Texas, is toast.
Judging by the recent works of the state’s political media, we’re done, finished, kaput.
One conservative budget was all it took to push Texas across the tipping point to bankruptcy according to R.G. Ratcliffe, and toward a dystopian future according to (make sure you get this) sixth-generation Texan Lisa (l’il Red) Falkenberg. In today’s Houston Chronicle print edition (no web linky yet, part of ChronBlog’s “see, we’re adding value for print subscribers!” method of marketing) Patricia Kilday Hart suggests that our elected officials’ reticence to enact a soda tax is putting us on the fast track toward a future of Weeble children who wobble, and even fall down because they’re too uneducated to understand what a can of Coke is doing to them.
At the heart of all this gloom and doom is a thinly-veiled undercurrent of racism that flows like a swollen Trinity River beneath the narrative that only the wisdom of the Caucasian progressive can save the State’s uneducated from themselves. In L’il Red’s world, only the smartly educated “white folks” retreat to the safety of “gated communities” in a selfish, desperate ploy for survival as intelligent progressives such as herself live in apartments reliant on light rail and farmer’s markets for their daily existence. The refusal of said rich white patriarchs to bestow their knowledge on the great unwashed is the reason future Texas is destined to be more like Road Warrior, and less like the utopia that Falkenberg and her fellow travelers view as ideal.
The counterpoint to this thinking? Missing.
In Texas’ political media you won’t find the idea that excessive spending is more worrisome than making some cuts during lean times. You won’t find any worries about Standard and Poor’s recent threat to downgrade debt ratings, or that creating a generation of people dependent on Government services for their day to day needs is a bad thing. Charity is right out, so is business development and (gasp!) education reform. The idea that continually throwing money at an education system that hasn’t done the best of jobs when fully funded would be laughed out of the room in a thinking society. In Texas’ political media it’s viewed as Gospel. In today’s media landscape the very idea that schools should spend more time teaching children than pursuing social equity goals is met with scorn.
An alternative idea is that the sky is NOT falling, that Texas is currently taking steps to ensure that, when the money is back, there will still be a core set of services in place to develop. The MSM ideal is a state population that’s been taxed out of prosperity and a business climate that’s not hiring, not making investments, and not positioned to take advantage of the coming growth. If you believe there will be no coming growth, then you pen missives that depict future Texas as a bleak, unhappy place. That might forward a political goal but it’s not very productive in the general debate.