Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Reconsidering the "Texas Miracle"

The entrance of Texas Governor Rick Perry into the already swift moving presidential race for the 2012 nomination in the Republican Party prompted stories about the so-called "Texas Miracle."  At the heart of the case for proving up the miraculous performance of the Texas economy stands jobs creation data that appears impressive.  On the other hand, we find quality of life issues that concern growing numbers of hard working Texans. 

Consider the following from the Texas Legislative Study Group, "Texas on the Brink":
  • Tax revenue raised per capita--46th in U. S.
  • Tax expenditures per capita--47th in U. S.
  • Sales tax per capita--15th in U. S.
  • Public school enrollment--2nd in U. S.
  • Average salary of public school teachers--33rd in U. S.
  • Expenditures per pupil in public schools--44th in U. S.
  • % of population 25 and older with HS diploma--50th in U. S.
  • High school graduation rate--43rd in U. S.
  • % of uninsured children--1st in U. S.
  • % of children living in poverty--4th in U. S.
  • % of population without health insurance--1st in U. S.
  • % of low income population covered by Medicaid--49th in U. S.
  • Per capita spending on mental health services--50th in U. S.
  • % living below federal poverty level--4th in U. S.
  • % of population who visit a dentist--46th in U. S.
  • % of pregnant women receiving prenatal care in first trimester--50th in U. S.
  • % of women living in poverty--6th in U. S.
  • Median net worth of households--47th in U. S.
  • Amount of carbon dioxide emissions--1st in U. S.
  • Amount of toxic chemicals released into water--1st in U. S.
  • Amount of cancer-causing carcinogens released into air--1st in U. S.
  • Income inequality between rich and poor--9th in U. S.
  • Median household income--34th in U. S.
  • % of households with Internet access--42 in U. S. 
  • Number of executions--1st in U. S.
  • Rate of incarceration--9th in U. S.
  • % of voting age population that is registered to vote--43rd in U. S.
  • % of voting age population that votes--45th in U. S.

40 comments:

Dan Vaughn said...

The article: Debunking the 'Texas Miracle.'
By Roya Wolverson Monday, Sept. 05, 2011 may be of interest.


Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2090359,00.html#ixzz1Wbed00lP

rcorum said...

I haven't made my mind up about anything about this election except that I will not be voting for President Obama. I read the long list of what I guessed to be negatives against Perry. I also read the Mother Jones article I thought it was more informative to me. You or anyone else can string together a bunch of statistics and have them say almost anything. Would you not admit that it is very difficult to establish cause and effect? The same could by done with Obama. My criteria for a president is pretty simple. Will he seek to live within our means?

Anonymous said...

These are some inflammatory statistics worthy of scrutiny. Let me also concur with the other gentleman's statement (rcorum) - I could not vote for Obama again

Lorlee said...

Golly, Obama is not the one who started 2 unfunded wars and left the economy in the tank.

The reason we have a concern about SS is that the Congress has spent $2.3 trillion from the trust funds. Money you and I paid in. Check out Scott Burns

A very central economist this morning said it was 2002 that things went off the rails. I don't think Obama was president then.

Karen Harker said...

Regarding living within our means, our means can be adjusted. Our means is whatever we are willing to provide. We are providing the least means (in terms of rates of taxation) in decades. True, we are expecting more from our government than it can provide given these low means. We could ask what we expect our government to do...but perhaps the question should be, what do we want our country to be?

Chris said...

The Democrats are very afraid of Rick Perry.Why do you think they talk so negatively about him? I say GO PERRY!

The boy president has scheduled his so called jobs speech on the same night as the previously scheduled Republican debate. Not presidential. BTW, he will only offer more spending. Someone should tell him the New Deal didn't get us out of the depression.

His 20 million dollar green jobs thingy in Washington state netted 14 jobs. Woo Hoo! Oh, and it winterized three houses.

