It seems a lot of people want to think of Texas as the new prototype in America. After all, it's getting 4 more seats in Congress due to the new Census, and grew by over 20 percent in the last 10 years. They're also held up as some kind of example of how right-wing economics works, since they have zero state income tax, have a low cost of land and labor, and are heavily deregulated. In fact, the newly-elected Gov. Dropout has told Texas guv Perry "Wisconsin is coming after you," because he thinks Texas is a leader that we should follow.
I understand that things in Walker World are typically upside down from reality in general, and it especially holds true in this case, because if we become more like the Texans, we'll be falling from where we are now.
Dont believe me? Go to the numbers:
Unemployment rate, November, 2010- Wisconsin 7.6%, Texas 8.2%
Poverty Rate, 2009 Census- Wisconsin 12.4%, Texas 17.2% (though in Scotty's defense, Milwaukee County is 20.2, so them reaching Texas levels would be an improvement, I suppose)
Per capita income, 2009- Wisconsin $36,822, Texas $36,484
Per capita income growth 2006-'09- Wisconsin 7.0%, Texas 3.7%.
% of population with no health insurance - Wisconsin 10% (tied for 4th best in U.S.), Texas 26% (DEAD LAST, and I do mean dead)
HS graduation rate, 2008- Wisconsin 89.6 (up 4.8% under Jim Doyle), Texas 73.4 (down 0.4% under Rick Perry)
% of population with a college degree- Wisconsin 39.7%, Texas 30.7%
So basically, Texas is poorer with lower income growth, has more unemployed and much more uninsured, and is significantly less educated than Wisconsin. And THEY'RE the ones we're trying to follow? REALLY?
Well, Scott Walker's policies will certainly bring down our standard of living to Texas levels, that's for sure, so I can see why he views it as a goal. And especially when you consider the acheivement and educated-hating dead-enders that voted for Gov. Dropout, I guess it does add up, now that I think of it.
But for those of us who do give a crap about the future of Wisconsin, maybe not such a good plan. Much like the football game I'll witness on Jan. 1, I think you'd better go with the hard workers from Wisconsin over the Texasses.