Ok folks, let’s start connecting the chapter dots…think about the RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THE SUBJECTS WE’VE LOOKED AT THUS FAR. This is the part where we pursue the real “political” economic stuff in Chapter 1, and start new things. By now, you should have read the economics sections of Chapter 1 (the first half of the chapter). These sections deal with a variety of pure economics concepts, but they also include some insight about the role of governments—state and local especially. You’re familiar with the phrase—think globally, act locally? Mostly, that idea has related to environmental/green thinking, but I also think it’s very useful to apply to economies. All is intertwined…the states have economic climates, economic sectors, etc, but the marketplace is global. That means what it means…all aspects of economies of scale are global, in the digital-Internet Age. Consumers, as well as labor resources can be found anywhere, depending on the product (goods and services) This means the role of governments at all levels is very, very important. Please do not confuse this idea with governments managing economies—absolutely not. Capitalism in America has no chance of being replaced BECAUSE OF government, not in spite of it. What I mean by this is our national government, especially, has ALWAYS geared its role toward economic opportunity and stabilizing mechanisms over the past 200 years, and my best estimate is that our current challenges are another chapter in this time-honored story. The key is to observe how well governments adapt and respond to the shifting economic climate. To play the most effective role, whether that means to prompt growth, or get out of the way. Sometime that means regulating TO PREVENT, and at other times it means REVISING bad policies or regulations. State and local governments are especially good at this idea, because—like the Frost Bank ad—we’re from here. Often, states are considered “laboratories” for innovation and growth, because the interplay between economic resources, the population, and political culture are on the same page. The challenge at present, in Texas, is that the interplay between economies, populations and political culture has given way to a proscribed set of outcomes, geared for political gain. Time to connect those dots…
Since Texas governor Rick Perry has entered the 2012 Republican nomination campaign in August, a great deal of attention has come to the Texas economy and other indicators. I thought it may be useful for you to look at employment statistics and other trends, posted by the Texas Comptroller, to get a more enlightened view of things. A much more telling, or specific story line emerges, with the use of statistics.
Most folks in this day and age are familiar with the notion that numbers, or surveys, etc can be used to “prove” anything–but that’s not a notion one should be satisfied with, because it’s misleading as well 😉 Pure irony always gets a smiley icon from this instructor.
What do you suppose enables the notion of numbers can be used to prove anything? If you’re inclined to perceive that it’s because ofselectivity, or the lack of the “whole story”, then bells and whistles to you. Yes, it’s because numbers are being left out--the statistical version of a half-truth. Propaganda to achieve a desired emotional response, for those who are angry or fearful. Ugh.
For part 2 of WEEK 2 you are going to summarize Texas economic trends, relative to the the US national averages. Please access this link:
and look over, and compare the graphs. NOTE: In any comparison, please make sure you have a clear understanding of the differences in what is being compared. Statistical comparisons should be based on RATES, which means % of change over time. Rates work in smaller increments with large numbers, ie, the US statistical measurements. States have smaller numbers, even huge states like Texas & California
OK! summarize the first 10 graphs, by indicating the differences in overall trends, (increasing, decreasing, flat) between Texas and the US average. That is, indicate the similarities or differences between the two.
Next, please access the file in block 1: ” Texas Nonfarm Employment”
Look over these data, and summarize the following:
- What has been the trend in overall employment since 2008?
- Which employment sector is the largest at present? Has that changed in the past 3 years? Why or why not?
- Which sector lost the most? Which has gained the most?