Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rick Perry’s Texas Economic Miracle Leaves Some Without Police Protection

Annie (and Albert), Get  Your Gun

Those proponents of a potential Presidential run by Texas Governor Rick Perry often point to the economic success of Texas compared to the rest of the country (although as The Dismal Political Economist has often pointed out, that fact that almost all of the oil in the continental U. S. is in Texas may have played a role in their economic prowess).  Now a story in the news section of the Wall Street Journal shines a spotlight on a small, but significant part of that low tax philosophy.

It seems the government of Alto, Texas had decided that in the interests of keeping taxes and government spending low they cannot afford a police department.

Reduced sales and property tax collections from the sluggish economy are putting pressure on the town.

What!  What “sluggish economy”?  This is Texas, the economic miracle!

"We had to do something drastic," said Jerry Flowers, councilman and hay farmer. "The police department, being a non-money-making entity, was the easiest to get rid of while we catch our breath and build up some cash."

Well withdrawing police protection from the town does qualify as drastic.  But was it really a surprise to the councilman that the police department was a “non-money making entity”?

 But maybe being a small town Alto does not have much crime.

Some in town, including Police Chief Charles Barron, say the city should have cut elsewhere, given local crime. Last year in Alto, where the per-capita crime rate exceeds the statewide level,

Any impact on the local economy?

Others worry that the absence of local police could dissuade businesses and visitors from coming to town

Yep, business is just dying to locate and invest in a community where there is no local police.  And surely visitors will be attracted to the city because of its low taxes.

Well don’t expect this negative aspect of the low tax, low service mentality of Conservative governing philosophy to reach the editorial pages of the WSJ from the news pages.  The people who write the editorials have made up their minds, the real news doesn’t really matter.

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