Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Is Texas' job growth engine in peril?

This looks coordinated.

Yesterday, there were two separate op-eds placed in different media markets, written by different people, talking about the same thing.

What were they talking about?

The Emerging Technology Fund.

The San Antonio paper had one from Craig Castleberry, Tom Kowalski and Jeff Clark (link). Excerpt follows...

 In the midst of the storm, states have an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage through a show of commitment to economic development and promising young companies.

    Texas has shown such a commitment, one reason Chief Executive Magazine recently named us the best state to do business for the 4th year in a row.  In January, Business Week made the case that states taking a regional, grassroots approach to economic development will fare best over the long term.  

    The good news is that Texas is four years ahead of the curve.  In 2005 the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (ETF) was created to take ideas from our world class research, create new companies with global impact, and accelerate the next generation technology economy in Texas.  

    ETF has become a national model.  The fund has grown into the most active early stage investment fund in the country and today provides the foundation for innovation, transitioning ideas into the marketplace with management and private capital. 

    As the Texas Legislature considers our state’s long-term competitive position, the ETF program should be recognized as the foundation to position Texas as a leader in the global economy through new company formation, high paying jobs, wealth creation and commercialization of our world class research , and receive full funding to enhance and strengthen the program.  

Luke Bellsnyder also had a piece in the Austin American Statesman (link). Excerpt follows...

With just weeks to go in the Texas Legislature, lawmakers are busy focusing on issues that matter to their local communities. With more than 7,000 bills filed this year, some might have lost sight of the big picture and the collective effects of individual proposals on the state's job force. Stepping back to survey this Legislature's potential impact on jobs shows the Texas job machine might be in danger of death by a thousand cuts.

The very economic pillars that are helping Texas weather the global economic storm — low taxes, a rational legal environment and economic development incentives — are all under assault at the Capitol. Financial Times, CNBC and Site Selection Magazine rank Texas as the strongest economy and the best state to do business, but that standing can't last unless lawmakers save our competitive edge from dying a slow death. 

What's the deal with the Texas legislature? They do seem to be doing their darndest to make Texas less like the Texas that has been so successful in so many ways as of late. Rick will be placing a lot of his campaign eggs in Texas' economic basket, so if Texas is sputtering and its unemployment rate catches up to the national rate (right now it is about 2% lower than the USA), his argument is a lot harder to make.

If you can only read one of the two in its entirety, read Bellsnyder's article.

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Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.