Tuesday, March 29, 2011

O, What a Paradise It Seems!

Speaking of Rick Perry and the demonic:

Last year CEO Magazine named Texas the best state for business, and Governor Rick Perry bragged that Texas is creating more job than any other state.

But a report released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that while Texas is creating jobs, workers here are earning less.

The report found that in 2010 Texas tied Mississippi for having more workers earning minimum wage or less than any other state in the country. Some 9.5% of Texas workers earned minimum wage or less compared to a national average of 6%.
The source of the problem is very simple:

Cheryl Abbot, a regional economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, blamed the high percentage of minimum-wage earners in Texas on the state having a lot of low-paying industries.

It isn't a recent phenomenon, she added. Last year's 16 percent increase in Texans earning minimum wage or less was the smallest rise since a decline was reported in 2006.
So Perry's "Texas Miracle"? It's due primarily to minimum wage jobs, which would presumably pay considerably less if it weren't for the federal minimum wage statute. Again, per Ms. Abbot:

Our wages started out less than a number of other states 50, 60, 70 years ago. So, if we're all going up at the same rate the wage is still going to be a little lower in the State of Texas. Plus we have a minimum wage that matches the federal minimum wage whereas a number of states- about 18 -have state minimum wages that are above the federal.
But it's okay, because:

On the other hand the cost of living in Texas is lower than some other states so a dollar sometimes buys more.
Oh, wait, maybe not:

In 2007, the [Center for Public Policy Priorities in Austin, Texas] calculated a family of three would need $31,000 annually to “get by” in San Antonio. That's more than double the annual salary of someone paid minimum wage in 2010.
As for non-minimum wage earners; well, they aren't getting rich, either:

The median wage of all hourly paid Texans was $11.20 last year. Nationally, it was $12.50. In Texas, the median hourly wage for men was $12.13; for women, $10.24. Nationally, the median was $13.76 for men and $11.83 for women.
Like the feller said: Sure, there are more jobs in Texas! I've got three of 'em!

Oh, and this:

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
And did I mention the Texas House wants to pass a budget they know will cost Texas an estimated 335,000 jobs? Anybody want to buy a used miracle? Cheap?

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