Reihan seems to have done some research on Perry record in Texas, a helpful preview, perhaps, as Perry prepares to enter the race.
I'm somewhat puzzled, however, by Reihan's sunny assessment of the Texas housing market. Home prices are certainly relatively low in Texas, but the foreclosure rate is relatively high (10th place among the states), credit scores are terrible (49th place among the states) and the percentage of home ownership (44th) is low. Texas also has high rates of income disparity, 9th in income inequality between rich and poor, and 5th in income inequality between rich in middle class. These factors are likely to limit the growth of opportunities for Texans who are getting jobs now to accumulate capital and enter the middle class, with all its bourgeois amenities and opportunities. And these voters are the key to continuing Republican hegemony in Texas.
Certainly there are many social, economic, and demographic factors that contribute to these statistics, beyond Republican public policy and Perry's performance as governor. Texas has a relatively youthful population, and young people are going to have more limited credit histories and lower average credit scores. But as far as creating a vigorous and expanding middle class, the Texas record will be open to considerable debate and scrutiny.
The Lone Star State has low taxes, business-friendly, pro-growth policies, minimal public services, and lots of people without health insurance. This is pretty close to the consensus Republican policy agenda.
For more on Texas's relative standing, see state senator Eliot Shapleigh's report, "Texas on the Brink," at: http://shapleigh.org/system/reportin...documents3.pdf
And thanks to Conor, in one of links, for again pointing to Perry's record on capital punishment and his behavior in the Willingham case.