Oct 19, 2009

What is Killing Jefferson County (Pt Un)

In Philip R. Klein's first posting of the week on the Southeast Texas Political Review, he mounts an unconvincing argument based on fallacious logic; specifically, a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. Before continuing, see the article immediately below concerning Philip's exaggerated claims.

Klein's entire thesis is based on labor statistics for one month from the Texas Workforce Commission for the Beaumont/Port Arthur Metro:
Beaumont :    Unemployed : 10.8% - 2.3% stopped claiming = Total 13.1%
Port Arthur :    Unemployed : 15.8% - 3.1% stopped claiming =Total 18.9%

Philip's data set is biased to show Jefferson County in the worst possible light. As an example, Philip inflated the numbers with a manufactured statistic, "stopped claiming." The real implication of this nonsensical number is that if people "stopped claming" unemployment, they found a job.

Here is the actual document. Below you'll find the actual Local Area Unemployment Statistics table from the Texas Workforce Commission. Neither documents reference "Stopped claiming:"

Neither does Philip provide a perspective beyond a snapshot of one month. This, too, is highly biased.

Compare the historical unemployment rate for Southeast Texas and Texas, in general, since January of 2000.

Notice that the rates run fairly parallel, although Southeast Texas is consistently somewhat higher.

While this is clear evidence that Beaumont and Port Arthur are subject to the same economic pressures as the rest of the state, Philip drew a different conclusion:
And this thing sits ON THE BACK OF THE JEFFERSON COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY, THEIR LEADERSHIP AND EVERY SINGLE ELECTED DEMOCRAT IN OFFICE. You have done nothing but tax your people, increased your style of living and created a horrible place to do business.
Philip indulges himself with a conspiracy of people that he claims control the economy:
Judge Walker, commissioners Arnold, Domingue, Sinegal (yes he has), and Alfred. As well, meet people like Carroll Thomas and the BISD school board, the Port Arthur School Board, Gail Krohn and the Nederland School Board, the Port Neches School Board and we simply cannot leave out the City of Beaumont.
Klein throws more mud:
Government began to go wild when former Senator Carl Parker, former State Representative David Bernsen and former Congressman Jack Brooks were at the helm. Government spending was becoming popular and they wanted their piece of the pie. And guess what that was? Well take a cruise down Highway 69 and take a look at the prisons named after some of our most famous government porkers. Housing? Criminals. And "millions of dollars in construction and prison jobs."

And we have them. Low paying government jobs.
Philip isn't normally a NIMBY, but will readily adapt when it serves his agenda.

He apparently believes it's okay to be the nation's toxic waste dump, for which a large portion is government-sponsored as in the destruction of VX hydrolysate, but it's not okay to build prisons off Highway 69.  The prison system is the third largest business sector in the area behind oil and medical care. All three of these economic bases drive support businesses; some local food distributorships who supply the prisons might take issue over Philip's bias.

To be continued!

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