Texas Governor Rick Perry roams the US luring workers to Texas with the promise of good jobs, but the reality is unimpressive. Writing in the American Independent Patrick Brendel observed the new Texas jobs are primarily low-wage jobs:
Texas has by far the largest number of employees working at or below the federal minimum wage ($7.25 per hour in 2010) compared to any state, according to a [Bureau of Labor Statistics] report. In 2010, about 550,000 Texans were working at or below minimum wage, or about 9.5 percent of all workers paid by the hour in the state.
On June 14, Governor Perry vetoed an equal pay bill.
Meanwhile, the ruined city of West, Texas, is struggling to recover. Total losses will be more than $100 million and FEMA likely will reimburse only 10 percent. The City of West has sued the owner and supplier of the West Chemical and Fertilizer Plant.
On April 22nd Texas Governor Rick Perry was asked about the explosion at the West Chemical and Fertilizer Plant and contended, "" more government intervention and increased spending on safety inspections would not have prevented"" the West catastrophe.
What's happened in West and Texas graphically illustrates the choice facing America. We can adopt an extreme pro-business strategy and subordinate worker pay and safety; we can, in effect, tell the 99 percent, "You're on your own." Or we can adopt a strategy that puts people first; we can decide that capitalism has to be subordinate to democracy and protect the rights of all Americans.
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