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Gov. Jerry Brown, who has occasionally been prickled by claims that Texas is a better place to do business than California, was asked on Marketplace Morning Report today if the Golden State was falling behind.

Noting that the "debt burden per resident in Texas is actually one-fifth of what it is in California," host Jeremy Hobson asked Brown, "Are you losing, do you think, the economic battle in the long term to a state like Texas?"

Brown countered with another statistic - that the percentage of people working at or below the minimum wage in Texas is far higher than in California.

"That devastates families," he said.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, has boasted about recruiting businesses from California, while Brown, a Democrat, has emphasized California's green-energy industries and venture capital investments. This morning, Brown suggested Texas might benefit from investments that increase debt.

"They're doing well in manufacturing, they're doing well in investing in wind," Brown said. "Maybe they have a lower debt. Maybe their debt's too low. Maybe they should be investing in the kinds of innovation and technology that will serve their citizens in the future."


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