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Five Ways Courts Say Texas Discriminated Against Black and Latino Voters

Separate federal panels struck down two Texas voting provisions. We look at examples of discrimination they found.

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Voters cast their ballots in a Republican primary race for a U.S. Senate seat on May 29, 2012, in Corpus Christi, Texas. We list examples of discrimination found by separate federal panels that struck down two Texas voting provisions. (Rachel Denny Clow, Corpus Christi Caller-Times/AP Photo)

This post is being kept up-to-date. It was first published on Sept. 4, 2012.

Oral arguments begin today in a Supreme Court case challenging Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act as out of date. SCOTUS blog is reporting that "a majority of the Court seems committed to invalidating Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act."

In August, a panel of federal court judges ruled that new district maps drawn by Texas' Republican-controlled legislature weakened the influence of Latino voters and in some cases evinced "discriminatory intent" against both Latinos and African Americans. Two days later, another panel of federal judges unanimously struck down a voter-ID law passed by the legislature in March 2011, arguing that it would disproportionately harm African-American and Latino voters. The judges did not address whether there was discriminatory purpose behind the legislation, but they noted that the legislature failed to pass amendments that would have mitigated the law's discriminatory impact.

Both of these decisions hinged on Section 5, which requires certain states with a history of racial discrimination in voting — including Texas — to prove that any changes in their voting laws or procedures do not hamper the voting rights of minorities. Enacted in 1965, the Voting Rights Act aimed to eliminate discriminatory voting practices that had long been used to suppress the black vote, particularly in southern states.

In August, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's office declined to comment on the specifics of the rulings, but the state appealed both cases to the Supreme Court. Whether or not the Court will decide to hear Texas’ redistricting case, which also challenges Section 5, may depend on how the court rules on the current Voting Rights Act case, Shelby County v. Holder.

Minority groups have outnumbered whites in Texas since roughly 2004, and 55.2 percent of the state's residents are now minorities, according to Census figures. But as of 2011, the state's legislature was more than two-thirds white.

Here’s a look at examples of “discriminatory intent” and discriminatory impact federal judges found in Texas lawmakers’ actions in 2011.

1. Lawmakers drew some districts that looked like Latino majority districts on paper — but removed Latinos who voted regularly and replaced them with Latinos who were unlikely to vote.

In the redistricting case, a panel of three federal judges found that Texas lawmakers had intentionally created districts that would weaken the influence of Latino voters, while appearing to satisfy the requirements of the Voting Rights Act.

In drawing Texas' 23rd congressional district, the judges found that "The mapdrawers consciously replaced many of the district's active Hispanic voters with low-turnout Hispanic voters in an effort to strengthen the voting power of [Congressional District] 23's Anglo citizens. In other words, they sought to reduce Hispanic voters' ability to elect without making it look like anything in [Congressional District] 23 had changed."

In 2010, the 23rd district narrowly elected a Latino Republican, Francisco "Quico" Canseco. One email to a Republican mapdrawer, released during the legal battle over the maps, shows that Republicans were trying to increase the chances Canseco would be re-elected.

Lawmakers used a similar tactic in redrawing a state house district, modifying it "so that it would elect the Anglo-preferred candidate yet would look like a Hispanic ability district on paper," the court ruled. An "ability district" is one in which a minority group has the capability to elect representatives of its choosing. The judges concluded that the legislature had been trying to make this district appear as if it satisfied the requirements of the Voting Rights Act, while actually trying to benefit white voters.

Judge Thomas B. Griffith, writing the unanimous opinion of the three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, called it "a deliberate, race-conscious method to manipulate not simply the Democratic vote but, more specifically, the Hispanic vote."

2. Lawmakers widened the gap between the proportion of the population that is Latino and African Americans and the proportion of districts that are minority-controlled.

In the years leading up to the 2010 census, Texas' population increased by 4.3 million people, 65 percent of them Latino. As a result, Texas gained four seats in Congress.

In their decision, the federal judges in the redistricting case noted that minority voters have no constitutional right to proportional representation. But the Voting Rights Act says states can't weaken the electoral power of minorities. So, the judges reasoned, if there is already a gap between the minority population of a state and its political representation, states can't let that gap grow wider.

In Texas, the judges observed, African Americans and Latinos were already underrepresented in Congress. Given the number of voting-age minority citizens in the state, Texas's old maps should have had roughly 13 congressional seats that represent districts in which minorities have a strong voice, the judges calculated. Instead, Texas only had 10 such districts.

Instead of narrowing this "representation gap" as the minority population grew, the legislature increased it.

With four additional congressional seats, Texas should now have 14 districts in which minorities have the ability to elect their chosen representatives, the judges concluded. But the state's new plan still included just 10 minority districts.

3. Texas removed economic centers and district offices from African-American and Latino districts, while giving white Republicans perks.

In defending its new maps, Texas argued that the districts had been shaped to help Republicans and hurt Democrats — a perfectly legal tactic — and that race had been irrelevant to its choices.

The Associated Press reported that the state's lawyer had argued before the court that "'a decision based on partisanship' is not based on race, even if it results in minority voters having less political influence."

The judges noted that while there was no "direct evidence" that "discriminatory purpose" animated the new maps, circumstantial evidence indicated the design of the new congressional districts "was motivated, at least in part, by discriminatory intent."

Texas' gerrymandering was not limited to manipulating the kinds of voters within districts. By reshaping a district, mapdrawers can determine whether key businesses, schools and tourist attractions are removed from a district or added to another.

The redistricting opinion dwelled at length on "unchallenged evidence that the legislature removed the economic guts from Black ability districts." African-American Rep. Al Green testified that the "economic engines" of his district — including a medical center, a university, and the Reliant Park sports mega-complex that includes the Astrodome — were removed. African-American Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson's district lost a sports center and an arts district, while Latino Rep. Charles A. Gonzalez from San Antonio said that both a convention center and the Alamo were drawn out of his district.

These three members of Congress, and African-American Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, all Democrats, also testified that their district offices were drawn out of their districts — a detriment because constituents want easily accessible district offices.

"No such surgery was performed on the districts of Anglo incumbents," the judges found. "In fact, every Anglo member of Congress retained his or her district office."

"The only explanation Texas offers for this pattern is 'coincidence.' But if this was coincidence, it was a striking one indeed," Judge Griffith wrote. He noted that Texas had argued that "without hearing from the members, the mapdrawers did not know where the district officers were located." But, he wrote, "We find this hard to believe as well. We are confident that the mapdrawers can not only draw maps but read them."

The judges noted that members of Congress who represented minority districts testified that they were largely shut out of the map-drawing process. At the same time, white Republican members asked for tweaks to their districts and were often accommodated. "Anglo district boundaries were redrawn to include particular country clubs and, in one case, the school belonging to the incumbent's grandchildren," the judges wrote, referring to requests related to the districts of Republican Congressman Lamar Smith, and Kenny Marchant, respectively.

Not all white lawmakers were happy with their new districts. Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett, who was forced to run in a new district as a result of the Republicans' maps, told the Texas Tribune last year that map plans "plunged a dagger into the heart of our community."

4. Divide and conquer: Texas "cracked" minority voters out of one district into three.

One common tactic of racial gerrymandering is "cracking" a minority community into different districts so it cannot elect a minority politician.

Looking at a State Senate district in Fort Worth, the judges cited testimony that lawmakers reshaped the district in a way that "cracked the politically cohesive and geographically concentrated Latino and African American communities," and placed those voters "in districts in which they have no opportunity to elect their candidates of choice."

The judges cited "well supported" testimony that African Americans in Fort Worth had been "exported" into a rural, "Anglo-controlled" district to the South, while Latinos on the North side of the city had been put into another white, suburban district, leaving the "reconfigured" Senate District 10 a "majority Anglo" district.

The judges rejected Texas' argument that "its decision to 'crack' [Senate District] 10 is best explained by partisan, not racial, goals," and concluded that the district map "was enacted with discriminatory purpose."

5. Texas passed a voter-ID law with requirements that would make it disproportionately difficult for African Americans and Latinos to vote.

A three-judge panel found that Texas' voter-ID law discriminates against minorities, since the costs of obtaining the required identification would place a greater burden on low-income Texans, who are more likely to be minorities than white.

Although the state issues free election IDs, the cost of a birth certificate, one of the underlying documents needed for the ID, is $22 — and that's if voters can get to the right government office in the first place. At least one-third of Texas' counties don't have a state Department of Public Safety office, which issues state IDs.

"It is virtually certain that these burdens will disproportionately affect racial minorities," wrote Judge David S. Tatel for the unanimous panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He cited "undisputed U.S. Census data" showing that Hispanics and African Americans in Texas are more likely to be poor and more likely to live in households without a car.

"Simply put, many Hispanics and Africans Americans who voted in the last election will, because of the burdens imposed by [the new voter ID law], likely be unable to vote in the next election," he wrote.

The judges agreed ahead of last month's trial to keep out any evidence indicating motivations for the voter-ID law, so they didn't address whether or not there was intentional discrimination behind the creation of the law. But the 56-page decision pointed out that the Texas legislature could have made its law more accommodating by, among other things, waiving documentation fees for the election IDs, reimbursing travel-related costs or expanding DPS office hours to evenings and weekends — amendments that were either defeated or tabled.

Finally, the judges agreed with Texas that the state had an interest in preventing voter fraud, even though there is little documented evidence of current voter fraud in Texas. However, they noted that circumstantial evidence "could nonetheless suggest that Texas invoked the specter of voter fraud as pretext for racial discrimination."

The 2012 election

Texans were not required to present a photo ID to vote in November's election.

"As a result of the court's decision, Texas is not permitted to implement the photo ID law," Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade announced in a news release.

As for the redistricting maps, Texas used a set of interim maps drawn by federal judges in Texas. Those interim maps were part of a contentious battle that earlier went to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ronald E Putnam

Sep. 4, 2012, 12:18 p.m.

Voter ID.If a person can register to vote w/o proving they are legal to do so,why do we need an ID of any kind? Voting is the most important thing a person can do.Just a typical Dem. way to CHEAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ronald E Putnam

Sep. 4, 2012, 12:21 p.m.

Voter ID.If a person can register to vote w/o proving they are legal to do so,why do we need an ID of any kind? Voting is the most important thing a person can do.Just a typical Dem. way to CHEAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Screw You

The real story is Democrats solidifying their claim that the Republican party does not care or have the interest of minorities at heart. Latinos know better…if they (dems) truly had compassion for Latinos, then why aren’t they putting any effort in changing Mexico!

Allegations of vote cheating are fiction, done to pretend there is reason to suppress the vote—voiced by people who beat their chests and brag about American ‘freedoms’ and ‘liberty’ and American ‘exceptionalism’.  So much for freedom and liberty, huh?

Ronald, please provide evidence of cheating or voter fraud.  In reality, the number is ridiculously low. 

To me the most telling line in this article is “The Associated Press reported that the state’s lawyer had argued before the court that “‘a decision based on partisanship’ is not based on race, even if it results in minority voters having less political influence.”  if the GOP cannot win on issues then they will win by rigging the election based on a fraudulent premise.

Its a shame really because I would have appreciated choices in government, as it stands now I cannot imagine a circumstance where I would vote for a Republican.

If Texas is 55% minority, then they are the majority. Simple math.!  So why is it that these Judges didn’t like the way the lines were drawn. I thought it had to do with the movement of the population not who the ethnicity is. So now we need to look at all areas where there are large populations of minorities and break them up so that every thing will be even steven.  I’m a minority.

Rachel Baker Ford

Sep. 4, 2012, 1:08 p.m.

Mr. Putnam: I couldn’t agree more with your comment: “Voting is the most important thing a person can do.”  Voting is a right granted by the U.S. Constitution. We, here in Texas, have to prove who we are to get a state issued Voter Registration Card.  This registration is done by a duly sworn-in Registrar of Voters, of which I am. 
The real issue behind this Voter ID bill is requiring another form of state-issued ID, defined and issued by the state, and contains a PHOTO of the named person. Texas has been declared guilty of discrimination (twice) because of this requirement.  A student ID from the University of Texas (and all college ID’s) is not acceptable for Voting ID purposes.  The DPS offices are not located in many counties and require a difficult and long journey during work-time, day hours for a driver’s license or a state issued ID. This amounts into a Poll Tax, also illegal.
In your words, Mr. Putnam:  Just a typical GOP way to prevent voters from voting and exercise proven discrimination.

clarence swinney

Sep. 4, 2012, 1:30 p.m.

Get Money out of politics
SWINNEY BIG THREE
A—-Fed fund election—6 months-=  3 primary 3 general—No personal money—-
Outside very very limited—VERY

B. since no need for campaign funds BAN all government employees accepting anything with a financial value. Present or future promises. This closes K Street Bribery

C. Progressive Flat Tax by group—-14,00 income and we should be
paying our way and paying down the debt. We can do it with higher tax rate for top.
We did it 1945-1980 by Taxing wealth.
Sad but true today top 50% get 87% + of
individual income and pay 13.5% tax Rate.
It took a Tax Rate of 32% on Top 50% to balance our budget. It would require a change from (Top 1% paying 23%); (Top 10% paying 19%); and (top 25% paying 15%). The top 2% own 50% of wealth and took 30% of income.
Redistribute Wealth and fast.
HOW—- by Flat Tax by group—-tax income to pay our way—-we have done it before.

To all those living in fear of voter fraud, falsely believing there are not already laws on the books to prevent and prosecute fraud, rest assured, such laws do exist.  Undocumented aliens are very unlikely, especially in today’s environment, to risk their cover by trying to vote when they are not legally allowed to do so.  Otherwise, these laws are a solution without a problem.  Validated voter fraud happens .0000004 times in every 100 votes, or .00004% of the time.  Find another issue through which to express your fear of changing demographics.

@leo monted- What are you proposing; regime change ala G W Bush? Can we just use drones against those who disagree with you? Only a right wing fool would consider “changing” a sovereign nation into what he thought it “should” be. Comprende, idiota?

@clarence swinney- Spot on, but don’t expect conservatives to sign on any time soon. They are petrified that whilte, males are becoming extinct like dinosaurs. Dying off and seeing blacks, latinos and asians becoming larger populations. They can see the writing on the wall and realize they might have to actually begin to respond to minority voters in their policy and that is totally foreign to them. First they’re going to try all of their historic con games to disenfranchise minorities. They believe they are entitled to lead. Just listen to how they characterize the onslaught of minorities. Denigrating them instead of celebrating how minorities make our country the greatest on Earth. I say this as an older, white male citizen who rejoices in our diversity. Obama 2012!

We are now in greater need of implementing a new, almost free of cost electronic voting system e.g. by using cheap and very personal but unfailingly identified cell phones of able persons whoever can afford at least one. No more or less complains regarding Voter ID.

Please—every blue collar, working class, and low income member of my family who is Hispanic has a driver’s license.  My father-in-law became a citizen after working 40 years legally. Even when there were lean times he never broke the law.  But his stories abound of people all over the community skirting the law. We have had people illegally register to vote with our Houston residence.

Yes the lines in Houston are hours long, and we all have to take time off from our jobs to get licenses.  So too we need a birth certificate to get a SSN card for employment.  We all have to get them.

Birth certificates can be purchased online and even the churches have computers. So do the libraries…

@mike1950s Your characterization of how easy it is to obtain a valid birth certificate in order to get a state driver’s license, for example, is simplistic. You simply miss how difficult it would be for a 90-year-old to do so when the office involved is many mile away and without transportation. As NYU’s Brennen Center reported recently, voter fraud or more specifically, voter impersonation doesn’t actually exist. The push for voter ID laws is an attempt at suppressing minority voters and influence electoral results. The only reason you believe otherwise is that you are a Republican. I remember an important adage in law which says if the issue gives favor to a particular party, it should be ruled against on it’s face. Get it? The Republican party discovered a flaw in the 2008 National election; too many minorities registered and voted for Obama. They simply want to game the system for a Republican win. What is so hard to understand about that? Both parties have used partisan redistricting. This is over the top. If you honestly believe in democracy, you must oppose these activities. They’re anti-democracy.

Judges smart enough to see through Republican dodges?  Oh, that’s going to make the Republicans mad…if they gain power again, you’ll see a wave of appointments of dummies who can be depended upon to sit there faking concentration until it’s time to “What he said.” with the lead “conservative”

Like on the Supreme Court.

Sorry, what?  Gerrymandering is legal in the US?  Gotta love democracy.

Texas Republicans are the most reprehensible group of bigots and racists amongst which I have had the misery of living and I’ve lived in NC, SC, FLA and Alabama, not exactly paragons of progressive thought and tolerant. They are reprehensible because they are in denial and are so insufferably indignant over such obvious faults.

It is no surprise that they were ‘legally’ attempting to discourage non-whites and non-Republicans from visiting the voting booth.

You have to remember that Texas is where two white men drug a black man to his death behind their pickup truck for ‘fun.’

So consider the hate-filled environment when you read such news.

@Stephen, Re: “Sorry, what? Gerrymandering is legal in the US?”

There are certainly people—including Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens—who think gerrymandering a district to help or hurt a certain party should be unconstitutional.

But the Supreme Court has struggled to define partisan gerrymandering—or even define a neutral standard of “fairness” in redistricting.

You might want to check out my article on this from earlier this year: http://www.propublica.org/article/is-partisan-gerrymandering-unconstitutional

The Republicans yap about their freedoms constantly and then not only makes a blatant and obvious move to stunt the freedoms of others BUT also shrugs their shoulders and tries to pretend it isn’t happening.
  These extremists have made a decision to force their way on us all, no matter the cost.
  Sounds a whole lot like Apartheid to me.

It amazes me that anybody would worry about voter ID (and that any self-proclaimed small-government Republican would want to hand that kind of power over to the poster-child of inept governance, the DMV) when, since the country has been founded, we’ve lost 95% of our influence on the Federal government as Congress has avoided expanding along with the population.  And in the last decade or two, we’ve lost all accountability of our votes to people who count them in absolute secrecy.

If the votes aren’t legitimate and the people we elect can’t be bothered to listen to us, what is making the DMV the voting gatekeeper—giving them effective authority over citizenship above every other authority—going to fix?

(Regarding the population ratio, I’d imagine that gerrymandering would be substantially more difficult if each district held a twentieth the people they do today.)

And where even al Qaeda itself can easily donate a big pile of money to a charity (that is exempt from reporting its donors) that can pass it on to a SuperPAC, is a handful of illegal immigrants theoretically casting votes really the horrific influence that needs blocking?

“Minority groups have outnumbered whites in Texas since roughly 2004, and 55.2 percent of the state’s residents are now minorities, according to Census figures.”

Doesn’t this mean that whites are a minority group?

Rodolfo V Gonzales

Sep. 5, 2012, 9:45 a.m.

It’s not just Texas where this principle has been implemented, but across the entire nation in TEA-GOP-Republican- Evangelical, Libertarian controlled legislatures and Governor-ships; this has been the norm. Federal judges counted the ways Texas discriminates against minorities and people of color on voter rights. Texas’ Republican-controlled legislature weakened the influence of Latino voters and in some cases evinced “discriminatory intent” against both Latinos and African Americans. Remember this as you watch the Democratic convention. The TEA-Republican-GOP-Evangelical fringe calling for voter ID to combat voter fraud, while enacting additional voting restrictions, in Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. Their voter fraud has been totally debunked, but serves as a rallying cry for the minimally educated and grossly influence-able. Another panel of federal judges unanimously struck down a voter-ID law passed by the legislature in March 2011, arguing that it would disproportionately harm African-American and Latino voters. Both decisions hinged on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires certain states with a history of racial discrimination in voting — including Texas — to prove that any changes in their voting laws or procedures do not hamper the voting rights of minorities.

@Rachel Baker Ford - your apparent disregard for commenting etiquette is appalling.  You have 1) apparently read the article, 2) understand the issue, and 3) written a response that is free of logical fallacy or hyperbole.

Well done ma’am :-D.

Seattle Guy—
All of the senior citizens I know have been around long enough that they already have their birth certificates, SSN’s, and photo ID if they no longer drive.  These senior citizens are organized and keep records.  The way this article reads it implies that the 90 year old senior in your example is indigent and for 90 years never did anything, becasue now at 90 they have to get a birth certificate.

Yeah I register republican but vote independently.  My in-laws are mostly democrat and vote independently.  My father-in-law just shakes his head and wonders how people could be so hopelessly incapable of keeping records.  But then again he is pretty young at age 76.  Two of my 80 year old colleagues who are still working dread the day they can no longer drive.  But they have their records.

Now my grandmother who lived to be 92, never had much, worked all her life just to get by and couldn’t drive after age 75, was still able through “family” to get to doctor appointments, pay bills, and keep their records.  I think you are selling our seniors short.

As for the poor—do recall how our values have changed in the last 30 years.  Nobody seems to be able to survive without internet, cell phone, and rarely a computer.  In Houston, I notice one needs an ID when to set up a phone plan.

No I am disturbed that people who don’t live here make assumptions on conditions.  Oh, one other thing, the majority Hispanic community relies heavily on family.

@Mike1950s:  Do you think it appropriate to extrapolate data you have collected from…what, a dozen individuals?...and apply it to the entire state of Texas and so overrule judges who had and have access to masses of data that you cannot even approximate?

Particularly when the details you provide of your particular sample set suggest economic circumstances that are better than so much of Texas?

http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/county-level-data-sets/poverty.aspx?reportPath=/State_Fact_Sheets/PovertyReport&stat_year=2009&stat_type=0&fips_st=48

BOY THESE OLD WHITE BIGOTED RETHUGLICANS WONT MAKE ANY PLAY THAT GRANTS EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO PEOPLE OF COLOR, I AM ONE WHITE GUY WHO WILL BE GLAD WHEN ALL THOSE OLD BIGOTED WHITE THUGS IN the republican party either retire to an insane asylum, or die off so we don’t have to support them with our tax money any longer, they give America a bad name and reputation and they should be barred from public service ever!

@roman smetak:  Unfortunately, it is my observation that racism is a learned abnormality; that is, it is learned in the environment one is raised in or in a subsequent but influential environment (military/school/work).

So new racists are school-housin’ every day.

Its kind of like having a couple of smart dogs…once one of ‘em learns to manipulate a simple cage lock or climb out at the juncture of two fences, they teach the others.

Ibsteve— like I said, my extended family lives in Magnolia.  Anyone who knows anything about Houston knows that Magnolia is about 80% Hispanic, lower middle class, hard working blue collar and brown collar.  The community has a large population of legal residents, and sadly, undocumented residents as well.  Everyone naturally speaks Spanish, and are fluent in English as well.  They all live by the ship channel, have poor roads, under represented, and have plenty of things to cite as discrimination.  But the patriarch of the family would be very unhappy with the assertions of racism toward me, my political beliefs,  and the rather crude remarks people resort too.  The problem is judges who don’t even know the city, like others on this blog don’t live it, but assume they know best. And when people like me challenge their blanket assumptions
folks get their panties in wad and start launching e-vectives. 

If you want to talk about dirt roads and hard scrabble existence in Crystal City, then we can get down to brass tacks and look at hard lives.  But I can say with certainty not one judge can tell you where it is.  Their facts or assumptions don’t fit the ground truth.

@leomonted:  So we’re responsible for Mexico now?  Really?  It’s interesting to me how “small government” Republicans want us to intervene everywhere in the world.  How will that help the deficit, that is so so important now?

@AF Whigs:  His words were illusion, anyway.  Raising Mexico up to the standards of America in the 1970s (that is, pre-Republican success - before they successfully blockaded all efforts to rid America’s economy of the gangrene of gasoline addiction post OPEC-oil embargo and before they inflicted voodoo [a.k.a. “flood-up/trickle-down”] economics upon America) would result in a Mexico with a citizenry who wouldn’t abide dirt-cheap wages and horrid working conditions.

That is the last thing the right/Republicans want…rather, their every attempt is to use Mexico and other artificially cheap labor nations to force America down to Mexico’s economic status…to create inequality in America that is as bad or worse than Mexico’s. 

The modern American right is having great success, too…according to the CIA’s numbers

http://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/print_2172.html

Mexico’s inequality has grown slightly better - their GINI index, or distribution of family income between rich and otherwise, was 53.1 in 1998 and 51.7 in 2008 (the higher the GINI index, the worse off the many in that country are) - whereas the GINI index of the United States became significantly worse between 1997 and 2007, changing from 40.8 to 45 over those years.

That worsening of conditions in the United States of America is directly attributable to the following Republican policies:

1)  Forced oil addiction; that is, embedding artificially uncontrollable energy prices into our economy’s cost structure…which in turn made seeking ways to offset those costs - with, for instance, lower cost labor - very attractive to America’s manufacturers.

2)  Voodoo - or “flood-up/trickle-down” - economics, which incentivizes the diversion of wealth from the many to the few through the simple expediencies of making U.S. tax policy “The more you take, the more you can keep.” and rewarding those who do their taking via “high finance” far more than any other sector.  Emphasizing “high finance” at the cost of all other sectors is bad news for the many, for “high finance” a collection of “rent seekers”; that is, they do not build or add value; they parasitically consume wealth only.

3) Deregulation or, effectively, biasing the rules of “high finance” against the investor in terms of their wealth: the less wealth you have, the easier it is to take that wealth from you; conversely, the more wealth you have, the more opportunities to increase that wealth you have (the latter two “rules” naturally complement each other)

4)  Inequitable free trade - using artificially-defined currency exchange rates to play the labor forces of the world against each other in order to maximize profits and suppress wages in all countries in general, but in the nations of “the West” specifically.  Given that the United States was the major proponent of inequitable free trade, it follows that the wealthy in America desired to beat their citizens down more than the wealthy of any other country in the world.

#4, again, is why the right doesn’t want Mexico to get “better”...if Mexico did get “better”, her utility as a stick with which “labor” (also known, variously, as “consumers”, “voters”, “the American people”, “citizens”) in the United States can be beaten with would immediately be reduced.

My bad…I forgot the facility with which this site assumes that URLs are not encrypted (when it doesn’t block them entirely “awaiting moderation”.

The CIA link above will work if you copy and paste it into your browser and change the “http” into “https”.

Just as a side note:  The data the CIA willingly puts out in a “broadcast” fashion (that is, not targeted at a specific audience) is remarkably accurate for all of you conspiracy theorists out there.

lollll…if you spend any time thinking about my last comment, you’ll understand the “why” of its truth.

This article is part of an ongoing investigation:
Redistricting

Redistricting: How Powerful Interests Are Drawing You Out of a Vote

How secret money and power interests are drawing you out of a vote.

The Story So Far

Redistricting should be a way of ensuring your vote counts. If all districts have roughly the same number of people in them and are drawn to respect natural communities—neighborhoods where people share a heritage, work in the same industry, or just generally feel tied to their neighbors—voters have a chance to be represented by politicians who represent their areas’ collective interests.

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