Ryan's Blog

Ryan Ebersole

Ryan Ebersole
Location
Hattiesburg, Mississippi,
Birthday
March 16
Bio
I'm Ryan Ebersole, and this is my first blog. I am a graduate student at the University of Southern Mississippi, studying counseling psychology. So far, I've managed to survive down here in Mississippi, although I've lived in Indiana, Texas, Illinois, Florida and Puerto Rico. Hopefully I add another state to that list soon! I'm hopelessly idealistic when it comes to my world view, although I try to approach it from a pragmatic view. However, I'd rather be wrong a lot then to give up my faith in humanity. As a gay man, I take the rights of my community very seriously. I hope to be a little mini-advocate; I want to spread news about my community in the hopes of growing support for our full equal rights. I also help to shed light on what ignorance can foster: anti-LGBTQA violence and pain. Ultimately, I'm a happy guy, with an odd sense of humor and a sense of ridiculousness. In the end, I just hope you read my blog! :)

MY RECENT POSTS

Ryan Ebersole's Links

Salon.com
Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 16, 2011 2:29PM

Rick Perry's Texas Leaves Much to be Desired

Rate: 12 Flag

RP 

Perhaps inevitability due to overall GOP discontent with their crop of presidential candidates, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has thrown his Stetson into the ring. Perry enjoys popularity among the American Right, who often cite his record as Texas governor as the way forward. However, a closer examination of Texas under Rick Perry ought to give any American a shudder.

Perry and his supporters like to tout his record of job creation in Texas. Granted, 38% of American jobs created since 2009 have been in Texas, but that hardly tells the whole story.  In fact, unemployment under Rick Perry has actually increased from 4.3 percent in 2007 to 8.3 percent in 2011. This is due to the fact that, while Texas has created some jobs, it has failed to keep up with its own population growth. It is behind 25 states in terms of unemployment.

Additionally, a good chunk of the jobs that Perry touts are very low-paying jobs. In fact, 10 percent of all workers in the state are paid at or below the state's minimum wage. This statistic ties Texas with Mississippi as the states with the highest percentage of workers at the minimum wage level. The number of minimum wage jobs in Texas has jumped 150 percent since 2007.

Texas also lags behind in wage increases. Between 2007 and 2011, the average wage per worker has increased 5 percent in the United States, 9.3 percent in California, and 2.5 percent in New York. In Texas, the average wage per worker increased a paltry .06 percent.

Perry likes to use his condemnations of the federal government's debt and spending as applause lines. However his track record on Texas's debt tells a different story. Texas's public debt increased from $98 billion in 2001 to $216 billion in 2011, and the solidly Republican state's debt has actually increased faster than the U.S. national debt in the same period. Currently, Texas is looking at a $25 billion shortfall on its $95 billion two-year budget.

Despite his claims that "Texas has the best health care in the country," a quarter of all Texans lack health insurance - well above the national average of 15.4 percent.  In fact, 13 of Texas's congressional districts are in the nation's bottom 30 in regard to rates of insured citizens. Additionally, Texas has one of the nation's most restrictive Medicaid thresholds, including denying access to impoverished people who are childless.

Education is another area where Rick Perry has nothing to brag about. Contrary to his claims that Texas has the highest SAT-taking rates in the nation, it ranks only 22 of the 50 states. Even less impressive: Texans have the fifth lowest SAT scores of all the 50 states, and the state is the third least literate. It also ranks 43rd and 50th respectively, in high school graduation rates and the percentage of residents 25 and older with a diploma or GED.

Perhaps this may be due to Texas having the 47th lowest spending rate on education in the nation. Either way, these woes aren't likely to improve with Perry's $10 billion cut to education in his recent budget. Perry also rejected $830 million in federal aid to Texas schools. Why? Because after he used $3.2 billion in stimulus funds targeted at schools to instead plug up his budget (and his reputation), Democrats from Texas inserted special language to prevent Perry from doing so again.  