Evergreen Solar,Inc.,a Boston clean energy company has filed for bankruptcy with 485 million of your money in debt.

Solyndra, a solar power company in Fremont,California, has also gone belly up, 535 million in debt. Where's the money? Both these enterprises were lauded by the administration at their inception.

So we see these green jobs are not working out. What do you bet Obama will continue to talk green energy in his so called jobs bill.

belinda said...

Chris - "the boy president" ? ? ?

what's that supposed to mean?

Anonymous said...

I'm a "friend" on Facebook and quite frankly am getting VERY tired of all of the one-sided political outcries coming from you. Most of us do not use Facebook to push our political views and I'd like it to stay that way. If the political comments from you don't stop, you will be "unfriended" or blocked from my Facebook.

Anonymous said...

rcorum, your criteria must mean you didn't vote for george w bush

Anonymous said...

Anon.4:27

To whom are you talking?

Larry James said...

RC, as always, thanks for posting. I understand your point about stats; about like using Bible to prove what you want! However, in this case the data comes from members of the TX legislature and really is nothing more than objective rankings compared to other states. I'm not sure how else one would measure quality of life issues. That said, I suppose we could debate the impact of each reality on our lives, families, etc. As one who has lived in Dallas most of my life, I can tell you these numbers don't exaggerate or lie--just the facts, as they say.

Larry James said...

I'm guite sure Anon 4:27 meant his comment for me. Anon, feel free to remove me from your friends list if you like. I'm not offended. However, I would tell you that my motives here are absolutely not political. My posts attempt to advocate for a set of values which I believe will make the communities where I live and work better places for the poor. True, some of my subjects lead to political comments; but I try to present commentary that is consistent and value-based.

For example,the fact that TX leads the naton--#1--in the number of uninsured children is not, for me at least, a political issue. It is a moral issue.

Sorry to be kicked off your friends' list, but you can expect me to continue bringing forward quesitons and issues that relate to the travesty of American poverty.

Anonymous said...

Certainly is a pile of negative statistics! I suggest that the illegal population greatly skews the data. Of course, we could go the way of California and bankrupt the state.

Larry James said...

Anon 5:49, thanks for post. I think careful analysis reveals that the undocumented population's cost to the economy is a wash when you calculate the taxes they do pay. But we can continue to debate that one.

The list of rankings relate to policy makers not citizens. A poor Hispanic child of immigrants doesn't make the rules about the Children's Health Insurance Program. Nor does she direct the organizaitons directed to care for her.

Anonymous said...

Belinda - a great "gotcha" on the boy president. Looks like a race card you are aching to play

Larry James said...

Chris, your comments about the President of the United States are racist, disrespectful and arrogant. I find them to be highly offensive personally.

You are useful however in reminding us of just how far we still have to go in this nation when it comes to race, respect and common human decency.

Chris said...

My comment was not meant to be racist but to highlight. his lack of experience, although I do believe he is knowingly trying to bring down our country.

Anonymous said...

Well, it was the REV James who threw down the race card.

Anonymous said...

The illegals pay negligible taxes- no income taxes, and an underground economy not conducive to sales tax

Larry James said...

Anon 7:41, that's not what data says--Social Security that will never be collected, property tax thru rent payments, sales tax, property tax in homes owned, etc. To say nothing of cost benefit to employers coupled with very high productivity. Reconsider.

Larry James said...

Anon 7:37, this is no game, friend. It is very real, as your attitude demonstrates.

Anonymous said...

"I do believe he is knowingly trying to bring down our country."

That just sums up all that is wrong with politics in America. No respect for or common decency towards those with whom you disagree. Just extreme (not to mention ridiculous) rhetorical statements.

And, Chris, if you really cannot see the problem with calling the first AA president "boy" ... wow ... I don't even know what to say.

Ken
Dallas

Chris said...

Would man-child be better?

rcorum said...

