Even as the ruins of the West fertilizer plant continue to serve as a reminder of the dangers of lax regulations on businesses, Governor Rick Perry keeps bragging about how few regulations there are in Texas affecting honest, civic-minded entrepreneurs who would never, ever cut what few corners exist here.
His latest brag: Chief Executive magazine has named Texas the "best state for business" for the ninth year in a row.
"This vote of confidence from business leaders across the nation further highlights that Texas is the epicenter for economic prosperity in this country," Perry said. "I will continue to promote the conservative principles of restrained spending, low taxes, predictable regulations and fair courts that have guided us over the last decade in order to ensure that Texas remains the nation's healthiest economy for the next ten years."
"Predictable regulations and fair courts" -- just how many focus groups did Perry's people have to go through before they settled on that euphemism?
Among the comments by business executives cited:
-- "Texas has done the most to attract business. Not only taxation, but laws to limit legal liability."
-- "Texas is the clear leader because of taxes and pro-business attitudes."
-- "Texas is consistently, and vastly, over-rated by most surveys. The quality of workforce and living environment are inferior to many other states."
-- "Texas is somewhat overrated due to the legal climate and overall psychology of entitlement."
Damn Yankees, as Perry mascot Ted Nugent would say. "Psychology of entitlement"? We only get what we deserve, dammit. Including, ummm, the occasional fertilizer explosion die to lax regulations and inspections.
What about the "worst" states? They are:
48. Illinois 49. New York 50. California
Not for nothing, but Chicago, New York and LA are pretty damn good places to live, if you have the cash.
And if you don't, all three of those states have great rural and exurban areas if that's your thing.
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But, according to Rick Perry and some magazine, these are the nation's worst places (for business people).
One thing the survey doesn't include: Those states include eight baseball teams and, unlike the Astros, all eight have reached double figures in the win column. Just like every other MLB team in existence except the Astros.
But we're sure the Astros are enjoying the predictable regulations, fair courts and not having to ride buses in triple-A ball like they should be.