Saturday, July 11, 2009

An Independent Texas Would Be A Third-World Country

By Manifesto Joe

The jokes about Gov. Rick Perry's veiled threat of Texas secession have faded into collective memory now, but a few of us were given pause to consider the "what ifs" about this.

What if Texas legally could, and did, leave the United States?

If these figures available courtesy of Texas state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso, are any barometer, we would be little more than a Third-World country.

Here are some nuggets from the senator's Web site about Texas' standing when stacked up in 2007 against the other 49 states:

Percentage of Uninsured Children

Income Inequality Between the Rich and the Poor

Percentage of Population without Health Insurance

Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) Scores

Percentage of Population over 25 with a High School Diploma

Percentage of Non-Elderly Women with Health Insurance

Rate of Women Aged 40+ Who Receive Mammograms

Rate of Women Aged 18+ Who Receive Pap Smears

Cervical Cancer Rate

Women's Voter Registration

Women's Voter Turnout

Percentage of Eligible Voters that Vote

For more on the subject, go here.

And the coup de grase: The president of our great reborn republic would apparently be (you guessed it) Rick Perry, he of the 2.3 GPA as an animal husbandry graduate of Texas A&M.

Am I sure that a dolt like Perry would be somebody that an independent Texas would actually elect as its president? I suppose nothing in this life is truly certain, but a recent piece of evidence points to this as the case.

Perry has been governor since Il Doofus resigned in December 2000 to go on to bigger and more horrific things, and Perry is finally facing his first serious challenge for re-election, from U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas. Hutch is almost certain to go through with a challenge in the 2010 Republican Primary.

There's one big problem with her chances. She's regarded as a moderate (chortle) in this state, and the Texas Republican Party still wants the U.S. to unleash Chiang Kai-shek's skeletal remains on the mainland of Red China.

A poll conducted jointly by the Texas Politics Project and the University of Texas' department of government had Perry with a 12-percentage-point lead over Hutch, 38-26. Let's face it, the 'necks will go to the polls for Governor Goodhair, not for Kay Bailey H.

And although Democrats here have made a few admirable gains in recent years, they are still in a shambles when it comes to having a viable challenger for governor. The undecideds are way ahead among Democrats; but among those potential voters who have made up their minds, the poll leader is Kinky Friedman, with 12 percent.

Kinky, for those unfamiliar, is a veteran Austin singer-songwriter and humorist whose talents in those areas are considerable. But in his foray into Texas politics in 2006, he was inept as a politician, made a gaping ass of himself in debate, and ultimately split the meager progressive vote here in a year in which Perry seemed a bit vulnerable (He won re-election with 40 percent of the vote against three challengers).

Rather than talking this horseshit about seceding from the union, Texans should be damned glad of the union. It's damned near the only thing that keeps us from becoming Guatemala.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.


dr sardonicus said...

Or maybe Mexico could take it over again. Bring on the reconquista!

Marc McDonald said...

Rick Perry's name is increasingly being mentioned as a possible name on the 2012 presidential ticket. If elected, he'll do to the U.S. what he's done to Texas.

Jack Jodell said...

Those were very revealing stats on the current state of Texas ffairs, Manifesto Joe, and I had no idea things were that bad. It goes a long way toward explaining how people like W, Perry, and DeLay can get elected down there. I;m amazed at how few women are registered or even vote. It would appear that Texas Dems have fallen down badly on the job of registering their key demographic, and that would explain the constant uphill struggle Texas Dems have. Why in the world have they failed to register Texas women voters?

Anonymous said...

Those statistics you cite, even if true, do not reflect badly on Gov. Perry. He has no control over things like income inequality or uninsured children. Indeed, these are issues that government has no business being involved in.
The purpose of government is to defend our nation's borders, promote business, protect the unborn, and preserve America's Christian heritage. There IS no other purpose to goverment, despite what you Libs claim. We would be much better off as a nation if you busy-body Liberals quit trying to legislate our lives and raising our taxes, and taking away our freedoms, (such as every man's right to bear arms).

Manifesto Joe said...

I'd say the previous poster is representative of white, male, small-town or rural Texas voters, which is why we in this state manage to elect clowns to high office again and again.

I suppose it's never occurred to people like "Anon" that low taxes are actually part of the problem. I understand that taxes are very low in Guatemala. But one need look no farther than California. Though it has a rep as a left-leaning state, Proposition 13, starting in 1978, hogtied officials out there so badly on taxation powers that now they can't pay for anything, not even the bare essentials. There are worthless IOUs being issued right and left. They've gone from having the best educational system in the U.S., pre-1978, to having one that's almost as poor as the one here in Texas.

