Yes, I unofficially introduced the 2012 Presidential campaign to the blog with last week's Clip of the Week, but let's call this post the Crimson Cavalier's official welcome to the 2012 Presidential campaign, beginning with the race for the Republican party nomination.
As always, that means we should get ready to hear all kinds of ridiculous platitudes and brain-dead oversimplifications of the world and the economy over the next several months. One theme that's already beginning to drive me nuts is the portrayal of Texas Governor Rick Perry as some sort of free-market-touting, job-creating wunderkind.
Let me spoil the surprise for you--it's bullshit. Jonathan Turley does a fine job of tearing down the Perry myth (in short, he shows that most of the jobs created are minimum-wage jobs with no health insurance), but Barry Ritholtz's guest blogger friend "Invictus" is the real champion here. In this chart, he shows that if you want to give Perry credit for this job creation "miracle", you must also hold him accountable for all of the other social dynamics in Texas. (Note: According to Invictus, "I ranked the 50 states in a manner where “1″ is the best score achievable and “50″ the worst (e.g., the highest high school graduation rate would garner a “1,” the lowest incidence of STD’s would also garner a “1.” In other words, if you’re a governor — a state’s CEO, as it were — you always want to be #1 and, conversely, nowhere near #50)".
In other words, giving credit to Perry for the jobs picture without also mentioning the other side of the coin is--you guessed it--more bad science. It's extremely disheartening to see how often this kind of dishonesty is bandied about in the political arena, most notably during campaign season.
While I do recognize that Texas' high levels of immigration are in part to blame for some of those summary statistics, I'd remind you that immigration is a national issue, not just a Texas issue. Perry has done little to address immigrant-related issues in his time as Governor, so there's little reason to expect that his record would be any better as President.
So, if that's the America that you want to live in, then by all means vote for Rick Perry. As for me, I plan on throwing my vote away for that other crazy Texan, Ron Paul.
[The Big Picture]