Monday, July 11, 2011

Perry's business freindly Texas leads nation in minimum-wage jobs

From Darkow: Columbia Daily Tribune

According to an article entitled "land of employment" by Rick Wartzam of the Mclatchy Tribune, the Lone Star State's economy includes a very high number of minimum wage jobs.  This is definitely good for Rick Perry's rich buddies but does not bode so well for struggling Texas families. A portion of Wartzman's recent article appears below:

So what’s actually happening?

First, the basics. According to the Dallas Fed, Texas generated 43 percent of the net new jobs in the United States from June 2009 through May 2011 — an enormous share when you consider that the Lone Star State accounts for about 8 percent of the nation’s economy. (Critics, including Maddow, have been quick to note that the unemployment rate in Texas, at 8 percent, falls in the middle of the pack among the states. Yet total employment is a much more telling and reliable statistic than is the jobless rate.)

Aspects of the Texas economy are unusual, if not unique, and it will be difficult or impossible for other states to replicate them. For example, the energy industry is booming right now, as are agricultural commodities destined for export — a boon for a huge cotton and beef producer like Texas.

What’s more, thorny trade offs surely exist. Texas is attracting businesses, in part, because it has low taxes. But that, in turn, makes for a smaller safety net, which is one reason Texas has a high incidence of poverty and, compared with every other state, the biggest proportion of its population without health insurance. There are also serious questions about the quality of jobs in Texas. A "right to work" state, it is tied with Mississippi for having the biggest percentage of workers paid at or below the minimum wage

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