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Texas: Business, Standard of Living, Quality of Life

One of the conditions of growing older is that we all become more reflective about life; not just for ourselves, but for others. There are so many existential questions that allow us to define what makes life good, or not so good, that it remains an open-ended inner dialogue. 

I’m going to be honest with you, I’m worried about Texas.

Standard of living: Standard of living and quality of life are confused and are mistakenly used interchangeably. Standard of living refers to the level of wealth, comfort, material goods, and necessities available to a certain socioeconomic class or geographic area, but quality of life is more subjective because it measures happiness.  

Recently, Texas is ranked next-to-last (49th out of 50 states) in the last two years of the study at Texas A&M University, for “Life, Health & Inclusion (LHI)”, otherwise known as “quality of life”. On a national scale, CNBC ranked Texas as having the worst quality of life of any U.S. state. It’s a little different from what Governor Abbott brags about on social media and in the news.

Texas ranks 44th in child well-being. It’s regularly made the list on the Annie E. Casey Foundation for the worst state to be a child.

Texas ranks 41st in education.

Texas teachers earn more than $9,000 less than the national average.

Texas provides more than $5,000 less per student in school funding than the national average.

Texas ranks seventh for worst health care.

Texas has the highest number of uninsured people in the U.S.

Texas is tied for third-worst for number of affordable homes.

Texas ranks 48th in economic opportunity for individuals.

Texas ranks number one in food insecurity. They’ve maintained this rank since 2010.

The dependability of our power grid is precarious both in summer and winter. 

On the other hand, Texas is ranked number one in the number of Fortune 500 companies in our state and it is the eighth-largest economy among the nations of the world, larger than Russia, Canada, Italy and more.

Texas life is a study in contrasts and contradictions under the political leadership of the last 30 years.

The opening lines of Charles Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities is a fitting description for Texas in real time. 

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

It does not compute, unless you suspect that the best interests of companies are not in the best interests of the people. Texas businesses do not look out for workers or consumers. They’ve fought child labor laws under the banner of “freedom and parent’s rights”.

Our leadership is no better.   

What good is freedom and liberty (their words) when you have no bread to eat and no place to live?

Every election cycle, Texas Republicans claim they will fix the broken parts of Texas, but they’ve been in power for almost 30 years, why haven’t they done it yet?

If I were you, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Carol Morgan
Carol Morgan
The sleepy, dusty town of Lubbock, Texas, in the late fifties, was the perfect incubator for a shy, imaginative child who was a voracious reader with a dream of becoming a writer. Carol Morgan spent almost 30 years as a teacher and counselor, but even in her stint as an educator she continued to write. She was the executive producer of Career Connection, an education program on LISD-TV. In 2001, Carol began a second career as a career counselor, writer and speaker. Her goal was to encourage others to use their gifts and talents to make changes in their lives and the world. That business endured for 20 years until closing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. She was the host of a local radio talk show, Career 411, offering on-air advice and featuring unique careers. As a freelance writer, she’s contributed articles to various publications about Texas politics and life. Carol was the Democratic candidate for the Texas House of Representatives in 2010, and has never recovered from her addiction to Texas politics. She is the author of two books, garnering honors and awards for her writings.


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