It may be because they are both such large states that comparisons between Texas and California are made so frequently. Or, more likely, it’s because they are run by diametrically opposing ideas of government.
“You’ve got to look at quality of life, and there’s no doubt that California is one of the most beautiful places on earth,” political analyst Chris Begala tells KTRH. “It’s just too bad it’s run by a bunch of liberal wackos, which makes it arguably one of the worst run governments on earth.”
Chuck DeVore is Vice President for Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and writes frequently about the competing ideas that drive the two states. “I’ve been trying to blow up myths about Texas you generally hear from folks on the coast that Texas is a low wage state where you have a lot of low value jobs, and what I’ve found out, to the contrary, according to federal statistics, in 2011 Texas surpassed California in terms of per capita gross domestic product, meaning the average Texan puts out more goods and services than the average Californian, and I think that statistic alone blows up the biggest misperceptions about the two biggest states,” DeVore tells KTRH.
Economist Dr. Ray Perryman of the Perryman Group cuts California a little more slack. “Right now Texas is recruiting a lot of business from California, which I think has to with cost of living, and regulatory, and their fiscal situation and that sort of thing, but I would say in the long term, California has invested a lot more in their higher education system and that sort of thing.”
Chuck DeVore points out in an op-ed piece published by Forbes that California’s many taxes on residents ranks as the fourth highest in the nation. Texas ranks 45th.
Some people see that as a good quality of life, too.