Some More Facts About Rick Perry’s ‘Texas Miracle’
Here’s a good piece by Harold Meyerson on the sad facts behind Rick Perry’s Texas miracle.
Consider the Texas that Perry holds up to the rest of the nation for admiration. It has the fourth-highest poverty rate of any state. It tied with Mississippi last year for the highest percentage of workers in minimum-wage jobs. It ranks first in adults without high school diplomas. Twenty-six percent of Texans have no health insurance — the highest percentage of medically uninsured residents of any state. It leads the nation in the percentage of children who lack medical insurance. Texas has an inordinate number of employers who provide no insurance to their workers, partly because insurance rates are high, thanks to an absence of regulations.
Perry seems quite comfortable with the state’s lagging performance in what we might term the pursuit-of-happiness index. Consider his indifference toward education: In 2008, the state comptroller found that 12 percent of Texans lacked high school diplomas and that the level would rise to 30 percent by 2040 unless the state’s commitment to education was considerably increased. This year, though, when confronted with a $27 billion budget deficit, Perry did not raise taxes but instead slashed $4 billion from K-12 schools. In this regard, the equation of Perry with China’s leaders is unfair to China: The Chinese understand that the better educated their people become, the more high-skill and high-compensating jobs their nation will attain. No such understanding seems to have permeated Perry’s brain.
On the education front, Perry is actually even worse than Meyerson describes; Perry has been pushing religious fanatic ideology into science classrooms for years. He’s not just “indifferent” to science education — he’s actively hostile to it.