Columnist Harold Meyerson (left) points out Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry’s lack of historical perspective regarding his own state. The fact is that Texas has thrived under the liberal reforms that Perry despises. Ultimately, the governor’s goal is to dismantle progressive legislation throughout the country–to the detriment of us all:
What Perry either ignores or doesn’t know is how greatly Texas has benefited from the investments and regulations of the federal government he despises. He grew up, he tells all who will listen, on a small, hardscrabble Texas farm. But it was Franklin Roosevelt’s Rural Electrification Administration that brought electricity to those farms, which, left to the mercies of the market, would have remained dark for decades. The New Deal threw money at Texas, bringing it dams, highways and schoolhouses. The cumulative effect of policies such as the federal minimum wage has been to diminish the disparity that long existed between the industrialized North and the more poverty-stricken South.
Perry wants to unravel the national social contract and once again have us go state by state, with the low-wage, low-reg states dragging down the others, much as Chinese mercantilism has dragged down wages and living standards across the United States. He is the 21st-century, homegrown version of the Manchurian candidate.