Perry’s Jobs Claims

June 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

It looks likely to me that, once again, the intelligence and judgment of the Republican Party will be tested when another Texas Yahoo throws his Stetson into the ring.   I think Rick Perry intends to become President of the United States.

Ten years ago, I would have thought such an idea absurd.   That was before George W. Bush, having lied us into a war, trashed our Constitution, embarrassed us before the entire civilized world and generally proved to be the worst ignoramus ever to lead a great nation, was easily re-elected.  That was an epiphany for me.  Never again will I forget the oft-repeated declaration of Dave Shapiro, an old political comrade:  “Never underestimate the stupidity of the average American voter.”

So, I think we should begin thinking about how to respond to the lies we can expect when this Yahoo launches his bid to desecrate America.

To get by the Tea Party gate-keepers, the Republican nominee  will have to be intolerant of all beliefs and life-styles except those embraced by fundamentalist evangelical Christians.  [I think Romney will have a problem with this requirement, although Morman theology may be sufficiently weird to pass muster.]  He or she must be anti-gay, anti-women (except for those whose role model is Dr. Laura), pro-life (meaning opposed to the legal rights of women, favorable to the expansion of death-penalty offenses and inclined to be enthusiastic about opportunities for wars and other armed conflicts); opposed to civil rights except for those that protect the right to own and use fire-arms; opposed to government sponsored welfare of any kind (on the ground that legally forced charity is theft and an  immoral ruse for politicians to buy votes); opposed to Black and Chicano political organizations and political efforts; opposed to any immigration policy except for one that requires either deportation or jail for anyone in this country illegally; and opposed to the entire concept of tort law providing for awarding damages for civil wrongs and injuries as well as generally distrustful of the entire judicial system, preferring instead military commissions and private arbitration to settle arguments.

Rick Perry will have no problem with any of these requirements.   He shamelessly and eagerly embodies them all.

The only problem he may have is his belief that the government should do nothing about unemployment except to stay out of the way while private corporations take care of it.  To the millions of unemployed workers, a candidate who promises only benign neglect will not be enticing.

I think Perry has already begun to deal with this problem.   He claims that his no tax, no regulation, soak the poor and the middle class policies have proved to be a wonder drug for unemployment.  In April and May of this year he claimed that, in the preceding five year period, more jobs had been created in Texas than in the other 49 states combined.   Beginning in January of 2010, various other versions of this claim were repeated and then repeated in several right-wing publications.

There is an interesting analys)is of these claims in a post on PolitiFact,  a creation of the Austin-American Statesman.  See :

http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2011/may/29/texas-public-policy-foundation/texas-public-policy-foundation-says-texas-created-/

(This link is too long to type.  Just copy it and paste it into your search window.)

There are links embedded in the PolitiFact discussion to previous discussions on that web site.

I invite you to read the pros and cons of the discussion, but this is what I understand about it.   Perry’s claims about job “creation” are limited to the number of new jobs minus the number of jobs lost during a given period of time.  So, if 1,000 jobs are created and 900 jobs are lost during a period of time, he claims  to have created 100 new jobs.  And – and this is the secret of his misleading claims – his comparisons are limited to comparing “new” jobs created in Texas with the number of jobs created in other states who experienced net job growth during the period.  In other words, if Michigan created 1,000 jobs and lost 1,100 jobs, those 1,000 jobs were not included in Perry’s comparison .

During the five-year period he bragged about in April of this year, only ten states had net job gains.   So, his comparison was limited to those states.

Also, his comparisons took no account of the fact that Texas’ population is several times that of most other states.

To me, these criteria for Perry’s comparisons render them meaningless.  But when he launches his presidential bid, we can expect to hear about them ad nauseum.   So, I invite you to think of some easily understood rebuttals.  We can’t expect the reporters to ask the right questions to expose these half-truths and lies.  I watch the TV interviews of lying politicians and see reporters acting like stenographers, just nodding wisely in response to the talking-points recitations.

I apologize for the length of this rant.  I really don’t want to spend the latter years of my life watching Rick Perry dismantle whatever is left of America.   So, convince me that he can’t happen.

I can’t resist one brief political story.   When Ralph Yarborough ran against Price Daniels in 1956, the memory of Alan Shivers was still fresh in people’s minds.  The Chicanos pronounced “Shivers” “Sheevers” and it sounded like chivo, Spanish for goat.  When Price Daniel was the opponent, Tommy Sutherland, a wonderful liberal who had lived in South Texas for years and was practically a Mexican culturally, composed a corrida in which he referred to Price as “quate de chivo” (the twin of the goat), who had straight hair instead of curly hair (Shivers had wavy hair).  It was hilarious.  I only wish someone had preserved it.  Perry is truly a “quate de chivo” except no one would get the joke now because Shivers is too long ago.

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