At the one end of the scale are Kansas and Texas, with among the nation’s lowest taxes, fewest regulations and lowest wages.
At the other end is California, with among the nation’s highest taxes, especially on the wealthy; toughest regulations, particularly when it comes to the environment; most ambitious health care system, which insures more than 12 million poor Californians, in partnership with Medicaid; and high wages.
So, according to conservative doctrine, Kansas and Texas ought to be booming, and California ought to be in the pits.
Actually, it’s just the opposite.
For several years now, the rate of economic growth in Kansas has been the worst in the nation. Last year its economy actually shrank.
Texas hasn’t been doing all that much better. Its rate of job growth has been below the national average. The value of Texas exports has been dropping.
But what about so-called over-taxed, over-regulated, high-wage California?
California leads the nation in the rate of economic growth — more than twice the national average. If it were a separate nation, it would now be the sixth-largest economy in the world. Its population has surged to 39 million (up 5 percent since 2010).