Not surprisingly, Perry clings to abstinence-only sexual education for Texas students. Despite evidence to the contrary, Perry claims that "abstinence works," citing his "personal life" as evidence. By 2009, over 94 percent of Texas school districts had adopted abstinence-only sexual education. This education included curriculum emphasizing that birth control is ineffective, contrary to the facts. These programs combine an overemphasis on sexually transmitted diseases and death with Christian views of morality. Many public school districts use handouts containing Bible verses as part of their sexual education.

What are the results? Texas has the third highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation. In fact, pregnancy rates under Perry have skyrocketed, and are now over 50 percent higher than the national average. Even more alarming: Texas has the highest teen repeat pregnancy rate as well as the third highest rate of youths with HIV.

Perry, like many of his Republican colleagues, is an avid climate change denier and invokes the idea of a science conspiracy, claiming that is part of some "secular carbon cult." Perhaps this is due to the $11 million Perry has received in campaign contributions from the oil industry since 1998. Not surprisingly, the state of Texas is also the nation's largest polluter and is fighting against the Environmental Protection Agency's attempts to curb its excessive culture of pollution. Perry is most upset about the EPA's rejection of his state's "flexible permit" policy which would cut costs to polluters at the expense of the environment.

Rick Perry and his record are often touted by conservatives, who are likely filled with glee now that he has entered the presidential contest. However, based on his record as Texas governor, what could we expect from a Perry presidency besides: low paying jobs, higher teen pregnancy and STD rates, declining education standards, creationism in the curriculum, state-sponsored prayer, and more pollution?

Originally posted at: People's World

Your tags:

TIP:

Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:

Comments

Type your comment below:
all those things will happen anyway. that's the way ignorance works. creatures like perry flourish because of the caliber of the people who vote for him.
Thanks for this summary and links, Ryan!
Nice work of linkin, but you forgot some opinions, i think. Only one i can see now in fact. An obvious one .. I think that i failed the "hater" comment. But back to the question :
What about death penalty ? :D
@Tilenor - I tried to avoid opinions and deal on with facts on his actions or statements.

Im slightly confused about the "hater"?

The death penalty? Well Perry is obviously for it. He has executed 234 people so far during his terms, including one man for which there was evidence indicating he was innocent. Also- he executed a foreign national- even after Obama and George W Bush asked him not to.
As a life long Texas I can verify that Gov. Perry is indeed a douche...He is short sighted and run things poorly. You didn't list the fact he tried to get in bed with a Spanish run corporation to build a toll road through the state or the fact that two years ago they lowered the real estate tax rate with the idea they would increase the business franchise tax rate and caused a structural deficit which has exacerbated the state deficit. I say go Perry...he will be exposed.
For an article about political affairs, it must be at least one critic !

But i think that opinions when argued with explanations can bring more color to a "brief picture of a governor of Texas".
Perhaps i don't use the right word because for me you described some of his opinions, like about climate change.

Not really important, in fact. I just tried to react because i saw some other summaries like this one (in french newspapers) which were quite wrong about some things you pointed and argued. I wanted to know the point of view of an american (with a brain, it's better) about him. Thanks a lot ! :p
Believe me, it's tough being a radical liberal in conservative Texas. I'm a transplanted Californian (and that was due to rampant stupid liberalism at the time.) Oddly there are pockets of sanity here. Where I live, we all seem to agree that George Bush is responsible for much of the mess we're in now and that all the current Republican candidates are either insane or insaner.

Rick Perry. Where to begin? All I can say is we really need to wake up and smell the coffee. If only the Democratic Party were at least partially organized, had a collective vision of a platform and then, maybe add a little backbone and they'd have a chance to really make a difference. Right now, I choose Dems not, because I think they have the best answers, but because I think they will do less overall damage than the Republican Party, which seems determined to destroy this nation for the sake of their pocket books -- and no-one else's.