But California is entirely another post. There's one coming soon.

Jack Jodell said...

"Anonymous" is WRONG. The purpose of government is NOT to "promote business" or "preserve America's Christian heritage". That is absolute nonsense. The purpose of our government, as set up by our Founding Fathers, was to provide liberty from oppression, freedom of expression, fair and equal representation, and the right to worship or not worship as one chooses. That is a far cry from active support or promotion for big, exploitative business or the preserving of Christian theology. Anonymous is a typically ignorant conservative, wishing to rewrite the Constitution and remold this country in HIS own image and likeness!

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Jack, what you describe as "the purpose of our government, as set up by our Founding Fathers" is accurate as far as what the official textbooks say.
But people like Howard Zinn would disagree that the Founding Fathers set up our government to "to provide liberty from oppression, freedom of expression, fair and equal representation."
The Founding Fathers were rich white males (George Washington, for example, was the single wealthiest man in all the American colonies). Their purpose in setting up the new goverment was simply to preserve their wealth and to advance the interests of rich white males like themselves.
They did a good job in this---to this day, most of the wealthy and powerful people in America, from members of Congress to Fortune 500 CEOs, are white males.
The Founding Fathers didn't care about the rights of those who weren't rich, white and male. For example, women couldn't even vote.
The Founding Fathers were slave-holders, for Chrissakes.
It's time that we as a nation stop worshipping and mythologizing these people. I suppose its blasphemous to say this, but I have no respect for the Founding Fathers. People who would buy and sell other human beings like cattle (and force them to do back-breaking labor at the barrel of a gun all their lives, for no pay), are frankly evil.

Jack Jodell said...

As always, you raise very good and valid points, Marc, which are also echoed in Michael Parenti's fabulous book "Democracy For The Few."

While much of what you say is true, I believe we should be grateful to the Founding Fathers for providing us with a governmental framework which was malleable enough for future "activist" Supreme Court and lower court judges to effectively create the "official textbook" version of our government as it has come to be commonly and legally recognized today. The negative effects of the Founding Fathers' shortsightedness, e.g. the political, legal, and governmental favoritism for the rich, is unfortunately still with us today as well, and that aspect is what all of us progressives object to.

Manifesto Joe said...

Hey, Jack, I've read that Parenti book. I actually have a signed copy of it, albeit signed to another person who sold it to a used bookstore. Bet that person's a Republican by now.

The Constitution has a great skeleton of a human rights government, with the First Amendment and a number of other keystones in the Bill of Rights.

Unfortunately, our founders left a lot of gaps, and perhaps they did that intentionally. Makes things more convenient when one wants to "promote business."

But their best legacy is that they made pretty sure that no Euro-style theocracy could survive in the courts here for very long. No Cardinal Richelieu. Nor could a general occupation of civilian residences by the army. But, they left a lot out, and our Supreme Court has often skewed things, like when they ruled that a corporation is essentially a legal person and its officers aren't personally liable for anything it does. That horrific decision has cost the American people dearly.

But the founders did a few things very right. I wouldn't want to be a young person in Iran right now.

Jack Jodell said...

Well said, as always, Manifesto Joe. I'm with you!

dr sardonicus said...

I've read Parenti's book too. I guess you could say it helped make a cynic out of me.

I agree that the Founders were looking out for themselves when writing the nation's cornerstone documents, but I think it goes deeper than that. They were also concerned about the promises of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" they had to make to the lower classes in order to get them to fight the Revolutionary War, and came to the idea that a perpetually expanding economy would be just the tonic should grievances about inequality develop. Keep baking a bigger pie, and the rich will be able to eat all they want while the poor get just enough to keep them from going to bed hungry. So many of our current problems are emerging because we seem to have reached the limits of economic expansion.

I agree that the Founders left a number of gaps intentionally. Partly it was because they didn't know how to deal with slavery - on that issue, they were trying to have their cake and eat it too. Many of the gaps, though, are their because they intended the Constitution to be a work in progress. They weren't claiming to know everything that could happen in the future, and wanted to leave future generations the flexibility to adapt to circumstances. The deification of the Founding Fathers and the transformation of the Constitution into holy scripture, though, have robbed our founding documents of much needed flexibility.