-7,f16 0011q: The Texas OBSERVER e The Texas Observer Publishing Co., 1978 Ronnie Dugger, Publisher Vol. 70, No. 10 May 26, 1978 Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Demo crat, which in turn incorporated the Austin Forum-Advocate. EDITOR Jim Hightower MANAGING EDITOR Lawrence Walsh ASSOCIATE EDITOR Linda Rocawich EDITOR AT LARGE Ronnie Dugger PRODUCTION MANAGERS: Susan Reid, Susan Lee, Beth Epstein ASSISTANT EDITORS: Colin Hunter, Teresa Acosta, Vicki Vaughan, Eric Hartman STAFF ASSISTANTS: Margaret Watson, Bob Sindermann, Debbie Wormser, Margot Beutler, Leah Miller, Connie Larson, David Guarino, Beverly Palmer, Harris Worcester, Gerald McLeod, Larry Zinn, Janie Leigh Frank, Connie Jacowitz CONTRIBUTORS: Kaye Northcott, Jo Clifton, Dave McNeely, Don Gardner, Warren Burnett, Rod Davis, Paul Sweeney, Marshall Breger, Jack Hopper, Stanley Walker, Joe Frantz, Ray Reece, Laura Eisenhour, Dan Hubig, Ben Sargent, Berke Breathed, Eje Wray, Luther Sperberg, Roy Hamric, Thomas D. Bleich, Mark Stinson, Ave Bonar, Jeff Danziger, Lois Rankin, Maury Maverick Jr., Bruce Cory, John Henry Faulk, Chandler Davidson, Molly Ivins, Ralph Yarborough, Laura Richardson, Tim Mahoney, John Spragens Jr., Sheila Taylor BUSINESS STAFF: Cliff Olofson, Alice Embree, Ricky Cruz A journal of free voices We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of humankind as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. The editor has exclusive control over the editorial policies and contents of the Observer. None of the other people who are associated with the enterprise shares this responsibility with him. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them the editor does not necessarily imply that he agrees with them because this is a journal offree voices. Published by Texas Observer Publishing Co., biweekly except for a three-week interval between issues twice a year. in January and July; 25 issues per year. Second-class postage paid at Austin, Texas. Publication no. 541300. years, $30. Foreign, except APO/FPO, $1 additional per year. Airmail, bulk orders, and group rates on request. Microfilmed by Microfilming Corporation of America, 21 Harristown Road, Glen Rock, N.J. 07452. IAISWIFF Editorial and Business Offices: 600 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701 COMMENT We can do better “I’m goin’ where the businessman ain’t king, Lord, Lord And I ain’t gonna be treated this-a-way.” Dust Bowl ballad Texas sent more sons and daughters to California during the economic collapse of the 1930s than did any other state, but that’s all in the past now, and no one likes to look back on hard times, much less try to learn any lessons from the experience. Besides, the dust has long since settled, the sun shines through brilliantly today, and the Lone Star State itself has become the nation’s promised land, with nearly 10,000 migrants crossing the borders into Texas every month to bask in the prosperity of Sunbelt-style growth. The state’s official hucksters assure us that we are privileged to live in the new economic mecca, and that it exists because a long line of governorsfrom Coke Stevenson in 1943 through Dolph Briscoe in 1978have had the prescience to make the businessman king. During the last 35 years, this beneficent leadership of corporate and state executives has constructed in Texas the “Number One Climate” in the country for nurturing big business. More than a thousand million-dollar companies are headquartered in Dallas now, with another 600 in Houston. Only New York and Chicago have more. In the last five years alone, Texas attracted 1,200 industries, and the rush continues. But chamber-ofcommerce dogma notwithstanding, corporate expansion can hardly be equated with general prosperity, and the predictable results of this alliance are that economic growth has been decidedly unbalanced in Texas and our business structure is being thrown permanently out of whack. Some symptoms: While per capita annual income in Texas is rising \(it upper end of the scale, where a corporate management class is growing and profiting \(a 1977 survey of well-paid, big-firm executives in Dallas found that the lowest salary increase acAs Julie Ardery and Bill Bishop report in their page 3 article, the income gap between rich Texans and the rest of us widened substantially from 1953 to 1973. The chances of getting a job in Texas are good, but the chances of being paid adequately for your work are poor David Perry and Alfred Watkins report on page 5 that the reason for the poverty of many inner-city residents in Dallas and Houston is not unemployment, as it is in Eastern cities, but the low wages paid to Texas workers. It is national news that Austin has the lowest cost of living of 40 metropolitan areas studied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with an annual income of $14,776 supposedly sufficing to sustain a middling standard of living for a family of four. But the best figures available suggest that at least half the families in Austin make less than that, and roughly 40 percent of them appear to have total family incomes of less than $10,000 annually. Small business, the classic means of upward mobility and the state’s source of business innovation, is unfairly disadvantaged by the anticompetitive practices of the very corporations MAY 26, 1978
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