The Oh So Terrible Condition Of Texas

Perry, the radical Leftist resident of Delaware who comments at The First Street Journal, decided to spout off “facts” that somehow “prove” Texas is terrible, and worse than the rest of the country.

Well of course our Editor wants to claim a pattern here, but he isn’t willing to peel back the curtain here, realizing that there is more to the quality of life than so-called business friendliness.

Consider this:

* Unemployment is higher than the national average,

* TX has a serious budget shortfall,

* TX has had to seriously cut back on education,

* TX is running out of groundwater, with no solution in sight,

* TX is currently in the second year of a serious drought,

* cattle and grain production has dropped precipitously,

* highest uninsured health care in the country,

* TX is turning down the medicaid expansion federal money,

* John Hitchcock lives in TX,

* and the highest number of death penalties in the country.

You name it, problems in TX are severe.

“Unemployment [in Texas] is higher than the national average.” From his very comment, he includes — but does not link to — something said on CBS last autumn, which included this dandy little statement: Texas’ unemployment has nearly reached the national unemployment level. We’ll check out that claim soon, but let’s point out here that Perry’s claim at the top of his comment is directly contradicted by his link-free quote (something he does with regularity, quoting something without providing a link or a name) at the bottom of his comment.

As I previously noted in an article which made “Post of the Day” at Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion on June 21, the May unemployment figures showed Texas has had a lower unemployment rate than the national average for 65 straight months (and that will only continue to be the case). It’s some strange alternate universe in which Perry the Delaware Socialist lives where Texas’ 6.9 percent May unemployment rate is somehow worse than the US 8.2 percent unemployment rate.

From June 2006 to June 2011, Texas was one of only nine states plus DC that added jobs. During that time-frame, Texas added 537,500 jobs, or over 73 percent of the total jobs added (a rate of 2,138 new jobs per 100,000 population). At the same time the US lost 4,818,000 jobs (a rate of 1,561 jobs lost per 100,000 population). And, point in fact, during 2006 and up till March, 2007, the US was still adding jobs at a rate fast enough to easily keep pace with the population growth. So that only amplifies the rate at which the US lost jobs while Democrats held control of Congress.

In an article I wrote noting again how the Leftist-ruled states of California and Illinois are shedding jobs and productive people with their tax-heavy and regulation-heavy (especially in California) agenda, I pointed out yet another Leftist state’s demise. Maryland, in its anti-Tenth Commandment “soak the rich” Class Envy and Class Warfare mentality created a new tax on the wealthy, most productive residents. What happened? They fled the state and went to more Conservative, more business-friendly, less tax-heavy states. And, in violating the Tenth Commandment, Maryland’s tax revenue stream actually shrank. By quite a bit. Maryland raised taxes on “the rich” and lost money in the process. That’s an outcome we Conservatives have been loudly declaring would be the case with the Leftists’ Class Warfare “soak the rich” mentality. Of course, the “economics experts” are completely shocked to find when the Federal Government puts policies in place that closely track what those self-same “experts” espouse, the results are very notably dismal — again and again and again and again, providing the absolutely knee-slappingly hilarious, yet sobering “unexpected” mantra that those “experts” have been everpresently spouting for the past three and a half years.

Now, Texas does have its share of problems. Barack Obama’s Contempt of Federal Court activities in shutting down off-shore oil drilling and exploration, one of Texas’ largest industries. Barack Obama’s EPA working feverishly to shut down some of Texas’ electric generating plants while Texas is growing much more quickly than the rest of the nation in terms of both population and jobs. And, of course, Texas’ decades-long (or should I say Century-Long) explosive population growth, far exceeding that of the US as a whole, which means Texas has to produce far greater numbers of jobs per 100,000 population than the US as a whole — just to keep pace with population growth.

And how is Texas doing? The state’s unemployment numbers have remained well below that of the US for years and the unemployment rate is dropping faster than the US as a whole. As forecast by the Conservatives among us.

“Texas has a serious budget shortfall.” No, that would be Illinois, California, Maryland, New York, etc, etc. Places the Democrats have run into the ground. Texas has a Constitutional requirement to run a balanced budget. And its biennial Budget is balanced and was balanced without raising taxes, much to the chagrin of Paul Burka, Leftist Senior Editor of Texas Monthly magazine, whose rants I documented and shredded in an 8,500 word article that Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion also named “Post of the Day”. If you don’t want to read the entire thing (and you should), drop down near the bottom where Paul Burka rants and raves about the absolutely demanding, governing-free Conservatives and their orgasmic feeding frenzy of not eating. It’s a real knee-slapper.

“TX has had to seriously cut back on education.” Let’s let IowaHawk handle this one. In his first article, IowaHawk provides this:

So how does brokeass, dumbass, redneck Texas stack up against progressive unionized Wisconsin?

2009 4th Grade Math

White students: Texas 254, Wisconsin 250 (national average 248)
Black students: Texas 231, Wisconsin 217 (national 222)
Hispanic students: Texas 233, Wisconsin 228 (national 227)

2009 8th Grade Math

White students: Texas 301, Wisconsin 294 (national 294)
Black students: Texas 272, Wisconsin 254 (national 260)
Hispanic students: Texas 277, Wisconsin 268 (national 260)

2009 4th Grade Reading

White students: Texas 232, Wisconsin 227 (national 229)
Black students: Texas 213, Wisconsin 192 (national 204)
Hispanic students: Texas 210, Wisconsin 202 (national 204)

2009 8th Grade Reading

White students: Texas 273, Wisconsin 271 (national 271)
Black students: Texas 249, Wisconsin 238 (national 245)
Hispanic students: Texas 251, Wisconsin 250 (national 248)

2009 4th Grade Science

White students: Texas 168, Wisconsin 164 (national 162)
Black students: Texas 139, Wisconsin 121 (national 127)
Hispanic students: Wisconsin 138, Texas 136 (national 130)

2009 8th Grade Science

White students: Texas 167, Wisconsin 165 (national 161)
Black students: Texas 133, Wisconsin 120 (national 125)
Hispanic students: Texas 141, Wisconsin 134 (national 131)

To recap: white students in Texas perform better than white students in Wisconsin, black students in Texas perform better than black students in Wisconsin, Hispanic students in Texas perform better than Hispanic students in Wisconsin. In 18 separate ethnicity-controlled comparisons, the only one where Wisconsin students performed better than their peers in Texas was 4th grade science for Hispanic students (statistically insignificant), and this was reversed by 8th grade. Further, Texas students exceeded the national average for their ethnic cohort in all 18 comparisons; Wisconsinites were below the national average in 8, above average in 8.

Perhaps the most striking thing in these numbers is the within-state gap between white and minority students. Not only did white Texas students outperform white Wisconsin students, the gap between white students and minority students in Texas was much less than the gap between white and minority students in Wisconsin. In other words, students are better off in Texas schools than in Wisconsin schools – especially minority students.

In his second article on the subject, IowaHawk provides even more evidence that destroys the Leftist meme.

Average ACT Composite Score 2010
White students: Wisconsin 23.5, Texas 23.3 (national 23.1)
Black students: Texas 17.6, Wisconsin 16.9 (national 17.5)
Hispanic students: Wisconsin 19.8, Texas 18.7 (national 19.4)

As an aside, reader Dr. William Borland (Principal Research Engineer, Georgia Institute of Technology, lah-tee-dah) points out that 2010 state-specific public high school dropout rates are now available- and bolster my case.

2010 Public High School Event Dropout Rates
White students: Wisconsin 1.4%, Texas 1.8% (national average 2.8%)
Black students: Texas 6.3%, Wisconsin 7.8% (national average 6.7%)
Hispanic students: Texas 5.3%, Wisconsin 5.4% (national average 6.0%)

While no dropout event is good, Texas is hardly the outlier national shame claimed by Krugman. In fact, it has below national average dropout rates for all 3 ethnic groups considered, consistently in both 2007 and 2010 measures. Among white students, Wisconsin had the second lowest state event dropout rate (NJ #1), where Texas was tied for 7th. Among black students, Wisconsin was #39, Texas tied for #24. Among Hispanic students, Wisconsin was tied for #21, Texas was tied for #17.

Here’s a chart from a September17, 2009 article at Demablogue:

We have been dumping more money per student into Public Education for over 40 years without seeing any improvement in test scores. Obviously, to any reasonable person, dumping even more money into the broken system will not fix the broken system. Continuing on with IowaHawk:

Hey, it’s been a fun two days based on a simple 30-minute study of educational statistics. As regards the effect of teacher collective bargaining on student learning, I wouldn’t call what I did conclusive; just pointing out the fallacy of aggregate statistical comparisons. For a definitive study of the effect, I would point to Caroline Hoxby’s (Harvard/ MIT /Stanford, lah tee dah) 1996 QJE paper [pdf], which statistically controls for additional variables. Her main conclusions: collective bargaining increases the input provided to schools (spending, construction and the like), but actual decreases school output (test scores and the like). If you don’t like Greek letters, here’s Hoxby discussing the effect on YouTube.

[Video added.]

