Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Texas Jobs

Now that Rick Perry has thrown his hat into the ring his record is being rightfully dissected. One thing that has struck me is the commentary surrounding how low paying Texas jobs are. The median wage in Texas in $15.14 (28th in the nation) which would in fact be quite low in someplace like N.Y. and D.C. where the cost of living is quite expensive. In D.C. $15 an hour is what you make slogging away for some obscure non-profit and enables you to get a room in a run down group home (probably not a well maintained one at that) in a transitional neighborhood. However, in anti-zoning zealous Texas land is plentiful and land use restrictions are minimal thus you end up with cities like Houston where a single family home can be had for $130,000. I have never been to Houston so I can't speak to its vices or virtues but I would consider affordable housing a virtue. And since housing and the overall cost of living is lower in Texas the median wage gets you much further than it does somewhere like NY or LA. There are many credible lines of attack against Rick Perry--clearly he has said some things that are batshit crazy (his claim that if Bernanke and the Fed starting printing more money that that would be nearly treasonous*)-- but the low wage meme is not one.

*The treason comment and his earlier secession comment unfortunately probably reveal less about Rick Perry but rather reflect an able politician who has a good feeling for his base.

No comments: