At the Milken Institute Global Conference panel titled: Jobs for America, the conversation focused squarely on the best example of job creation at the state level: Texas. Moderated by Milken Institute Senior Fellow, Zachary Karabell, panelists included: John Engler, President, Business Roundtable and former Governor of the State of Michigan; Richard Fisher, President & CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Javier Palomarez, President & CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and, Rafael Pastor, Chairman of the Board & CEO of Vistage International.
Rafael Pastor noted that in the Q1 2012, Vistage CEO Confidence Index , CEOs were asked that if they had to start their business all over again, would they do so in another state? Thirty percent responded yes, and one-third of that group selected Texas as the state they would choose to do so. Panelists cited low taxes, less government regulation, and a solid higher education infrastructure among the reasons that Texas is such a fertile environment for job growth. It answered a central question that John Engler framed simply as: Leadership matters and public policy can make a big difference. Richard Fisher spoke to the importance of how monetary policy provides fuel for the engine, but that it takes sound fiscal policy and private sector ingenuity to move an economy forward. Javier Palomarez talked about the disparity in unemployment as it related to the Hispanic community, but did so in terms of the larger education gap. While unemployment nationally is at 8.2%, unemployment among those who are college educated is only half that. In a nation with more jobs requiring special skills, it’s an issue that looms large as evidenced by the fact that so many jobs remain unfilled despite millions of people looking for work
The conversation continually returned to what’s going on in Texas and how bipartisan cooperation can make such a difference. Hmmmmm…..