You could also point out the incredible amount of money spent on toll roads that, at one time, were public access roads funded and paid for already. Why were they turned into toll roads? Cha-ching into someone's pocket. If you look far enough, you'll discover that Texas politics is about as crooked as it gets. The first question you have to ask about any legislation or law is: Who stands to benefit from this?

rated and regards
This was on the card as it was due for some time now.
Well done, and I agree with Al. I see you have lived in Texas as I do, so you know the drill. The ignorant choose to ignore facts. They would rather follow the crowd of stupidity than examine the pros and cons of an elected officials capabilities which is why we've had Perry for governor as long as we have. He has a track record of avoiding debates in Texas, but he won't be able to do that on the national stage. So, if his asinine, off-the-cuff comments don't bring him down first, I'm hoping the debates will. R
Let's not forget Texas' poor care of children...1:5 live in poverty...more Texas children lacking health insurance than any other state in nation...

and then there's education...1/4 of Texas' land has been earmarked for education...can anyone explain to me how a state this large with this much oil, still ranks so far near the bottom in education...do any other state's have this much land (and oil reveune) earmarked for education...???

where's the money going...

Job creation...???...Perry's done nothing but benefit from cheap, illegal labor performing menial labor at minimum wage...

never have so many, been so proud, of so little...
Perry is deceptively dangerous. His followers are stupid. I hope our fellow Americans aren't as stupid as my fellow Texans.
Perry is actually quite unpopular here in Texas. The last gubanatorial race in 2010 was a four-way race, and Perry won with a minority of votes. Lucky him. He reminds me of this equation:

Jethro Bodine + Moe from the Three Stooges = Rick Perry
You know, I don't know much about these maniacs being trotted out for president. I've learned a great deal from Open Salon on this front. This is no different. Really well written piece and awesome facts. And at the same time...Oh shit!!!

Thanks and rated.
People like Perry do serve a purpose however: If you're too bereft of any ability to judge character (such that you blessed the marriage of your oldest daughter to the top salesman at the sleaziest used car lot in town) use this guy as a barometer to compare the next one's choices to.

Any state (especially one without a state income tax that is a lapdog for large corporations) can steal jobs from other states in tough times and use the word "create". Oklahoma's trying to do it, as well. Corporations will move anywhere - after all, the people who make those decisions most likely don't have to live there and even if they do, it's not the lifestyle of the workers they have to contend with in those very undesirable places (assuming they can relocate or are even given that option).

A friend taught in Texas public schools for almost three decades described the system there (in an upscale suburb of Houston) as horrendous, saying after a year in NC (not highly ranked as well) that it's schools were vastly superior.

Perry raises every sleaze warning I have and that's what's so scary about him: The average voter seems to have no capacity at all to discern that, whether it's Perry or someone else who's sleaze is packaged differently.
People like Perry do serve a purpose however: If you're too bereft of any ability to judge character (such that you blessed the marriage of your oldest daughter to the top salesman at the sleaziest used car lot in town) use this guy as a barometer to compare the next one's choices to.

Any state (especially one without a state income tax that is a lapdog for large corporations) can steal jobs from other states in tough times and use the word "create". Oklahoma's trying to do it, as well. Corporations will move anywhere - after all, the people who make those decisions most likely don't have to live there and even if they do, it's not the lifestyle of the workers they have to contend with in those very undesirable places (assuming they can relocate or are even given that option).

A friend taught in Texas public schools for almost three decades described the system there (in an upscale suburb of Houston) as horrendous, saying after a year in NC (not highly ranked as well) that it's schools were vastly superior.

Perry raises every sleaze warning I have and that's what's so scary about him: The average voter seems to have no capacity at all to discern that, whether it's Perry or someone else who's sleaze is packaged differently.
I don't know which of the republican candidates are scarier right now, but he's at the top of that list. Nicely done!
Good for you for looking carefully and closely at the claims Perry makes. As you see, most political candidates majorly overplay their accomplishments. Well done on the EP... blessings.