Pragmatism and Proposition 6 – Why I Support It

Proposition 6 – For or Against?

Pictured above: North Texas without water
Pictured above: North Texas without water

Texans who claim to be conservatives emerge more as pragmatists as they almost unanimously oppose Proposition 6, a proposed amendment to our Texas Constitution. Why their opposition to this proposition? They state their opposition solely on the transfer of $2 billion from the “rainy day” fund. Therefore, the reason you are told to oppose this proposition is because they uniformly oppose it. There. That’s that.

The pragmatist tells a man to think what he must think and never mind the Absolute. But precisely one of the things that he must think is the Absolute. This philosophy, indeed, is a kind of verbal paradox. Pragmatism is a matter of human needs; and one of the first of human needs is to be something more than a pragmatist. — G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy 1908

I suggest a different approach: think for yourself. We need to be more than pragmatists. We must be critical, independent thinkers. Let’s not confuse conservatism with pragmatism.

Essentially, Mr. Chesterton was saying, pragmatism doesn’t work in the real world.

Back to the ‘rainy day’ fund. It wasn’t intended for rainy days. Approved by voters in 1988, it’s official moniker is “The Economic Stabilization Fund”, a response to a severe state economic crisis of the 80’s. Chiefly, this fund provides economic stability between biennial legislative sessions to overcome shortfalls in state revenue. Viewed from a historical perspective, while Texas has been a state for 168 years, the fund has been in existence only 25 years. Somehow, we survived 143 years without it.

On to the matter of water, a special fund created under authority of this amendment provides a means of financing urgently needed water projects all across the state.

Speaking of rainy days, how many have you seen lately? Yes, lake levels are low and getting lower. Our long-range weather forecast isn’t promising an abundance of rain that will pop up to save the day.

As I write this, the North Texas Municipal Water District has under construction a $300+ million pipeline between Lake Texoma and our water treatment plant in Wylie. This project is due to complete around January of 2014. It will be very helpful, but insufficient to fill the gap between low rainfall and a growing population.

I encourage you to be forward looking. Don’t be blindsided by the negative voices who decry use of money from the “rainy day” fund. The fund was created for us; we were not created for it.

I will cast my vote FOR Proposition 6.

Extending the conversation…

Here is the official analysis: Amendment No. 6 (S.J.R. 1) – Analysis by Texas Legislative Council

Do we need to expand our North Texas water resources? Yes. 

When should we take action? About 10 years ago.

What’s the immediate outlook on this current drought? North Texas Municipal Water District to continue Stage 3 water restrictions

Learn more from Texas legislative website: FAQs about the Economic Stabilization (“Rainy Day”) Fund

We can live without electricity. Life will go on without natural gas. But, we cannot survive without life-giving, life-preserving water.

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