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have had to respond to budgetary shortfalls caused by a declining economy by raising taxes. In other words, for a variety of reasons improving transportation, lower wages, low unionization, better climate, better race relations, the growing importance of energy Northern capital discovered that the South and Southwest’ was ripe for development, initiating a movement of investment which was long overdue and, we are now discovering, may be shortlived. In fact, as the ’80s progress it is precisely the high-tax states of the Frostbelt which have budget surpluses strong enough to cut taxes: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and New York. And the state which has perhaps cut taxes and the budget the most in recent years. South Dakota, has yet to climb out of its doldrums. Anti-tax activists are also concerned about the various “business climate” ratings, in which Texas has fallen in recent years. The Alexander Grant studies are the best-known and the most consistent, although any rating system is inevitably a compromise. Alexander Grant rated Texas as first in 1983, but in 1984 the state fell to sixth and last year plummetted to sixteenth. These studies have been cited to show concern in the business community about the tax and fee increases of 1984 and 1985, as well as the possibility of further increases. But Larry Jobe, a regional managing directOr of the company, cites other factors. For one thing, the state’s educational system is still found wanting: Texas ranks 40th among the 48 continental states in percentage of adults with high-school diplomas. And the cost of doing business is rising, with wage hikes leading the way. Jobe also mentioned the lack of stability in state government funding. The academic literature on the subject suggests that companies looking to relocate do not consider taxes as much as other factors, such as proximity to markets, raw materials, transportation, the cost of utilities, the education or lack thereof in the work force, the local wage scale, and the degree of unionization. The two studies conducted in Texas on business location growth during the ’70s both indicated that state and local taxes had a minimal effect. A 1971 study for the Texas Senate showed that “only 12 percent of companies surveyed had permitted tax factors of any kind to affect their location decisions.” Another survey, carried out on firms relocating from 1974-1977, showed that only four of the 210 companies surveyed considered taxes an important factor in their decision to move here. In 1980, Joseph E. Pluta wrote in the Texas Business Review that “five major studies published in the past year alone document the minor role of taxes in location decisions.” Pluta further argued that a low-tax image can hurt a state in the eyes of others, if it appears that the crucial services are neglected. There are other surveys, of course, which show that tax considerations are important to relocating firms, and it has also been argued that personal income taxes raise wages and, thus, costs to the firm. But the deeper problem is that Texas is once again looking for a dens ex machina solution to its revenue problems. While corporate movement is well-publicized, John Rees and Lorna Monti pointed out, in the March 1978 Texas Business Review, that “in Houston about 85 percent of manufacturing changes do not involve relocations; in Dallas-Fort Worth the figure is about 90 percent.” There is danger in shaping the state’s economic policy to suit a minimal number of outside corporations while ignoring those already here. An open debate on the tax question is certainly healthy for the state. But state-by-state analyses really point to nothing more profound than the notion that each state must, in its tax structure, address its own economic needs. In Texas’ case, that means having an awareness of the state’s affinity for the quick fix. And, above all, it cannot be in Texas’ interest to cut off debate precisely when the state needs to discuss its options for the future. 0 Austin AT A ROAST for Ronald Reagan last April, comedian Mort Sahl gave one of the most reasonable explanations for the recent swing to the right on college campuses. Sahl told his fellow liberals who are bewildered by their kids’ turning Republican, “I warned you in the ’60s that if you kept using drugs your kids would be mutants.” These mass mutations could have a profound effect on the political landscape. In the 1984 election, for instance, went for Ronald Reagan by a three-totwo margin. Even in laid-back, liberal Austin, students at the University of Sean Price is a UT-Austin student, who writes for the Daily Texan. Texas supported Reagan by 52.7 to 47 percent. Accompanying this lurch to the right by college students has been an unprecedented number of conservative student newspapers and magazines. Perhaps the best known of these publications is the oft-cussed and discussed Dartmouth Review. Since 1980, the Review has grabbed headlines nationwide for its baiting of administrators, professors, and groups it considers liberal. Several of the weekly paper’s former staffers have found jobs right out of college with the Wall Street Journal editorial page, the Reagan White House, and the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank. Naturally, the fad did not spare Texas. In May 1983, a handful of University of Texas students led by government major John Colyandro launched the Texas Review Society and its publication, Texas Review. The first few issues of the Review were predictably rough. Weak writing, poor copy editing. and stilted layout. After a shaky start, the Review has become an acerbic counterpart to the Dartmouth incarnation, though not nearly as clever or innovative as its prototype. The Review ‘s current advisory board includes former Texas House Speaker Billy Clayton, Dallas Morning News associate editor William Murchison, and GOP gubernatorial candidate Kent Hance. Sadly for the Review, while UT has sive community, the university itself is hardly a liberal institution. So the Review has had to concentrate chiefly on news coming from outside university halls, .or on the handful of activist liberal and left-wing professors on campus, or on the only remotely liberal institution on campus the Daily Texan. Professors who are outspoken about left-leaning views get flailed regularly in the Review. Marxist philosophy teacher Doug Kellner gets in virtually View from the Right at UT By Sean Price THE TEXAS OBSERVER 13