Now that another Texas governor wants to be in charge, it's worth looking at his record in his home state.
Y'all know I'm not against socialism or government owned businesses on principle, but I am surprised that a Conservative Republican would be proud of a program that invests taxpayer money into business start-ups.
It's called the 'The Texas Certified Capital Company Program' and it acts as a VC firm, but is uses taxpayer money instead of private money.
Read it here: http://www.window.state.tx.us/capco/overview.html
Lord knows there is a LOT of private money around for good and not-so-good ideas these days; there is so much money around that no real good idea will lack for money. So, what's left over is crooks, dogs and Ponzi schemes - apologies to Ponzi.
History buffs will recall that Germany and Italy both had Fascist regimes in the 1930's and 1940's wherein the state funded private companies to work on government contracts. It did not work out so well for them.
The trouble I see as an economist is that such a scheme can become simply a 'crony capitalist' program where politician's friends get the contracts instead of letting contracts on a bidding process.
Lo and behold, it turns out that has already happened in good ol Texas.
Charles Dameron of the WSJ calls it out here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304760604576428262897285614.html
Nobody can make up this stuff.