Don’t Mess With (Turning Us Into) Texas

The members of the Mass GOP, perhaps in search of something they can all agree on, are pressing their “jobs package” on Beacon Hill this week. Part of this effort is the gleeful touting of a survey proclaiming that Massachusetts is “among the worst states to do business in.”

The survey in question, sponsored by Chief Executive Magazine, surveyed 650 Chief Executives. (By the way, the Chief Executive of Chief Executive Magazine is a former management consultant at Bain & Co. who describes himself as a “serial entrepreneur.”) The state the Chief Executives liked best — for the eighth year in a row — was Texas, which took top honors for its “business-friendly tax and regulatory environment.”

According to the GOP, the survey is a wake-up call to the Governor and the Legislature to take action on the jobs package, which they say “remains stalled” on Beacon Hill. (Advice for the GOP: in the future, don’t wait to file your jobs package until the 16th month of the 19-month legislative session — it suggests that you’re the one doing the stalling).

Here are a few facts about Texas that the survey did not mention:

1. It has the highest rate of workers who lack health insurance.

2. It has the highest share of workers who make only the minimum wage.

3. Its students rank 47th in the nation in literacy, 49th in verbal SAT’s and 46th in math.

4. It leads all states in the amount of federal money dedicated to teaching “abstinance only” sex education to teenagers.

5. It leads all states in the number of repeat teen pregnancies.

Oh, and one more: it has a higher unemployment rate rate than Massachusetts.

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Sources: Center on Budget & Policy Priorites. Gail Collins, New York Times.

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