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The Lone Star State Bucks National Trend: Texas' Labor Force Actually Growing.

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 976 -- The Labor Force In Texas Keeps Growing-

The Texas Workforce Commission today released its December 2013 Employment Statistics report, wrapping up the year and providing more evidence that Texas is truly a lone star outlier in an economically sick nation.

One thing that stood out to me was the disparity in labor force growth (or lack thereof) between Texas and the rest of the United States:


click image for larger version

While the national unemployment rate has fallen substantially over the past couple of years, that rate drop has been more about a shrinking numerator than an adequately growing denominator.

Why am I throwing 3rd grade math at you, talking about numerators and denominators? Because the unemployment rate is a fairly simple calculation. You take the number of unemployed individuals and divide by the number of individuals in the labor force. Yes, it's more complex that that, but not really.

Nationally, job growth has not been robust enough to actually drive down the unemployment rate to where it is today \, but people have been dropping out of the labor force in droves, so the math adds up on a technicality. The purported national unemployment rate is 6.7%. If not for the decline in labor force participation, it could be upwards of 7.7%. Moreover, excess Baby Boomer retirees are not the problem, as many have claimed.

In Texas, where the unemployment rate is already lower than the national rate, job growth has been robust, but so has labor force growth.

Ultimately, the implications of a growing versus shrinking labor force are myriad. The actuarial solvency of entitlements relies on a growing workforce. If we want to sustain America's superpower status well into the 21st century and beyond, our nation's labor force will need to stop the bleeding and look a lot more like the Lone Star State's growing, youthful, energetic labor force.

Note: the Texas Workforce Commission numbers cited here are not seasonally-adjusted.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Tides Foundation Versus Koch Brothers.

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Posted by Will Franklin · 24 January 2014 04:26 PM · Comments (0)

Fundraising: Greg Abbott Trounces Wendy Davis.

While the official reports are not yet available for examination, Texas gubernatorial candidates Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat Wendy Davis both released (through press releases) top-line fundraising figures for the second half of 2013.

The winner: Greg Abbott, by a long shot.

Click image for larger version.

A couple of interesting things to note here.

1) Wendy Davis' fundraising momentum apparently slowed down after she declared for Governor. She raised more in her Texas Senate officeholder account (likely overwhelmingly in early July, but we'll see) than in her gubernatorial account.

2) For months, we've been hearing how Wendy Davis is going to raise $10+ million dollars in the second half of 2013. She raised $8.7. A big fail.

Oddly, though, Wendy Davis' campaign performed a bit of fuzzy math plastic surgery and added $3.5 million from an additional, separate committee (Texas Victory Committee, Inc., which is apparently an offshoot of the Obama-affiliated Battleground Texas) to the mix. And most journalists just let her get away with it. Some establishment media outlets even declared Davis the winner. Fox News-- inexplicably-- reported $12.5 million for Davis, which makes absolutely no sense. Even some Texas media figures, who should know better, promoted the bogus notion that Davis "won" the fundraising period:

But the media didn't come to the false "Wendy wins at fundraising, big momentum!" narrative entirely on their own. Wendy Davis trumpeted the bogus meme, herself:

As one veteran Texas newsman put it on his Facebook page this morning:

Apparently, Wendy Davis in a first that I know of, counted money raised by the coordinated campaign as her own. Coordinated campaigns do help the candidates, but both parties run them, and I've never seen a candidate count the coordinated money toward their own fundraising. Lame fundraising report tactics to get a good headline don't erase realities, and they undermine the integrity and veracity of a candidate.

Integrity. Veracity.

Important qualities for a lengthy campaign.

Wendy Davis' amateur hour campaign has already frittered away a great deal of credibility with her not-ready-for-primetime appearances and strange and hypocritical attacks. These campaign finance shenanigans may do irreparable damage to the remaining strands of her credibility, although I wouldn't count on the fawning news coverage ending anytime soon, given the partisan proclivities of the press.

That said, there are only so many questionable incidents that even those rooting for her will be willing to tolerate before those all-important trust-related qualities, integrity and veracity, are appended with the word "lacks," beforehand.

When the actual reports hit the Texas Ethics Commission website, it will be interesting to see just how little cash on hand Wendy Davis has relative to Greg Abbott. It will also be interesting to cast a critical eye on the actual numbers and see what percentage of funds came from out-of-state individuals and entities.

As a benchmark, Greg Abbott's campaign says that he has $27 million cash on hand and that 97% of his donors are from Texas.

Texas is still a conservative state. Wendy Davis may have raised a great deal of money from liberals in liberal bastions, but the bottom line is that she still didn't raise as much as Greg Abbott in an apples to apples comparison of actual campaign accounts, and she likely trails by tens of millions dollars in actual cash on hand.

Moreover, how quickly we forget that Rick Perry was outspent (sometimes by absurd margins) in essentially every campaign he ran for Texas Governor, but he won by big margins each time.

Wendy Davis could raise tens of millions of dollars, but ultimately, she is pro-Obamacare, anti-gun, anti-voter ID, against the policies that cultivated the Texas energy boom, and for taxpayer-funded and elective late-term abortion.

2014 is not the year to be for/against the things Wendy Davis is for/against. Not in a lot of places across this country, but certainly not in Texas.

Posted by Will Franklin · 15 January 2014 10:07 AM · Comments (0)