Thursday, August 04, 2011


From the Huffington Post:

'Texas Miracle' Includes Crowded Homeless Shelters, Low-Wage Jobs, Worker Deaths

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas has created more jobs in the last year than any other state. These job openings have become known as the much-hyped, "Texas Miracle." In his February 2011 state-of-the-state address, Governor Rick Perry boasted: "Our economic strength is no accident. It's a testimony to our people, our entrepreneurs, and, yes, to the decisions made in this building. Employers from across the country and around the world understand that the opportunity they crave can be found in Texas, and they're headed our way, with jobs in tow."

Should he ultimately choose to run for the White House, Perry will be spending a lot of his time on the stump repeating those lines. Dig beneath the talking points and you find a more troubling picture: rising unemployment, a glut of low-wage jobs without benefits, overcrowded homeless shelters and public schools facing billions in budget cuts. Surita and Johnson have been airbrushed from the miracle. But they still can be found on the housing waiting lists and shelter entrances.

"If you want a bad job, go to Texas," said Texas Rep. Garnet Coleman (D), who represents a district in Houston, in an interview with The Huffington Post. "If you want to work at Carl's Jr., our doors are open, and if you want to go to a crumbling school in a failing school system, this is the place to come."


With Texas' minimal regulation and low taxes -- and Perry's cheerleading -- a spike in job growth during the past few years became known as the Texas Miracle. The rise in oil and gas prices, as well as a long-time state law protecting homeowners, helped stave off the recession for a while. And as a result, a miracle myth was created, with little exploration as to what impact Perry's policies actually had on the economic picture. The miracle is that anyone would call minimum-wage jobs a miracle. Of the all the jobs in Texas created last year, 37 percent paid at or below minimum wage -- and the state leads the nation in total minimum wage workers, according to a recent New York Times report.

"The important thing to do is not to just count jobs but to look at what kinds of jobs are being created in Texas," explained Dick Lavine, a Senior Fiscal Analyst with the Center for Public Policy Priorities. "Texas is tied for last with Mississippi for the highest percentage of minimum wage jobs and Texas is by far the leader of residents who don't have health insurance. It's low wage jobs without any benefits."

More here.

Ouch. Comparing my home state to Mississippi, for any reason at all, is cause for great pain. But here we are: Rick Perry has presided over the great state of Texas' long decline into trailer park ghetto abandon. And he appears to think this is a grand thing. No surprise there.

I've long described Texas as what the whole country would look like if the Republicans ever got total control over Washington, but we already went through some six years of that under Bush, and Texas definitely ended up worse. Of course, the Republicans have had total control of Texas for nearly twenty years, so maybe I should just wait a bit longer to see what happens. I mean, Obama might as well be a Republican, what with his zeal for fucking the middle class and the poor until they're raw. So maybe just a few more years.

But I digress. This is about Rick Perry.

Thing is, he's a true believer. In everything. He believes cutting taxes creates more tax revenue. He believes regulating industrial toxic emissions is bad for the economy. He believes global warming is an environmentalist/communist hoax. He believes Jesus died for our sins, and that his spirit engages in magical warfare with the demonic entities that surround us. He believes the Genesis creation story is literal fact. He believes states that don't like federal laws can secede and become nations unto themselves. And on and on.

In short, he's a total fucking moron who has run Texas according to his stupid beliefs, and has, accordingly, run the state into the ground. He's a bit more articulate than his predecessor, George W. Bush, so people don't seem to realize that Perry may very well be an even bigger tard, but, make no mistake, the guy's got brain damage. And he's proud of it.

Personally, I'd love to see him nominated, if only because it will make the GOP overall appear to be just about as stupid as he is. But really, it doesn't matter. Obama, who is way more intelligent, is just about as bad of a chief executive as Perry, but for different reasons.

Either way, we're all going to hell.