Saturday, October 20, 2007

Proposition 15

Trowbridges article, “Texas shouldn’t take on the burden of proposition 15”, is written to try to persuade its readers to vote no on a proposition that would give funds to cancer research and other related endeavors. The writer make it quite clear he stands on this issue and makes a good convincing argument to persuade others. The first effort he makes to show readers that he is giving an un biased opinion is to state that his wife has died of cancer and that he still doesn’t support the use of this bond proposal. This insight into his life instantly give some reader pause to consider the validity of this proposal if someone affected by cancer believes that it’s a bad idea. He continues his assault against prop 15 by stating what most of us know, but always seem to over look, and that is the cost. Proposition 15 supporters have stated that the cost of 3 billion dollars over 10 year will be the price Texas tax payers will have to cover if this proposal goes into affect. What the writer states and supporters don’t know is that bonds earn interest. An investment into cancer research funded by a bond will still accumulate interest over the period of the bond. Bring the total cost to tax payers to 4.6 billion after interest is computed for ten years. A significant omission?

The main body of his argument, however, is why Texas? While it may be true that this influx of capital to the research market could increase the number of jobs for Texans, as well as support businesses. Why should Texans float the bill for research that the whole country would/will benefit from? The writer makes a great point in giving options that would help divided the burden to all 50 states through the use of federal level groups and agencies for the development of cancer science. Furthermore, a great point is made that private pharmaceutical companies will benefit greatly from tax payer paid research without having to spend a dime, and have the ability to further develop that research for profit. The last point the writer make is to state that there are no control measures in place to ensure how the money is spent, as the writer puts it “a 3 billion dollar blank check to be spent on something with the word cancer in it”, isn’t a great guarantee that it will be well spent.

Over all I believe the writer of this article did a fantastic job in not only organizing his arguments, but to convince the reader that his choice to vote no is based on more than his dislike of higher taxes.


Friday, October 5, 2007

Crtical Look at Proposition

The editorial, “No more hiding from folks in Texas,” is an opinion about a new proposition that will vote on during the next state election in Texas. This proposed proposition 11 calls for a popular vote, to decide weather or not to allow individual citizens accesses to voting records of the state Legislature. As the law stands now there are currently no way for the average vote to know how his/her elected official has voted on certain issues, or as the author states, “there is no accountability in place”. Truthfully I agree with this proposition, a certain anonymity in government is always a good thing, but not the way Texas has hidden behind its poorly written constitution. State and local officials are in a position to affect our lives in a lot of ways our federal government can’t. We as a state elect our officials based of promises they make or ideals they have, and we should expect them to vote accordingly. Accountability is seems to be the primary focus here and as voters we should come to expect nothing less

The author of this editorial does a good job stating their opinion and adds a few facts to help bolster his arguments to vote yea of this proposition. I would agree that past resentment to this sort of law is in line with Texas’s “I don’t want to change” attitude add view this as a great step forward in a freedom of information age