Friday, August 19, 2011

Media: Once Bitten, Twice Shy on Texan Bloviators

It is gratifying that so many are already speaking out against Rick Perry and his Presidential campaign. This contrasts with Bush, where we suffered from a national press that acted like it was his lapdog.

Take, for example, that hotbed of Marxism, The Houston Chronicle, which has enough journalistic integrity to remind us that Texas's recent job creation has nothing to do with Rick Perry, though he is quick to claim credit.

According to their online edition, there are 10 reasons why:

1. Rising oil prices) Glad to see Texans admit that much of the wealth in their state was already there in the ground when they arrived; swaggering Republicans have nothing to do with it. (Same for Alaska, Sarah)

2. Government growth) Ouch, that one must be galling to Randian purists. But as the Chronicle notes, government jobs grew twice as fast as private sector jobs since 2000. Teabaggers aren't going to like that.  Such jobs expand the tax base, and create ancillary jobs in Texas just like everywhere else.

3. Military spending) The feds ratcheted up military spending since 2001, back when Bush the Lesser completely missed the 9/11 warning signs. But since that time, TX has had more than its share of taxpayers' money, from other states, pour into the state's huge military facilities.

4. No housing bubble) This is fairly involved. Read the Chronicle's take on it. But note the irony; Texas has strict regulations on mortgages. The downside is home ownership is very low, but hey, no disaster as in other states. Why? Because of strict and enforceable regulations, exactly what conservatives claim are a drag on the economy.

5. Cheap Immigrant labor) Now this is one area conservatives love; docile, cheap, non-unionized workers with few rights, no benefits, no pensions, no strikes, and no worker's comp claims (see chart below). And these low-paying and low-skilled jobs are a major portion of those Perry claims he created.

There are five more reasons, some of which Texas politicians could ostensibly take at least some credit, such as the state's high-tech industries. But the Chronicle's argument is that these too are long-standing conditions; maybe someone can take credit, but it ain't Perry.

As far as current conditions are concerned, Perry needs to explain his state's poor socio-demographic standing, as the chart below reveals (From

Not a record I would want to run on.

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