I do wish people would be more respectful to Larry. I am sure he has a very thick skin and does not need a conservative like me sticking up for him. I have read Larry's blog every day for several years now. I disagree often, but I believe with all my heart that Larry is a good man who deeply cares about people. I, for one, am proud to be a brand new Facebook friend of Larry's.

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight. We are supposed to buy into a pile of "statistics" compiled by a left wing rag? The source points to the lie and the liars

Chris said...

I have absolutely no respect for a leader who wants to " fundamentally change our country,"

We need smart leadership, other countries are taking our jobs, the whole world is laughing at us while they rip us off.

Meanwhile, our president uses two teleprompters to make a 3 minute speech and some people think he is a great orator.

Obama is a fraud. It would have been so great for the first AA president to be a person of integrity and a person who wanted the best for our country. If he should win in 2012 we will not even have a country.

Anonymous said...

Calling me or my friends by the name racist doesn't hurt at all. The jig is up, liberals. It's just a word-game to you and we all know it. Obvious black on white racism is rampant but you never acknowledge it. Nonchalant terms are twisted to make innocent people out to be the equivalent of a German concentration camp guard. Not impressed. Not intimidated. Won't vote for Boy Genius. I guess I don't blame you on a certain level - he has no record to support. So I guess I can expect to be the subject of a language game.

Larry James said...

Annon 8:58, wrong. Verifiable rankings based on hard facts. Sorry, you can't simply dismiss these true numbers unless you are willing to be dishonest.

Larry James said...

Thanks, RC! I appreciate your support and friendship. We don't have to agree to be respectful and grateful for each other. I think together we could agree on a pathway to a better situation, especially for the poor and marginalized. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I don't consider a link to Mother Jones a verifiable ranking. Your constant reference to left wing publications, politicians, and clergy sum up your philosophy.

Larry James said...

These facts are accurate. Produce evidence to the contrary. These are simple comparisons to the other 50 states.

Anonymous said...

As a point of logic, you have yet to prove your points. I cannot disprove that which has not been proven.

CoryJones said...

I'm not sure how to argue against such verifiable facts like state rankings. Thank you for exposing the other side of the coin.
@rcorum, I think cause and effect must be argued. I don't agree with everything Obama does, but I also think he gets blamed for an economy that was deep in the gutter long before he took office. As for Perry, he's been governor 10 years. Do you have a cause in mind OTHER than him?

Steve H. Jr. said...

Every now and then I pop over to Larry's blog to see what's shakin', and every time I leave wishing I'd not read the comments.

When will you turn off anonymous commenting, Larry? There's really no shame ... people who wouldn't leave their names next to the views they posit aren't really contributing anything useful to the dialogue anyway. They're just trolls, pure and simple.

It might initially diminish the quantity of comments, but it will greatly increase the quality of discussion.

Anonymous said...

Just examined the list. None of it will keep Perry out of the White House.

Anonymous said...

After two days of comments, this remains: life is unnecessarily hard for a lot of Texans. After many have long forgotten the partisan points that they scored on this page, the poor will not have forgotten their struggles: they simply can't forget what they experience every day.

My prayer is that the middle class and the rich won't forget what the poor cannot forget.

Jeff W

Steve H. Jr. said...

Anon 7:10 - But should it?

Probably.

Larry James said...

Steve H., Jr., I understand your frustration about anon comments. I've gone back and forth on this. Here's what I've decided: let all comment. Many of the Anon comments are so absurd, so lacking in faith and so cruel that this space serves to expose them and their attitudes in ways that would not be possible if I cut them out. So, let all comment and let us all judge the merit, the decency and the state of our very small slice of America.

Anonymous said...

Not only that, Mr. Steve H. Jr., but no one comments when anons are cut off. It seems the rest of you are very boring. We anons spice things up a bit. You, on the other hand, hardly show up at all. Which is surprising for a copywriter. Say something snappy, Jr. Engage us. Provoke us. Edify us. Bless us with your gifts.

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