Governing Magazine: Can Texas Find a Future for a Third of its Workforce?

By 2016, almost one-third of the Texas workforce may face a reversal in fortune. According to projections by the state Workforce Commission, workers with technical skills, who were once thought to have a firm hold on the middle class, are now vulnerable to the twin perils of technological obsolescence and jobs that move offshore.

The problem these workers face can be traced to a shift away from manufacturing, an unfortunate change exacerbated by misguided public policy, according to commission Chairman Tom Pauken.

To change the game, Pauken wants to eliminate the 35 percent federal corporate tax and the employer portion of the payroll tax in favor of a revenue-neutral consumption or value-added tax of 8 percent. It would be applied to all imports, and businesses would receive an 8 percent credit for all exports that would count against their total consumption. Such a policy would tip the economy in favor of domestic manufacturing, bringing many jobs back home.

Read Governing editor-at-large Paul W. Taylor’s full article:


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