Friday, September 16, 2011

Debunking the Texas Miracle

Last time that I was in California, and people heard that I was from Texas (well, no, I’m not from Texas, I’m from California, but I now live in Texas) they usually had some sort of remark that things in my state were better than they were in theirs. I would disagree, and if allowed would tick off the litany of problems in Texas.

Like a 28 billion dollar budget shortfall.

Like how they were laying off public sector jobs.

Like how that has a multiplier effect because when you lay people like teachers and firefighters they are no longer steady customers and business suffers.

And some listened and were surprised, but some were skeptical. The Texas Miracle, as it is being called, an urban myth if ever there was one, has been well-sold in the media, and as true as it is in science education, it is true in the media, you tend to believe and retain the information that is told to you first. Any attempt to fix mis-information subsequently falls on deaf ears.

Fact: most high school science students believe that the sky is blue because it reflects the ocean. This is because they are told this by an uneducated elementary school teacher or two.

And most people believe in the Texas Miracle.

Well, come to find out, FACT: Texas’s unemployment rate rose by 0.2 % last month. From 8.3 to 8.5 per cent. And guess where those jobs were lost? The public sector.

Those numbers come from the U.S. Department of Labor. The numbers were confirmed by the Texas Workforce Commission, which says the state lost 1,300 jobs in August. Texas gained 8,100 private-sector jobs, but those jobs were wiped out by job losses in the public sector.
So when Rick Perry, who is running on his ability to create jobs, brags about the Texas Miracle, he doesn’t have a leg to stand on. It doesn’t hold water. He is . . . oh gosh darn it . . .what’s that word?


He is lying.

And our governor is really good at lying. If he weren’t he wouldn’t be the state’s longest serving governor. That’s right, Rick Perry has been governor of Texas longer than one of its founding fathers: Sam Houston.

But Sam Houston, they say, was good at drinking. Drinking heavily doesn’t win friends and influence people.

Lying does.

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