Reason No. 1,382,992 to Hate Politics

Photo: eschipul

Is there any question that if Governor Rick Perry of Texas were a Democrat that all the left-leaning editorialists, economists, bloggers, etc., would be bending over backward to praise the Texas employment picture rather than bending over backward to belittle it?

Chris Lawson

Um, yes...



Wally East

This is actually a reason to hate the media, isn't it?

Timothy Faust

C'mon, man. False equivalency. If Rick Perry had been a left-leaning Democrat, he wouldn't *be* the Rick Perry currently running for president.

This is like saying 'if Obama had been a sociopathic conservative mass-murderer, the left-leaning press would be as quick to condemn his every move as FOX News is."

There are a lot of great things about Texas. Short-term economic semi-"stability" on the back of low-wage workers and a lucky energy economy ain't one of 'em. Not to mention Perry's abhorrent record on: education, science, church/state, social policy, the death penalty (and its use on proven innocent people and the mentally retarded). . .

Mark Carpenter

That's a pretty silly counter factual as if he was a Democrat, not only would the unemployment picture most likely look differently, but also the policies he enacted (most specifically the labour market policies) would be very different as well. In short, you simply wouldn't be commentating on or "judging" the same thing


Stephen, it would be great to hear what you and Steven have to say about Texas' economics under Perry's leadership so far. When you look at Texas' jobs numbers and economy since Perry became governor, what do you see?


As a resident of Texas I am willing to say that no they probably wouldn't be bending over backward to praise it. The employment numbers in Texas are buoyed by low-paying jobs most without benefits which is why 1/4 of our state has no health insurance and 1/4 of our children are living below the poverty line. I can't imagine a left leaning publication supporting such a thing.


See Felix Salmon's Reuters post, 'Perry’s employment record in Texas' another perspective.

Keep up the good work, guys.

Pup, MD

Imagine that the world could be so complex that there is more than way to look at a subject! The shame! Nuance will be the death of us!

Looking at raw numbers, Perry looks like a job creator.

Looking at numbers that take into account the growth of the work force, Perry looks like a job killer.

Looking at Perry any other way, he looks like George W Bush circa 2002.

Russ Abbott

I doubt it. One of the primary differences between the parties these days is their degree of intellectual honesty. For the most part Democrats (e.g., Paul Krugman) are intellectually honest. Republicans are not.

Jon Baker

If as a Democrat Perry successfully prayed for full employment in the midst of unemployment, and failed in his prayer for rain during a drought, the left leaning media would truthfully say that he needed lobbyists in the heavenly weather department.

Joshua Northey

Of course, that is what politics is. I think in some practical sense the definition of being a member of a party is believing in your candidate more then the evidence warrants, having faith in them.

The whole idea that the politicians have much of anything to do with the business cycle is hilarious. Sure some policies matter, but those policies are pretty tightly constrained, and are changed by hundreds to thousands of people, not one.

That said Perry is a kook and not someone I would want anywhere near the Presidency. Why on earth the anti-rational, anti-intellectual candidates attract any sympathy from the right wing intelligentsia like yourself is beyond me.




Yes I do generally hate politics, which is one of the reasons I like this blog. It's usually free of such worthless squabbles. Stephen, can you please not inject yours into this blog?

Over It

Considering they have the largest amount of low-paying, minimum wage jobs in the country, which to me, is another ill of the growing corporate influence...regardless of who is delivering the criticism, it's legitimate.


Is there any question that any journalist worth his weight in salt would be tearing this jesus freak apart for his Christianist/Dominionist ranting rather than discussing his "presidential visage"?

For almost ten years, folks have been screaming about the horrors of the Islamists (rightfully so). Yet, this joker and Michele Bachmann are forthcoming with their desire to have their flavor of christianity rule the world, and folks seem to be just fine with that.


The job gains come largely from government jobs. For someone to tout his jobs record and campaign against government is hypocritical. If someone who supported govt jobs were running, it would not be hypocritical.


Actually. This question like this are what makes me hate the mainstream journalists.

If you want, make your own analysis of the Texas employment issue or critique some you're read. Don't ask stupid counterfactual questions.


Actually, I count this as about reason no. 12 for not respecting either you or Levitt.

When I read your book and started reading your blog, I thought your analysis was good and quirky.

Stick to micro. When you start talking about macro, your agenda becomes pretty clear even though you will undoubtedly will believe that you are "fair and balanced".

A couple of people have already pointed out the fallacy in your argument.

While I'm not an economist, I am a mathematician by training. I enjoy my preconceived notions being challenged with data. You did that with the micro analysis. You don't when you look at macro.

You maybe think that you are doing that in this post but even the most casual of observer can see that the picture is much more subtle than one value like employment rate and extrapolating all sorts of things from it.

Again, please stick to micro or I wont respect you. I know from a micro point of view, that for every mathematician like me you loose, you will probably pick up 5 Fox viewers so I doubt that "incentives" will run against it but there you go.



This guy seems to have done a pretty thorough job analyzing numbers from primary sources to get the true picture of job growth in Texas: