Monday, April 25, 2011

Thank you, Dan Branch

Well, it appears as though Morrison's HB 2556 will not be considered by the Texas Legislature this session. Regardless of your stance on the issue, Representative Branch's decision to hold a meeting of all interested parties in Victoria has to please you. I always believe that open discussion is often the best cure for a festering problem. It is far easier to despise someone you don't have to see or talk to. This will be a great opportunity for all parties to express their concerns, and possibly be taken to task for spreading false information.

Since this entire ordeal began, I have repeatedly heard statements that either cannot be proven, or are just outright false. I keep hearing that A&M has an undeniable track record of growing universities in rural areas, which is not true. I keep hearing that A&M is a better "partner" for Victoria than UH, which cannot be proven. I keep hearing words like "destination university" and "accessible education", with no meaning attached to them. 

Hopefully this will be a REAL meeting, accompanied by a public hearing section. I want to hear the truth, straight from the horses' mouths. I want to know what A&M plans to do. I want to know what UH has to say. I want to know what both chancellors and the elected officials think of higher education cannibalism, and what sort of precedent they think this could set.

So let's have this meeting, and let's demand that it be for real, instead of some going through the motions spectacle. I can't wait to watch people like Pozzi, Patillo, Fowler, Burns, Polasek, Vivian, and Crew have to explain the propaganda they have been spreading. They should bear in mind that facts are stubborn things.


Edith Ann said...

That's what I have asked all along the way--just exactly what is TAMU going to do for Victoria?

All the spew from the 'fors' is just a series of talking points. They are statements that seem plausible, but are not supposed to elicit questions. They have no answers because anything they say is very likely going to be proved a lie.

While this bunch was counting their unhatched chickens, they failed to count those who would be opposed. They underestimated the other side.

I think they need to have the panel of UHV and TAMU officials only on stage at the Fine Art Auditorium. The rest of the concerned citizens can sit in the audience and watch the debate. This event could be moderated by ME!

Jared said...

EA, the first time I heard their was going to be a meeting to discuss this, I thought, "This is what EdithAnn has been asking for?"

So my question is, "How does EA pull the strings?" ;)

Matt Ocker said...

EA has some serious pull. While the rest of us call each to strategize, she calls Rick, Dan Geanie, and Glenn on their cell phones. Why do you think I am so nice to her?

On a related note, I caught your blog earlier. While I am in agreement that we will hear what the plans are from TAMU and UH, what about Victoria? When are we going to step up? I mean, honestly, why should we be demanding a "destination university" when our population increase over the last 10 years is only 20% of the state average?

Isn't this akin to someone asking for a raise without increasing work ethic, efficiency, knowledge, or productivity?

Jared said...

Matt, is "our population" meaning Victoria?

I will answer if that is what you mean. These are not words given to me, but my own thoughts, at least I don't remember hearing any say them. But then again, I smoke tobacco, so I could be missing something.

I say that Victoria is not the market we should be looking at. Our growth at this point (upto a year ago) is dependent on commuters, but a destination university is not seeking commuters as their market. Are students interested in coming to receive their higher ed in Victoria? I would say Victoria has competitive advantages that other markets don't and has disadvantages as well.

If I take some of the thoughts I have heard, I hear that "We want a better Victorian university." Both as destination and better offerings.

The June meeting will hopefully shed some light.

BIGJ said...


Anonymous said...

Lack of trust... The GOB and the VEDC crew should be wondering why so much negativity. We think, "Something is not right in Hictoria". Things, which appear special interest tinged get rammed through our local government regularly. Stories and catch words are spouted identically from numerous "leaders". Collaberation is rampant. And the "leaders" wonder why their positions are questioned? Why? We can no longer trust you, fellows.

Edith Ann said...

