Reform and Fundamental Change in the Political Economy and Government of Texas The political economy and government of each state in the United States are different. James W. Lamare discusses Texas politics in his book Texas Politics: Economics, Power and Policy. In the last chapter of the book, Lamar discusses reform and fundamental change in the political economy and government of Texas. In the following paragraphs, I will discuss Lamare’s view and give my own opinions of his views.
Lamar argues that the economy of Texas is controlled by a relatively small number of corporations. Wealth is socially accepted as a sign of success. Many of the dominant businesses in Texas are economically interconnected. Also, he talks about elections in Texas and he says that substantive competition in elections is rarely found in Texas. This is why voter turn out is extremely low.
Moreover, the organizational design of Texas government enhances the political power of well-organized interest groups. Also, Lamar remarks that the overall tax system in the state is very regressive (cutting more into income of middle- and lower-class than into the earnings of the wealthy.) However, people face high prices for petroleum products, electricity, and insurance. The state lacks strong unions, does not have full government protection for all employees, and assumes only limited responsibility for unemployed or injured workers. For these reasons, Texas businesses operate in a labor environment that allows maximization of profits. I believe that it is true that the economy of Texas is controlled by elite. People in Texas accept these small elites and support them because they think that these businesses provide more job opportunities.
Also, I believe that voter turn out is extremely low; moreover, thinking about low voter turn out leads us to the fact that the majority of Texans are worker class. The lake of income makes it much harder for them to think about politics more than thinking about paying their bills and their life expenses. Consumer needs are getting more expensive every day, but the average salary has not increased as much as consumer needs even though Texas is a rich state compared to the other states because of the large amount of gas and petroleum it has. In Texas, people pay extremely high prices for gas, electricity, and insurance. It is true that people in Texas pay less for these products compared to other state but we don’t look at it in this way. We need to look at it as how much profit are those companies making.
They are making much profit in Texas than they do in other states even those companies do not need to chip it far away from it’s original source. Being a rich state is not helping people in any way. It is only enriching the rich and making the poor poorer because rich are making more profit and poor paying much more for products. More over, Texas workers are not fully protected by the government. The unemployment number has been increased lately and the number of poor kids in the state of Texas has been extremely increased.
Indeed, businesses in Texas make a huge profit. Lamar suggests in his book that implications for political changes in Texas could be done by changing the close relationships between corporate and political power. There are two ways to change that. One involves a fundamental change in the economic system. The other is less extreme; it emphasizes opening the political system to more voices and interests, thereby making it more pluralistic. First, I agree with him on the first part.
[We should change the economic system fundamentally to make the economic system more accessible for the people rather than strength the power of the political parties.] Therefore, we can open the political system to more voices and interests. We can reach our goals by dividing the big companies to small ones so that power can be controlled by average citizens. This will benefit all people and not only a few or another approach is to have business condoled by governmental bodies so all people can benefit from that profit. Lamar stated these changes are unlikely to occur for some reasons; most Texans are quite content with corporate control of their state’s economy and they would greatly resist any effort at fundamental changes. I believe that these people are content because they believe that those large corporations are providing jobs for so many people.
People are afraid of fundamental change. They believe it could result in many problems like job layoffs, actual unemployment, and cutbacks in the production and delivery of goods. In addition, the government could be expected to mute calls for fundamental economic changes which it makes it much harder to be done. Second, I disagree with non fundamental change which means efforts aimed at increasing the base of political power without totally affecting the economic and political standing of the wealthy. Mostly, that is what I disagree with. I believe in fundamental change. How can we change the economy without changing it fundamentally? It is hard to change any situation without changing the main cause of that problem. Lamar suggests three ways for non fundamental change.
The first way is that change can come from within the economy. We should get different people from different states to be added to the workforce, but we should choose these people differently; therefore, different people can come to Texas from different backgrounds and political minds. In this case, we won’t bring liberals only and increase minorities in Texas. The second way, we can do that by a change which can come from outside political authorities. The government must first secure the approval of the Justice Department.
The federal court must redraw district lines to improve electoral chances for minorities like African Americans and Hispanics. The last change can come more from the people of Texas. It is time for the Texans to change. It is time not be apathetic anymore. They should gather together to promote political changes in Texas.
In other words, the possibility of fundamental change is more likely to occur if the changes are made by people who work within the corporate capitalist system. Those people can make the fundamental change seems more achievable. In conclusion, I both agree and disagree with Lamar’s point of view. Talking about non fundamental change which can be done by the people, makes more sense to me. I believe people can change their lives. No body else will change it for them.
Big corporations and elites care about money only not us. If we people don’t die for the freedom, we are never going to get it. Texans can do a lot by gathering together and fighting those bad people back. Texans should have a better life because we have all the wealth to make us a powerful people. Kids should have a better education and food.
I hope we all learn from our present and past. We should keep building a better society even it seems hard to accomplish.