Over the last couple of weeks, the left-leaning, mainstream media has decided that Governor Rick Perry's job creation record needs to be discredited if Obama wants to be reelected. As a consequence, the media has centered on the "quality" of the jobs that were created in Texas while trying to bury the fact that it has created nearly 40% of all the jobs in the United States since the recession began and that Texas has an unemployment rate that is 1% point below Obama's national number.
In doing so, the Obama defenders have noted three specific facts: (1) 9.2% of all hourly-paid jobs are being paid below the minimum wage when the national average is only 3%; and, (2) Texas has created more minimum wage jobs than anywhere else in the U.S.;and, (3) the average hourly wage is lower than the national average of all hourly wages across the country. All of those arguments are both specious and dishonest and take statistics out of context.
In terms of the "below minimum wage" argument, a significant fact isn't being told. That's the fact that Texas has the 3rd or 4th lowest cost of living (depending on the survey) of all 50 states (Click here to See Story). As a consequence, people making less than the minimum wage in Texas are quite better off than in a high cost of living state like California, where even a minimum wage might not be enough live on. As a result, only 1 in 10 Texans are on food stamp assistance. Compare that with the national average of 1 out every 7 people receiving food stamps; thanks to Obama's record on employment.
Then there's the "more minimum wage earners" argument. Well...dah...if you have a high job creation rate, it's only logical that you will, similarly, have a high creation of minimum wage jobs. But, as noted above, getting paid minimum wage in a low cost of living state is a helluva lot better than in much higher cost of living states; like the ones that most liberals seem to live in.
Lastly, the average hourly wage" argument doesn't hold water either when you put it, again, into the context of cost of living. When it comes to average hourly wages, there's one statistic the press and liberals seem eager to ignore; and, that's how fast wages are rising in Texas. Just last year, the average hourly wage rose by 3.5% and is expected to meet that number again in 2011. In comparison, the national average hourly wage only increased by 0.5% in the same period. Again, this is hardly a record that Obama can be proud of.
I'll never forget my economics professor who, in my very first class with him, wrote on the board behind him: "There are lies, damn lies, and, then, there are statistics." He then proceeded to take this famous Mark Twain quote and hammer home the fact that you should always look beyond a single statistic and put it into a clear context. All too often, the press, the pundits and the politicians, alike, play the game of cherry picking statistics. That's why I write this blog. It's always my intent to clear the "fog" because I understand the truth in what Mark Twain had once said.