Rick Perry and Texas

Nicely-reported article in the Post yesterday by Karen Tumulty about whether Rick Perry will run for president.  If he is, I’ve got one question for him: what the hell are you waiting for?  If Rick Perry runs and loses, I think in the end you could not help but wonder how he would’ve done if he had geared up his campaign 6 months earlier.  Sure, maybe he does have the resources to play catch-up, but doubtless he ends up starting off in a major hole compared to Romney, and to a lesser degree, the others.  The fact that he hasn’t yet declared makes me think he’s not actually going to do so– not that I’d be the least bit suprised if he did.  I just think that strategically, he’s already made a huge error by waiting this long while major talent and major money is already grabbed up.

On a related note, the article also takes a look at the record in Texas he would run on.  Texas’ major calling card of late is the job growth compared to most states.  Of course, it’s hard to really say that most of this is Perry’s doing:

Perry’s main selling point would be the Texas economy — and the fact that nearly four out of 10 of the jobs created in this country since the recovery began have been in the Lone Star State. As of May, Texas was one of only three states (plus the District) that have rebounded to their pre-recession employment levels, according to statistics provided by the Federal Reserve Board of Dallas.

Fisher noted that the state has been blessed by abundant natural resources, wide-open spaces and good ports. And it never experienced the mortgage crisis that others did — in some measure, because Texas in 1998 limited the amount that could be borrowed to 80 percent of the value of a property.

But he also noted that conservative policymakers have also made the Texas climate more attractive economically. It has low taxes and little regulation — both of which Perry championed as governor.

And on the flip side of the economic success, the liberal critique (from Austin, of course):

Others see a cloud in that silver lining.

“Americans should not aspire for America to look like Texas. We have one of the largest proportion of low-wage jobs in the country,” said F. Scott McCown, executive director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan Austin-based institute that advocates for low- and moderate-income Texans.

Compared with most other large states, Texas also has fewer public services, lower public benefits, greater income inequality and a higher rate of medically uninsured.

Excellent point.  Job creation is good, but it is certainly not everything. China’s unemployment and job growth are way better than our’s, but who would want to make that trade.  Right now, yes, we definitely need jobs, but I don’t think most Americans actually want to create jobs in an environment that depends upon poor medical care access, low wages, and a poisoned environment to help make them possible.

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