Sunday, February 16, 2014

Education Over Corporate Welfare

Rick Perry has spent almost 4 million dollars of tax money on his security detail whilee traipsing across the United States running for president--oftentimes under the guise of trying to promote economic growth for the state of Texas.  He tends to boast that Texas has a good business climate because of lack of regulation, lack of lawsuits and low wages.  Unfortunately, if examined closely, Perry’s boasting of what a vibrant state Texas is and will be has a hollow ring.  Our lack of regulation is clearly in part responsible for the tragic explosion in a small town in central Texas which virtually leveled the city.  Lack of motivation of threatened lawsuits has made Texas’ workplace one of the most unsafe in the nation, for the past several years, leading the country in job deaths almost every year.  While low-wage workers may attract some businesses, it attracts only those greedy employers who want to get rich on the back of labor.  None of these factors bode well for the future of our state.  Low-wage jobs are not the future of the state of Texas, and have thus far brought us more poverty, more hungry children, fewer people with adequate medical coverage, and a multitude of other problems which nobody in their right mind would view as a firm foundation for a good future for our state.

Perry has spent hundreds of millions of dollars, dolling out through such gimmicks as his Emerging Technology Fund, mostly to his pals who donated money to his various campaigns.   He points to this as a way to stimulate a growing economy in our state, but of the several businesses which have been helped with an investment of over 300 million dollars, 16 of these have filed for bankruptcy and have shut down. 

While Perry and his fellow travelers always come up with the old adage that you can’t fix education by throwing money at it, they apparently believe the same is not true about fixing the economy.  While they don’t seem to have any problem pouring money into a program where a substantial number of the recipients of the state’s largess went bankrupt, they seem to have no problem robbing the school children of Texas of over 5 billion dollars.

I would submit to the people of Texas that a vision for the future of this state should include more emphasis on providing high quality education and preparing for high paying jobs for future generations rather than doling out corporate welfare to investors who are big donors to our top government officials.

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