I have now read Matthias Shapiro (not a Perry supporter by the way) and he seems to have the best treatment so far. One excerpt:
Since the recession started hourly wages in Texas have increased at a 6th fastest pace in the nation.
We can see that Texas has grown the fastest, having increased jobs by 2.2% since the recession started. I want to take a moment and point out that second place is held by North Dakota. I added North Dakota to my list of states to show something very important. North Dakota currently has the lowest unemployment rate of any state at 3.2%. And yet Texas is adding jobs at a faster rate than North Dakota. How can this be?
The reason is that people are flocking to Texas in massive numbers…
As you can see, Texas isn’t just the fastest growing… it’s growing over twice as fast as the second fastest state and three times as fast as the third. Given that Texas is (to borrow a technical term) f***ing huge, this growth is incredible.
People are flocking to Texas in massive numbers. This is speculative, but it *seems* that people are moving to Texas looking for jobs rather than moving to Texas for a job they already have lined up. This would explain why Texas is adding jobs faster than any other state but still has a relatively high unemployment rate.
This piece encompasses, and responds to, all of the “Texas critiques” we have seen so far. And there are good graphs at the link. For the pointer I thank Nate Silver, a tough cookie when it comes to data; he calls it a “great piece.”