Perry touts the Texas model, but state Sen. Shapleigh tells a different Economist story
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been making the rounds telling the story of Texas’ model for economic success — essentially, low taxes and conservative values — and the Economist magazine has a special report title A Lone Star Rising. The article notes the rapidly changing demographics of Texas, however, and questions the impact on the economic future of the state (one might question how they forecast the impact, but that’s another story).
The article also quotes state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh as a leading critic of the state’s vision and leadership: “Wander round to the Senate side of the state capitol, though, and you will hear a different Texan tale. There, you might encounter Eliot Shapleigh, the Democratic state senator for a district centred on El Paso, on the extreme west of the Mexican border. Mr Shapleigh publishes his own report: “Texas on the Brink”. His statistics are a lot less rosy. Texas has the highest proportion of people lacking health insurance of all 50 states; the third-highest poverty rate; the second-highest imprisonment rate; the highest teenage-birth rate; the lowest voter turnout; and the lowest proportion of high-school graduates. Mr Shapleigh is not surprised that these figures are so terrible: Texas spends less on each of its citizens than does any other state. Being a low-tax, low-spend state has not made Texans rich, though they are not dirt-poor either; their median income ranks 37th among the 50 states.”