Sunday, January 31, 2010

Texas Economic Forum

Action Plan

I was asked by a reader for an action plan to achieve a Texas Economic Forum, a coming together of minds to find a way to save the American middle-class from extinction.

One step to finding a solution is to create an Economics Institute in Texas with a mission to save the American middle-class. Every economics institute is narrowly focused. U.T. Dallas has a Center for Urban Economics, which does not seem to take a national and global outlook. U.T. Dallas also has an Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, which can contribute contribute to growth but does not try to look at the big picture. U.N.T. has an Institute of Applied Economics that could examine national and global economic patterns, but does not, judging from recent publications. Texas Tech University has a Cotton Economics Research Institute. U.T. Austin, Texas A&M, and S.M.U. do not appear to have an economics institute associated with the university.

Working With Other States

If Texas can establish an economics institute either as a government agency or as a part of a university, then we can share our findings with neighboring states. If we can form a Heartland Union, then a broad coalition like that can put many minds together and martial resources that would exceed those of most nations.

Independent Economic Programs

With a Heartland Union and a coalition of economic institutes then we could formulate policies and apply broad resources to reverse the economic decline of the American middle-class. We cannot look to Washington for solutions because Washington is in the pocket of Wall Street financiers, and Wall Street is responsible for the decline of the middle-class.

Robert Canright

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Texas and The American Economy

Summary: There is no single American economy. The middle-class pie is shrinking while the Wall Street pie grows. Texas needs to think for itself about national and international economic conditions and trends. If we cannot find a way to restart the middle-class economy then the middle-class will disappear and our children will suffer. If anybody is going to fix the problems facing America, it's going to be us Texans.

The American Economy


I remember hearing Warren Buffet discussing the economy and saying that "the pie is always growing" and thinking, "Whose pie?" A couple of minutes earlier he explained the unfairness of American tax law by telling us that the lady who empties the trash in his office pays a larger percentage of her income than he does. So we could say that America has different economies distinguished by the taxes paid by each sector of the economy. There is no single American economy.

Instead of saying, "the pie is always growing," Warren Buffet should have said his pie is always growing.

The Shrinking Middle-Class

People at the bottom of the middle-class have been falling out of the middle-class as their jobs have disappeared. The middle-class can barely pay it's bills. Dr. Elizabeth Warren explains in the Huffington Post article, America Without a Middle-Class, that expenses have been increasing faster than wages. If you look at the article, the 2nd chart compares expenses in red against income. You will see that in the decade of the 2000's that average income went up only 1.6% and yearly average income exceeds household expenses by only $794. This means that one bad car accident, a broken furnace or air-conditioner and the average middle-class family has to borrow money for necessities. The middle-class pie is shrinking while the Wall Street pie grows.

A Texas Economic Forum

If we want our children to have a future, we better wise-up fast about economics. If the TV tells us the American economy -- the Wall Street economy -- is booming, while the economy we live in is dying, then we cannot trust what TV news tells us about the economy and we need to find a better source of news about the economy.

Since the federal government allowed Wall Street to crash the economy, we cannot trust federal agencies to inform us on the state of the economy. We need to think for ourselves. A this time the World Economic Forum is meeting at Davos, Switzerland. Since international banking drove the entire nation of Iceland into bankruptcy, there is no international source of economic wisdom, so Davos is worthless.

Texas needs to think for itself about national and international economic conditions and trends. We need a Texas Economic Forum that focuses on a true understanding of economic realities. We should invite neighboring states to share the experience of examining economic data and planning to survive.

If we do not get smarter, we will continue to get fleeced. If we cannot find a way to restart the middle-class economy then the middle-class will disappear and our children will suffer.

We have to think to ourselves, "If anybody is going to fix the problems facing America, it's going to be us Texans."

Robert Canright

PS:
I was asked by a reader to write an action plan, which is in this separate post: the Texas Economic Forum

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Heartland Union, Part 2

The Need for the Heartland Union

I mentioned in a previous post, The Heartland Union, that Texas needs to stand up for middle America because neither political party stands up for the middle class. America needs better leadership, and Texas needs to stand and deliver that leadership.

California, an Unexpected Ally

I had assumed that Texas needed to ally itself with states that share similar values. However, one of my readers pointed out that shared financial interests can substitute for shared values. My previous analysis of electoral college votes had no scenario where California would ally with us. However, both California and Texas have off-shore oil revenue that is siphoned off by the federal government.

The off-shore oil is off the coast lines of the states. The 10th amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives all rights to the states that have not delineated to the federal government. It is only by coercion that the feds take our money. But the mechanisms the feds use to take our money can be undone if we form a political alliance that gives us the power to undo these mechanisms.

California has 55 electoral votes, Texas has 34, and Florida has 27. That is 116 of the 270 needed for the Presidency. We all have off-shore oil and lots of votes.

Resource Issues

Oil is not the only resource issue. The federal government has meddled with mineral rights and access to resources in many states. It was also brought to my attention that the federal government shut down access to lumber in national forests, putting many people out of work, including Texans.

Leadership

With foresight and leadership, Texas can form an alliance with many states and wrestle power away from the crowd that is so badly mismanaged America that we should name the decade that just ended, from 2000 to 2009, the Decade of Failure.

America needs better leadership. Texas needs to stand and deliver that leadership, but we cannot do it alone. We need to create an alliance, a Heartland Union, to be the springboard for a better future.

Robert Canright