Perry would do very well not to listen to Paul Krugman as the above very clearly shows the fraudulent huckster’s tomfoolery. Also, from IowaHawk:

But hey, if credentials and oak-framed vellum degrees are your bag, let me share this email with you:

Dear Mr. Burger:
I edit I have a blog on the site. I would like to do a blog that will depends heavily on your material,quoting you at length, as I also think Krugman is a nobel prize winning fraud and because your data are intrinsically interesting… I will link the piece to your site, obviously.

Paul E. Peterson
Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government
Director, Program on Education Policy and Governance
Harvard University
Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution

Degrees-y enough for you? Despite getting my name wrong, I accepted Prof. Peterson’s request and encouraged him to go at my results hammer-and-tongs.

As for Mr. Krugman, I’ll only note the remarks of his former ombudsman at the New York Times, Daniel Okrent:

“Op-Ed columnist Paul Krugman has the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers in a fashion that pleases his acolytes but leaves him open to substantive assaults.”

No shit, Sherlock.

“TX is running out of groundwater, with no solution in sight.” “TX is currently in the second year of a serious drought.” I don’t know what “groundwater” Perry is talking about. Perhaps it’s the water that’s on the ground, which is directly affected by rain. Because there’s plenty of water under the ground. And I had to stop researching and writing this article for about 3 hours as a strong thunderstorm swept through the area, providing rivers of water running down the gravel drive and ponding heavily in the yard. But Perry doesn’t want people to know that Texas has had one of its rainiest Springs in many years, far above average precipitation.

“Cattle and grain production has dropped precipitously.” Because only Texans eat the beef from Texas cattle. There’s no export to other states or other countries. And no other states ever get effected by droughts (the Carolinas and Georgia a few years ago) or floods (the Great Plains states a few years ago). What foolish claptrap. And with the far wetter-than-average Spring, which is continuing into Summer, the cattle-and-grain issue will very easily resolve itself, without government intervention. That’s not to say the same thing about California’s very agriculturally rich Central Valley, where radical Leftist environmentalist wackos in the California EPA and the US EPA turned the water off, destroying the agriculture, destroying businesses, destroying employment, destroying private wealth, destroying lives. California’s Central Valley problem could be very easily solved. Turn the water back on, you radical Leftist nutjobs!

“Highest uninsured health care in the country.” That may or may not be the case, but Texans are a very Independent, Liberty Loving people on the whole. If they do not want to buy health insurance, that should be their prerogative, and absolutely no concern for the Socialist busy-bodies like Perry. Heck, for individual adults under 30, health insurance is a bad investment, overall. They don’t tend to get all that sick, so their overpayments just go to take care of other people and not themselves. That’s not what makes a good investment.

“TX is turning down the medicaid expansion federal money.” Imagine that. A principled position for Independence and Liberty, refusing “free” OPM (other people’s money) with all the Federal regulations, restrictions, throat-slashing strings attached, coming from an “entitlement” program that is quickly becoming bankrupt. How dare Texas stand up for fiscal responsibility, Liberty, Freedom and Principle! Texas should help bankrupt the US so we can become a Socialist dictatorship that much faster!

“John Hitchcock lives in TX.” That’s just a hate-filled personal attack coming from The First Street Journal’s resident hater. That is all.

“And the highest number of death penalties in the country.” This is a good thing. A very good thing. Violent felons who snuff out innocent lives, be warned. Try that in Texas and you lose your own life. Also, Texans are among the most heavily armed, and we have the Castle Doctrine. Enter my property uninvited after dark at your own risk.

Of course, I produced the evidence a month ago regarding Texas’ economic strength compared to the rest of the country.

The economic strength rankings of the US’s 366 metropolitan areas is out, and the Killeen-Fort Hood-Temple area (where I live and work) is 30th nationally. Dover, Delaware is ranked 158, Detroit is 215, Cleveland, Ohio is 185.

Overall, Texas is doing very well, with Austin at 5, San Antonio 10, Houston 12, Dallas-Fort Worth 14, Killeen-Temple 30, and Corpus Christi 49.

Among other things, cost of living and job growth are strongly considered to create the rankings.

Let’s do a little math. Of the 366 metropolitan areas in the US, Texas has 6 in the top 49. Washington DC, with its absolute dependence on Federal Government jobs and not economy-growing jobs, ranks number 1. With 6 metropolitan areas in the top 49, each of those six Texas metropolitan areas is guaranteed to have outperformed at least six entire states. With 4 of the top 14 metropolitan areas, each of those four Texas metropolitan areas is guaranteed to have outperformed at least 39 entire states. Is it any wonder Texas is the number one state in the Union, economically?
Originally published on Truth Before Dishonor

Edit: Self-edited to delete a specific identity I do not provide at TFSJ, in deference to the Editor, but that I had accidentally left in place.

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