What happened? Hathaway and Litan shrug their shoulders after finding that these trends held steady across all states and metropolitan areas. Clearly, “business dynamism and entrepreneurship are experiencing a troubling secular decline,” they conclude, but “our findings stop short of demonstrating why these trends are occurring, and perhaps more importantly, what can be done about it.” However, the chart itself suggests one answer in particular. The decades involved in this study saw a significant and accelerating expansion of federal regulatory power, which only had one period of significant reversal – the Reagan era. That period shows the only significant return to a higher rate of business births in the last thirty-five years. The consistency of the decline across regions and states also bolsters this interpretation. Some states and regions have better economic growth rates than others; Texas Governor Rick Perry has recruited major employers from California on that basis, most recently Toyota’s US headquarters and its 5,000 jobs. Despite a friendlier tax and economic climate, though, Texas still has a lower business birth rate than it did thirty years ago, and so does every other state, and every metropolitan area save one unnamed.