Juanita Jean spots this, which is happening despite the booming Texas economy Rick Perry is always bragging about. Or is it happening because of the booming economy?
TxDOT Plans to Convert Some Roads to Gravel"Citing a funding shortfall"? But I thought Texas was swimming in money! Governor Perry's always telling us that, isn't he? But I forgot -- the state is swimming in money, but it's his mission in life (when he's not restricting abortion) to make sure that as little of that money goes to the goldurn gummint.
Citing a funding shortfall and the impact of a historic oil drilling boom, Texas Department of Transportation officials on Thursday announced plans to move forward with converting some roads in West and South Texas to gravel.
Approximately 83 miles of asphalt roads will be torn up and converted to "unpaved" roads, TxDOT Deputy Executive Director John Barton said. The speed limits on those roads will probably be reduced to 30 mph....
All of the affected roads have been so heavily damaged by truck activity related to oil and natural gas exploration that they have become safety hazards, Barton said....
People who study less-developed countries talk about the "resource curse" -- the tendency of poorer countries not to become generally prosperous when their economies become start to be focused on extracting valuable commodities like oil. This is usually seen as a third-world problem:
Africa is cursed -- with riches. In an era of rising petroleum prices, African oil is drawing new interest from major companies around the globe, says John Ghazvinian, author of Untapped: The Scramble for Africa's Oil....I don't think that's just a third-world problem. I think Rick Perry has set Texas on a course to become the Gabon or Nigeria of America -- a place where large amounts of money are generated by resources and as little as possible trickles down to the public. Freedom!
But most Africans are seeing little benefit from this influx of oil drillers and investment. In fact, because of an economic paradox known as the "Resource Curse," they are often hurt by exports of their countries' oil....
... oil money tends to corrupt politicians. They end up vying to pocket a share of the finite petroleum riches, rather than looking for ways to invest in their country's long-term prosperity. "The governments aren't dependent on income taxes and therefore don't have to do what the citizens want," he says. "The state isn't an engineer of economic growth, but a gravy train. None of the money gets down to the people."
UPDATE: Typo fixed.