“In Texas today, the American dream is distant,” says the introduction to the new edition of Texas on the Brink, the biennial report on Texas’s foibles, which was released yesterday.
The Texas on the Brink reports began in 2003, and were produced by Eliot Shapleigh, a Democratic senator from El Paso. This is the sixth edition, and the second since Shapleigh’s retirement; it was produced by the Texas Legislative Study Group, which is chaired by Garnet Coleman, a Democratic representative from Houston. The purpose of the report has always been to highlight the areas where the state falls short compared to other states—not to scold as much as to flag up the issues that need more attention from the public and from the Lege.
It is, in other words, a useful corrective to the banner-waving and drum-banging that Texas often indulges in, particularly given that over the past ten years the state has had so much to brag about. The new edition,