First off, if you're not counting benefits, then $11.20 an hour is pretty good money for someone just starting out, especially if you don't have more than a high-school education. Second, Reich neglects to mention that Texas is one of the youngest states in the U.S. (only Utah has a lower median age), which explains our relatively low median wage. In his eagerness to dump on the Lone Star State, Reich neglected to carefully edit his piece and let a positive fact or two slip. For example, he mentions that Texas "has the lowest percentage of workers without health insurance."
Rick Perry seems to have done exactly this. While Texas leads the nation in job growth, a majority of Texas's workforce is paid hourly wages rather than salaries. And the median hourly wage there was $11.20, compared to the national median of $12.50 an hour.
First of all, that's only true if everyone's incomes are lower, meaning total income, and with it, overall demand, is down. However, until recently, household gross income had been growing steadily in the United States. Second, Reich purports to be concerned about American jobs and wages, but while higher incomes translate into more consumption, they don't necessarily translate into more consumption of domestic goods. As a former Secretary of Labor, Reich should have known this.Besides, how can lower incomes possibly be an answer to America's economic problem? Lower incomes mean less overall demand for goods and services -- which translates into even fewer jobs and even lower wages.
When George W. Bush was president, harsh things were said all the time by congressional Democrats and their leaders. Some even crossed the line. Yet, while there was disdain for the man in the Oval Office, respect for the office itself was never in doubt. I seriously worry that it’s in doubt now among some Republicans. Each petty slight by Boehner is one more chip away at respect for the presidency.