Jun 23, 2008

Confusion (and Blatant Wingnut Lies)

In his latest article on the Southeast Texas Political Review, Philip R. Klein writes:

There seems to be a little bit of confusion with the jobless numbers that came out this past week in Jefferson County - seemingly - it went up. Meaning - more people became unemployed than the national or state average.

Philip is the only one confused, even though I've debunked his wingnut opinions several times before:

First of which is that Jefferson County has an illness. That illness is the fact that most of the unemployed are what they are - unemployed and unemployable. They have no want or need to get a job. In fact, most are criminals. They do not qualify for a job other than anyone who can work in a lower wage job. And did we mention the social break down issues of drugs? Ask any cop?

Second - the fact that there is no real job pool. It must come from...well.....India? Around the United States?

And last is the fact that culture of Unions and Big Government. Case in point - the outside and how they look at us. Like one of the highest rated the WORST PLACE TO RAISE A FAMILY [SIC]?

More of Philip's "same old think, over and over again." Readers should remember that this brilliant (said with tongue firmly in cheek) analysis comes from the same person who wrote:

Gas Prices: Good Economy higher gas prices. Supply - demand.

Let's first look at the real unemployment rates from the Texas Workforce Commission, something Philip neglected. I've included the current rates for the U.S., Texas, Beaumont/Port Arthur, and Houston/Galveston for comparison purposes:

  U.S. State of Texas Beaumont/Port Arthur Houston/Galveston
May, '08 5.2 4.3 5.6 5.5
April, '08 4.8 3.9 5.0 5.0

As I've pointed out before, Beaumont/Port Arthur traditionally has a higher unemployment rate than the state average. This is not reflective of Jefferson County's "illness," as Philip claims, but rather a function of the transient nature of our local labor pool and job market.  Since much of Houston's economy is based on the same factors as Jefferson County, it's interesting to note the parallel numbers.

Philip also claims there is no real job pool here, yet local trade schools, like LIT, LSCPA, and LSCO, are graduating several thousand new workers each year.  Nor do I have a problem with importing workers from around the U.S., since this only adds to the area's growth.

Furthermore, Philip claims Jefferson County is "one of the highest rated the WORST PLACE TO RAISE A FAMILY [SIC]."  I think he's lying - if not, I'd like to see Philip's citation on that.  Here's an interesting comparison to Philip's statement: the Worldwide Employee Relocation Council chose Beaumont-Port Arthur as one of the top 25 Best Small Metro Areas for Relocating Families in 2008.

Philip's bottom line:

There simply is no hope.

If Philip really hates Southeast Texas this much, why doesn't he move?  The answer is simple: Philip can't make as much money elsewhere, else he'd be out of here already. Instead, he's stuck in Southeast Texas and hating every minute of it.  How ironic.

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