Note To Book Reviewers

April 7, 2013, 10:31 pm

If you argue that

the so-called Texas model…is a weak state government with few taxes and fewer regulations and services. It would be far harder to replicate the state’s civic DNA, which features traits that can be traced to its decade, beginning in 1836, as a stand-alone nation (independent, suspicious of Washington), the late-1800s cowboy era (self-reliant, fraternal) and the 20th-century introduction of oil and entrepreneurialism (pro-business, skeptical of government). Those values, Ms. Grieder says, created a populace ideal for economic growth: “pragmatic, fiscally conservative, socially moderate and slightly disengaged.”

and then use as your examples things that are substantial government interventions:

Strict lending laws allowed Texas to dodge the worst of the housing collapse, while the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement was a boon to the state’s export sector.


the industrial policy of Gov. Rick Perry, [which offered] a generous broth of subsidies and incentives that Texas has used to attract hundreds of businesses that have richly diversified its traditional energy-based economy.

Then, well, folks (okay, me) will notice and point out that you’re being contradictory, and that–going by those examples–Texas was built on the back of quite large government interventions.

Oh, and extra points off for the fact that your one example of Texas going small government is all about racism:

Texas’s laissez-faire mix of weak government, low taxes and scant regulations is deeply rooted in its 1876 Constitution, which was an attempt to vehemently dismantle an oppressive post-Civil War government of radical reconstructionists

The horror of that “oppressive post-Civil War government” trying to, you know, establish racial equality and all those foolish things.

By way of a concluding suggestion, if your review could–without substantial revision–run in The Onion, it might be worth a rewrite.

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