection awarded Texas Governor Rick Perry its “Governor’s Cup” trophy for drawing 657 unique new and expanded ventures in 2013 — a number that far outdistanced second-place Ohio’s 480 projects. It’s the fifth time Texas has been so honored since Perry first took office as Governor in 2000.

Perry, who hasn’t missed an opportunity to tout the connection between a low regulatory threshold and Texas’ attractiveness to new ventures, didn’t break form in accepting this year’s award.

“With all due respect, Texas is crushing it,” he told the magazine. “We have been doing this now for 12 years. It’s not a theory any more. It’s a fact. Companies nationally and internationally know what we have structured here in Texas.”

Here’s more from the report:

Perry says states have to do four things right to be of interest to most corporate executives scouting new facility locations: taxes, regulation, the legal environment and a skilled workforce. “Businesses can figure out pretty quickly whether a state has done those right,” he tells Site Selection. “They need to work in any state.

…In addition to the four factors already mentioned, says Perry, three others are increasingly priorities for states, including Texas, to get right. “An adequate supply of water, affordable power and transportation infrastructure that allows products and citizens to move around safely and expeditiously are very important. We’ve been working on those last three for the last decade as well. In the competitive world we are in today, we had better play our best game every day. This experiment that we started in 2003 has proven to be very, very successful.”

One might also add aggressive recruitment. As the story notes, Perry hasn’t shied away from visiting States plagued by stagnating business policies to lure companies to Texas.

“One reason I go into these states is that I truly believe that if our country is going to recover economically and if we are going to be as strong as we can be and if Americans are going to be able to have access to good-paying jobs, it will come from states being free from one-size-fits-all policies emanating from Washington, D.C. That is always the core message. In fact I would elevate that message going forward as Washington seems to be less and less capable of functioning in any type of thoughtful way. It needs to get out of the healthcare business and the education business and the energy business and the infrastructure business and let the states do it. Quit strangling innovation in the states, because that’s where the real future of America is,” he said.

Site Selection also introduced a new award category for 2014, awarding a second Governor’s Cup to the State that has attracted the most new and expanded ventures per capita. That award went to Nebraska and Governor Dave Heineman — who, like Perry, is also a Republican who favors minimal regulatory burdens for the private sector.

“We are a right-to-work state with a strong work ethic among our employees. We are a low energy cost state, and we have a reasonable regulatory climate, which is very critical. We have very good public and private education systems, a low cost of living and an outstanding quality of life. All of those come into play when people are looking at your business climate,” Heineman said.

See the full report at Site Selection’s website.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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