The Corner

Re: Perry and Jobs

Rich, this isn’t quite a syllogism, but it’s such an elegant procession that it feels like one.

From Paul Krugman on Sunday:

At the same time, the rapid growth in the Texas work force keeps wages low — almost 10 percent of Texan workers earn the minimum wage or less, well above the national average — and these low wages give corporations an incentive to move production to the Lone Star State.”

From Kevin Williamson’s point-by-point response on Monday:

“All of [these factors are] too obvious for Paul Krugman to have overlooked. . . . And I expect he didn’t. I believe that he is presenting willfully incomplete and misleading information to the public, and using his academic credentials to prop up his shoddy journalism.”

From Political Math yesterday:

Texas median hourly wage is $15.14 . . .  almost exactly in the middle of the pack (28th out of 51 regions). Given that they’ve seen exceptional job growth (and these other states have not) this does not seem exceptionally low.

But the implication here is that the new jobs in Texas, the jobs that Texas seems to stand alone in creating at such a remarkable pace, are low paying jobs and don’t really count.

If this were true, all these new low-paying jobs should be dragging down the wages data, right? But if we look at the wages data since the beginning of the recession. . . .

And it turns out that the opposite is true. Since the recession started hourly wages in Texas have increased at a 6th fastest pace in the nation. . . . [T]he only blue state that has faster growing wages is Hawaii.

Kevin also points out that Krugman is straight up wrong that ten percent of Texas workers make minimum wage. It’s ten percent of Texas hourly workers. The number for salaried workers is half that.


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