What Rick Perry Did to Texas, He Can Do to the Country

Texas unemployment rises to 8.5%, the highest in 24 years.  (h/t TPM).

Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, clearly a basket case due to liberal policies, the unemployment rate has dropped to 7.4%, the lowest in two and a half years.

It should be mentioned that Texas job losses stem from public sector reductions.  Since public sector workers like teachers, police officers, and fire fighters don’t count as real people, this should not count against Perry.  One of Josh Marshall’s commenters puts it well:

1. Is a Dem trying to take credit for creating jobs by creating public sector jobs? If so, they do not count and must be subtracted from the math.

 2. Is a GOPer trying to take credit for creating jobs by creating public sector jobs (as Perry has done)? If so, then they count, but you must ignore that they were public sector jobs and never speak of it.

 3. Is public sector job loss causing a Dem to look like his/her policies are causing unemployment to go up? If so, then they count, but you must ignore that they were public sector jobs and never speak of it.

 4. Is public sector job loss causing a GOPer to look like his/her policies are causing unemployment to go up? if so, then they do not count and you must refer to it as controlling the size of and shrinking government.

There is an important point here: current GOP ideology holds that public goods are nonexistent.  Police, fire, education, transportation, public works, etc. etc. have no value and add nothing to productivity.  Thus, creating these jobs does not count.  Simply put, that is a recipe for national decline.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.

8 thoughts on “What Rick Perry Did to Texas, He Can Do to the Country”

  1. I’m so glad you’re back here! I mean, I know you have a “real life” and so forth, but this place was getting a little sleepy.

  2. We should all be grateful for the bureaucrats who gather data on these things and put out the data without regard to the political effects it may have.

  3. From Zasloff’s first link:

    [Perry’s chief spox] continued: “And even during this national economic downturn, which the president’s misguided policies have only worsened, Texas remains the nation’s top economy, attracting jobs and growing by more than 1,000 people a day. As president, Gov. Perry will get our nation’s fiscal house in order, free employers from the onerous tax and regulatory burdens undermining our economy, and restore confidence in private sector job creators across this nation so we can get America working again.”

    “Free employers from the onerous tax and regulatory burdens undermining our economy…”

    Does the Perry campaign really believe that’s a winning line?
    With the recent EPA decision? With the Administration almost sure to sign off on the Tar Sands pipeline?
    And how much did the multinational GE pay in taxes last year? Less than Warren Buffet’s secretary too? That was huge front page news.

    I realize Perry’s handlers are betting on public ignorance…
    But do they really think the population is so overwhelmingly dumb that they will choose Perry’s cowboy ultraright over Barack’s technocratic center-right?

    Barack has already cut Perry’s legs off…
    And just like that Monty Python skit, he’ll do the arms by and by….

  4. You give Republicans way too much credit. They believe that public goods, rather than having no value, have negative value. They believe that even with a tremendous output gap and severe unemployment public goods are rival to “free market” goods and that they tie up resources that could be creating positive value in the private sector on negative value public goods. They believe public goods to be not merely wasteful but inherently contractionary.

    Republicans don’t want a slow national decline; they want to set the nation on fire and watch it burn just for laughs.

  5. @ Koreyel,

    Yes. Governor Goodhair’s handlers believe the American voters (as a group) are that dumb.

    This edition of simple answers to silly questions has been brought to you by Avogadro’s Number and the letters aleph and ee. (Yes, we are now using foreign alphabets in transliteration.)

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