Dan Christian Rojas/AP
Texas has the third-highest number of billionaires in America, most of them oil tycoons. Last week, the laissez-faire state energy market delivered a bonanza to oil and gas producers that managed to keep production going during the freeze. It was “like hitting the jackpot”, boasted the president of Comstock Resources on an earnings call. Jerry Jones, billionaire owner of the Dallas Cowboys, holds a majority of Comstock’s shares.
But most other Texans were marooned. Some did perish…
Lower-income Texans, white as well as Black and Latino, are taking it on the chin in many other ways. Texas is one of the few states that hasn’t expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, leaving the share of Texans without health insurance twice the national average, the largest uninsured population of any state. Texas has double the national average of children in poverty and a higher rate of unemployment than the nation’s average.
The tactic isn’t new, of course. Standard operating procedure for the top of the money pile for decades, centuries. Owning and controlling mass communications and political parties in the two main streams of pop culture politics remains the usual drill. Still, there is an insurgency growing…and I doubt Texas can continue to be the Lone Star exception.