Just a few months ago, I’d have started this blog post with a comparison between Texas and a 3rd world government. Now, maybe I’ll be able to compare 1st term Texas Governor, Gregg Abbott with FIFA President Sepp Blatter. Every FIFA Congress for as long as people can remember, Blatter has declared it’s time to clean up FIFA, as we know now, it’s never happened. Back in February, Governor Abbott declared five emergency proclamations for the 84th Legislature, The Governor’s issuance of an emergency item message to the Legislature enables that measure to be considered within the first 60 days … Continue reading Ethics the Texas Way
It’s tax time in Travis county and Austin, that means it’s the annual hand wringing and whining because the property values are up again, by huge amounts. Taxes are all relative. The total of tax paid is still stunningly low compared to the quality of life and services you get for that. Yes, property taxes are high, but sales tax is relatively low, there is no state income tax, and while the Ledge and Republicans have you convinced that Federal Taxes are high, and money being wasted on drug taking, idle, work shy, “minorities”, it doesn’t matter that that is … Continue reading Greed, taxes and a lack of empathy
Good article addressing some of the common misconceptions and bias, aka scare mongering I’ve about this high speed rail project http://www.citylab.com/politics/2015/04/debunking-5-myths-about-texas-high-speed-rail/390903/ Continue reading Debunking 5 Myths About Houston-Dallas High-Speed Rail Plans – CityLab
The “Texas House Approves “Denton Fracking Bill”” aka HB40, marches closer being signed into law by Governor Abbott. All those places, like say, Austin, where fracking is something mostly invisible that happens way out west, need to wake up. The bill … Continue reading Fraccidents coming to a neighborhood near you, soon
While a lot of todays action in the Texas Capital, as covered by social media, is about the “open carry” bill being sent back for procedural reasons, given we still have a full 7-weeks of the Legge before they remount … Continue reading In stark contrast
Notwithstanding Sam Cookes heavily racially motivated “A Change is gonna come“, that is exactly what is happening in Texas. Change is coming. The freedoms that have been held here as a right, are being diluted, and by that, I don’t mean the ridiculous moves by the far right, mostly white Christians.. Sure, they may win in the short term, but in the long term, they’ll have to change. Why? They very growth former Governor Rick Perry espoused and celebrated as often as he could, proclaiming the Texas miracle, the traditional freedoms can’t hold at the growth rates we see in … Continue reading A Change Is Gonna Come
If you’ve not been following along today, it’s well worth reading back through the BBC Business Live News feed on the HSBC Tax Avoidance scandal. It is indeed the perfect example of the sort of insidious greed that is destroying society today. It’s not just the “me” culture that is all around us, but the industry and culture that is behind it. Rather than pay taxes now, there is a whole industry on tax-avoidance. It’s become an accepted practice, mostly illegal, certainly immoral and to deflect interest in their actions, just like with the bully at school, they deflect criticism … Continue reading insidious greed – HSBC
I continue to try to get behind some the things held as “norms” here in Texas, and more broadly in America. This week has seen many examples of the gun lobby an the freedom from big government get riled up. Even as a Brit’ I watched with amazement the FBI “invasion” at the Siege of Waco on UK TV. But the whole episode waas too easily dismissed when you stand back and look at those involved, almost as easy as “nut jobs!”. I came across the story of a Texas Resident John Joe Gray, who is still holed up as … Continue reading Something for the weekend – Ruby Ridge
If Governor-elect Abbott continues like State Attorney General Abbott, Texas will be seen increasingly like a 3rd world banana Republic, than a first world economy and US super state. In the modern connected world, successful governments and organizations thrive on openness and transparency. The people don’t need to be told everything all the time, they do though have both the right and have the confidence to know their government and politicians are acting lawfully. Continue reading Freedom of Information, your Texas?
Why Nations Fail is a fascinating book, by Acemoglu of MIT and political scientist, James Robinson. They posit that economies that have abundant natural resources can be easily captured by groups that become politically powerful. The authors view is that an abundance of natural resources, which may seem like a blessing, often turns out to be a blessing for a select few and, for the rest of a country’s citizens, a curse. It’s called the natural-resource curse. The natural-resource curse is well understood economic equation, there are a number of papers on it, this one by Sachs and Warner, the … Continue reading Why Nations Fail, does this apply to Texas?