Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Tom Schieffer Asks If There Is A Better Texas In A Parallel Universe—Maybe A Universe Where Democrats Did Not Fail Texas For Many Years

Democratic candidate for Governor of Texas Tom Schieffer recently released the statement at the bottom of this post about where Texas ranks in the nation in a number of important quality of life indicators.  

( A number of Houston-area bloggers had lunch with Mr. Schieffer earlier this week. I was at that lunch. I’ll have more to say in the week ahead about what I thought of Mr. Schieffer.)

Mr. Schieffer gets it right that Texas is in many respects a child-hating mess of a place. Though he is wrong to blame it all on incumbent Republican Governor Rick Perry. Governor Perry is a hard-hearted man who easily turns his back on the suffering of others. But it is Democrats who have run Texas since statehood. Democrats ran this state until not so long ago. 

It is not as if Governor Perry entered a Garden of Eden and paved it over. Texas has long had serious issues that have gone unaddressed or have been made intentionally worse to help make the already powerful even more powerful.

Democrats should not get a free pass on the harm they have done to Texas. The Democratic Party in Texas has yet to earn the trust of liberals and progressives, and has yet to earn the trust of hard-working Texans who need some help in life. (Which is not to suggest that many hard-working Texans are not to blame for helping to elect folks like George W. Bush and Rick Perry.)

One thing I enjoy about Mr. Schieffer’s statement below is his reference to a “parallel universe.” I wonder if bloggers get paid big money in the parallel universe. Dr. Max Tegmark at M.I.T is a leading proponent of the theory of multiple universes. Here is his web page on that subject.

Here is Mr. Schieffer’s campaign web home.   

Here is Mr. Schieffer’s statement—     

If Governor Perry, as he told reporters yesterday, thinks we’re doing well in comparison to other states, he’s living in a parallel universe. Just take a look at his scorecard as governor. 

Texas is: 

51st (counting the District of Columbia) in the percentage of people older than 25 who have a high school diploma. 

50th in the percentage of unemployed people receiving benefits. 

49th in teacher pay.

 49thin benefits paid to women, infants and children under the WIC program.

 46th in SAT scores.

 And look at what we’re at the top in:

 The highest homeowners insurance rates in the country.

 No. 1 in the percentage of uninsured children.

 No. 1 in the percentage of uninsured adults.

 No. 1 in toxic chemicals released into the water supply.

 No. 1 in air pollution emissions.

 No. 1 in cancer-causing agents released into the air.

 No. 3 in teen pregnancy rate.

 No. 3 in percentage of people living below the poverty line.

 One of the highest high school dropout rates in the country,

Under the Perry administration, we’vebeen in a race to the bottom, not the top. If we don’t turn this around, Texas isn’t going to be able to compete with our fellow states or with anyone else in the world.

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August 22, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. I’ve seen lists that rank Texas much better in teacher than 49th. I’m not sure what the discrepancy is, unless some average in high school coach’s pay. I imagine that would raise the average significantly.

    I doubt we’re 49th, though. We can’t be lower than New Mexico AND Montana AND all of the deep south.

    Comment by Barry Cochran | August 22, 2009

  2. Barry—I think you’re right on this matter. Maybe Mr. Schieffer is looking to win the vote of teacher’s unions.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | August 22, 2009

  3. Where are those teacher unions, Neil? We aren’t unionized in Texas education. We don’t have tenure in public schools, except at the university level.

    I do agree with your statement that Texas is a “child-hating mess.” It hates women, too. It hates people who are different–gay, lesbian, latino, latina, black, uneducated. If someone isn’t “mainstream” which in reality isn’t the majority they are going to feel hated. And that hate keeps people “in their place.”

    Comment by Jaye | August 23, 2009

  4. Jaye–Gayle Fallon leads the teacher’s union in Houston. That’s what I’ve been reading for years. Other big cities don’t have teacher’s unions in other big Texas cities. Please tell me if I’ve missed something here but this seems to be the case.

    Thanks for your comment. It was good to meet you at the lunch.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | August 23, 2009


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