Sunday, August 14, 2011

Texan-Sized Bullshit

Everything is bigger in Texas. People's confidence. Their sense of self-importance. Their huntin' and fishin' stories. Their cars. Their homesteads. Their universities. Their ruminants' horns. The size (and destructiveness) of their insects. The quantity of food on their plates, and consequently, the size of their bottoms. Oh, and lest I forget the size of their rhetorical bullshit, which mechanically emerges whenever a Texan candidate covets a seat at the head of the national political table.

Rick Perry may be a nice guy, just as Michelle Bachmann may make for an entertaining and illuminating dinner-party guest. In this regard, I make no judgment of Mr Perry. He may also be very competent and highly intelligent. He may be a good administrator, and may make a great president. Here, I will readily admit that I am not sufficiently informed to have an opinion.

What I take exception to, and find exceptionally dishonest (and believe the American People should take note as well) is for Mr Perry to associate his policies or administration of the affairs of Texas with the avoidance of the more general financial malaise engulfing the nation as a whole, though in particular, the coasts and rust belt. I say this because Mr Perry, as Governor of Texas has had absolutely nothing to do with rising agricultural land values, more-than robust oil prices, vaulting agricultural commodity prices, a steadily growing oil-services industry, and population growth trends (whether due to fertility or net internal and external migration) in excess of national averages which diminishes supply-demand imbalances in the real estate market. Upon reflection, I cannot say the last bit with absolute authority as Mr Perry may have made some "personal contributions" to these trends both within his family,and a-la DSK, though there is no evidence to either support (or deny) this latter possibility. The point is, Texas, as an economy, is, like Saudi, fortuitously-placed in the current global economy to relatively prosper - both fiscally and economically. Of course this wasn't always, as the late-80s oil bust combined with soft ag. prices demonstrated and where Governor's Clement's and White's liability were similarly negligible.

Like Al Gore's ridiculous claim to be father of the internet, please Mr Perry, do not take credit for what is not yours, as it demonstrates a supreme lack of moral character, forsake the Texan-sized bullshit and demagoguery, and focus upon what you and your administration have accomplished that somehow might be relevant to your stewardship of the nation.


Anonymous said...


on reflection though, for much of what goes on in the world, there's hardly anything for which one can draw a straight line from cause-to-effect. There are far too many external factors which influence and contribute to an eventual outcome. No matter what a quant and his model might claim.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Al Gore and the internet.


Anonymous said...

Why oh why does every criticism of a Texas politician have to be accompanied by a criticism of Texas itself? 'The quantity of food on their plates, and consequently, the size of their bottoms.' Seriously? I mean, it's true that we do have our share of fatties here, but we're pretty comparable to every other state in the U.S. There are 22 million people in this state. We have the same qualities and flaws of the other 49 states. Please spare us all the 'Texan-sized rhetorical bullshit' of writing like we're all conceited, buck-toothed, ignorant, bigoted racists that all have the same family tree due to two cousins, some moonshine, and a haystack.

"Cassandra" said...

The French wear berets - while the 10-gallon Stetson is an undeniable Texan icon. However, my Texan stereotypes (which I grant are just that - thought the fire ants in Houston ARE without compare, and a "little" ranch in Texas is larger than elsewhere perhaps by a zero, and thought of a Fiat Cinquo Cento would make most Texans vomit) are just that - stereotypes. And the point was NOT to criticize Perry per se, but to lampoon the correlation between ANY policies of ANY Texan administration, and the peaks or troughs in the Texan Macroeconomy. Perry stands out because he IS running for high office, whereas White and Clements were not.

Chad said...

Curious, with the large oil deposits in California, and the most agriculturally rich country in the US, why isn't that state outperforming Texas? Or Pennsylvania? Both of those states have large diverse populations, energy resources, and large agricultural resources. It seems we should look at what is different, and that is political.

Dave Thomas said...

The biggest political BS I've heard is the Obama BS that said the $850+billion stimulus would reduce unemployment to 8%.
There isn't any worse BS than the BS spread in unlimited quantities by Big Government Liberal Statists about the wonders of Big Government.

See the economic ruin of stagflation in the 1970's brought on by LBJ and his big government BS as empirical evidence.

mudpuppy said...

Bullshit indeed.
The idea that bad state policies can't overcome abundant resources like lots of agricultural real estate, lots of commodity based and agricultural based industries and ample oil and other energy supplies or can't effect the net flow of immigration is absurd and disproved by the disastrous policies of my lovely home state of California, which is probably even more wonderfully endowed with those things than Texas is, but the policies of which have crippled them to the point of collapse.
And I know, cause I'm in a commodity based business in CA and have seen the costs of doing business skyrocket almost wholly because of crippling state regulations.
Perry may not be able to take credit for external forces which have caused those portions of the economy to be strong but he surely can take credit for not blocking Texans ability to take advantage of them, unlike the fools running this state into the ground.

Anonymous said...

You mention all the great economics things happening in TX, and rightly, that most are beyond any politicians control.

Except, that you are missing the things that are in THEIR control: Regulations. Texas is exploiting their natural resources to great economic benefit, but just look at NY state and what they are doing to exploit their nat gas reserves. The pile of regs differ from state to state, and the difference is political leadership.

Anonymous said...

Does the same apply to Obama claiming credit for the amount of jobs 'created or saved' since the month he took office in which 'we were losing 650,000 jobs'?

Does the same apply to Clinton, who caught the bottom of the economy in 92 and sold the top in late 2000 and somehow his admin was solely responsible (NOT in any way the Republican Congress from 94-00 or the Internet or post-1989 Globalization) for the 90s boom? The way HuffPo and Bill Maher wax nostalgia for the 90s would make you think so.

They are all politicians, they are all the same. They will claim responsibility for success and disown failure. While I largely agree with the crux of your argument, I wouldn't discount fostering a policy environment amenable to economic dynamism, job growth, and wealth/business creation.

I think the last thing we need is another Texan in the Oval Office. We've had Johnson and G Dubya who both ran up debts, started and/or expanded disastrous wars, and legislated unfunded entitlements (ex-ante or ex-post, doesnt matter they are now massively unfunded). I'm not willing to gamble on a third even though past performance does not bla bla bla.

And FWW, I'll take a moderate who has run a major state, run and started businesses, and led the Olympics over a 1 term senator with no major legislative or executive experience during one of the most trying and precarious times since the 1930s.

Anonymous said...

Those republicans and their "regression analysis" and fancy numbers that are letters.

Investment Banking Jobs said...

Are you asking a politician to be 100% honest, to avoid the pre-election rhetoric? I admire your positivity but I can't see the hoped for result coming to fruition.

woland said...

Most people don't know what Texas greatest export
is. Some think it's oil, some think cattle, others grain.
It's none of the above. It's narcissism.

"Cassandra" said...

(And your moniker remains my favourite!)