On speed dial, Jared, on speed dial.
Way back, when this plan was first hatched, the folks doing the hatching, hereinafter referred to as ‘They or they’, had some specific goals in mind. But nowhere in their great planning did they plan for folks to question their motive, methods or means. When we did, we were called negative. We were called CAVE dwellers (I kind of like that one). We were called all kinds of names. However, now that HB2556 is dead, those who spoke against us—who’s right now?
Remember the series of events:
First, Airline Road was going to be extended to the Airport. This was to be the Mayor’s self-professed legacy. They liked this idea enough to pledge $9 million dollars.
Then, so that the Airline extension didn’t become a ‘road to nowhere’, they decided that the airport would be a great place for a university. And, lucky them! They had a friend with some extra land just sitting around gathering dust! Not to worry that this generous donation of land was smack dab in the middle of so ‘for sale’ land. They’d cross that bridge when they got to it.
But, alas, those ungrateful wretches at UHS just couldn’t get the vision, and since UHS couldn’t, they decided they didn’t like them anymore. Pitching a fit like a two year old, they stomped their feet, made threats and did their best to bully UHS.
Enter the Crossroads Commission on Education. Billed as a panel to address the needs of all students in the Crossroads from birth thru post secondary, they quickly revealed their true mission: Finding a new university system that would do the citizen’s bidding AND buy Paco Buhler’s land. That would be the only way the Mayor could build his road. By the way, for the sake of at least one side of this story being truthful and honest, Commission members Bob Moore and Robert Loeb did visit a school district up near Midland or Lubbock. They did learn some interesting things that they did being back to VISD. But don’t bother checking with Edna ISD or Goliad ISD or Hallettsville ISD to see how the Commission is addressing any of their needs. They aren’t.
And here we are at a meeting of the systems. Do you think they are doing this because it is a good idea? I would say so. Do you think the timing is interesting? I do. Do you think TAMU is going to say they will do whatever the CCOE wants? I don’t. Do you think there is so much chatter on the 100K because to actually carry out the plan for that cash would have been illegal. Frankly, I’m thinking all the print coverage on that matter is the City Attorney’s first line of defense, i.e., “It’s been printed 26 times in the paper that we didn’t spend the money, therefore we’re claiming we did nothing wrong…”
I could go on, but you all read the Advocate. The documentation is there. It is just a matter of connecting the dots.
This whole series of events has been a smudge on Victoria. A Mayor declaring nuclear war. A city council acting illegally. The sneaky and underhanded scheming.
But—“Bring Your Boots!” We won awards for that!

Jared said...

Matt, for your Hayekian viewing pleasure.

Anonymous said...

Nice utube Jared.Can I say government and corporate (even little VEDC people) should never lie in the same bed. The VEDC folks prospered best when they used their own money. Local government operated best when they tried not to grow the economy. Central planning never works. Stealing money from the taxpayer (even for worthy experiments) seldoms workout the way it was projected.

Please report back to us the Tuesday morning meeting. I guess the blame will be flying around like mad. Of course, your heros will not accept the blame for the UHV failure.

Matt Ocker said...


That video is actually a part 2. Have you seen part 1? I really hope you listened to the lyrics. Economies don't need master planners. In fact, the planners are the only real enemies to economies that I can see.

Jared said...

Anon, report: no mention today other than about the emails that were reported by the Advocate and a few questions regarding the Branch meeting. One thing did stick out in my mind, UH System had nothing to do with Sugarland until UHV saw the market there. Now that that area is growing, they seem to want to jump on the bandwagon.

Matt, I did see video one. I cannot say I disagree with much in either one.

Thoughts wanted from your readership. I am planning on a blog post on the region of Emilia-Romagna ( It will touch on central planning. The regional civic officials are Communist but have figured out a very interesting system to prosper. Instead of top-down, they have yielded to small business as the best way to provide for the people, roughly 40% of the GDP is from cooperatives and I have seen somewhere that around 55% of the population works for them.

It is interesting because I know central planning seldom works at all outside of monasteries.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Anonymous said...

Jared, I haven't seen you lately, welcome.

Regarding the cooperative movements. Wikki: "The cooperative movement has been fueled globally by ideas of economic democracy. Economic democracy is a socioeconomic philosophy that suggests an expansion of decision-making power from a small minority of corporate shareholders to a larger majority of public stakeholders." The coop uses the assumption that all will prosper if all have equal access to economic capital. This assumption errs in that not everyone is equally driven. In a coop, should one member become too successful and offers to buy out his neighbor, what peer pressure will develop?

Attaining economic capital is a product of individual drive, not the banding together of forever economic equals.

The concepts begs, why are there employees if everyone is born with equal drive to capitalistic success?

Jared said...

Anon @ May 12, I am sorry for taking a little time here. I checked for comments, but this computer didn't show them til recently.

Anon says: "Attaining economic capital is a product of individual drive, not the banding together of forever economic equals."

I think this comments assume a priori that the individual is his own master, but this cannot be the case for each is born into a family, received education from outside himself, was born in a particular place and time outside his control, received his biological makeup, virtues training (nature/nurture), etc. from outside himself. So I would reply, your statement begs the question, "Where did his drive come from?" I think some examples can be shown that even the drive for success, whereas may partly come from his personal nature (which is still received, not his by himself), can also be taught, hence training and development and leadership preparation.

Anon: "The concepts begs, why are there employees if everyone is born with equal drive to capitalistic success?"

I would say that there are employees because the means of production are simply not available. I know co-ops have a stereotypical mindset of being the "hippish" but this seems to be more here than elsewhere like Emilia-Romagna where the finest cars are made. I cannot imagine that a person that is just going through the motions will last long in such a place in such an industry that is as competitive.

One of the largest construction contractors in the nation is an ESOP, which is close to a co-op. This is another competitive field that cannot accept squaters. My answer would be to set up internal regulations to control (these would of course be decided by those with ownership, the employees).

Another example would be Jack Stack and SRC Holdings:

I agree that the problems you mention would need to be dealt with and are serious concerns. But I also think a decidely competitive co-op would be a force to be reckoned with in the market because of the principles of ownership.