My wife and I are engineers and used to live in Concord. There are fewer and fewer engineers in the Bay area. Bechtel and Jacobs engineering left. All that is left is the Bechtel executive staff. Engineering left for Houston.
Anyways, my wife and I were paying well above $1000/month in state income taxes. And, of course, we were paying all the other costs of California. We left for Houston in 2007. It made an enormous difference in our lifestyle. We are affluent in Texas. We have a very nice house, a nice investment account, and cash left over. You cannot do that in California.
In other ways I like Texas, too. The roads are way less crowded. Crime is less. And the schools are quite good. All the propaganda about Texas being some hellhole is just that, propaganda. If you are a taxpayer, Texas is good. If you are on wellfare or government support, probably not. So, taxpayers should come to Texas. Non-taxpayers should stay in California.
In 2010 Texas had a per capita GDP of $45,940, ranking it 24th in the nation. California's per capita GDP was $51,914, ranking it 12th. The US as a whole had a per capita GDP of $47,482.
You can draw your own conclusions, but it doesn't look like Texas is exactly leaving California in the dust. It's also worth noting that Oil was 8.5% of the Texas economy is 2010. Obviously, Texas would have a lower GDP ranking if it hadn't been blessed with so much oil.
It depends on where you live as far as what you say. I just got back from Houston and I don't know how you can say that the roads are less crowded. I lived in Houston for several years and found the roads as crowded as in the Bay Area. We paid $18,500 in property tax in Houston which was about what we paid in total tax in the Walnut Creek California. The pluses where the schools where good and the homes where almost 1/2 the price. So we had a house twice as big as we had in California. The downside is the weather. It is horrible for most of the summer. You must run the air conditioner all summer. I lived in Texas 3 times, Denver twice and New Orleans. I still decided to retire in California. It's basically the weather and the beauty of the country side. Texas and other states have natural beauty but overall they don't compare to California. By the way not all areas in Texas are less costly than California. There are areas in Houston that are just as costly as the Bay Area. I have a son in Austin who is building a house which will cost as much as my house in Northern California even though it is about 1500 square feet less than mine. His property tax on the house will be almost as much as I pay in property tax and income tax in California and my income is higher than his.