Perry: We Don’t Worry About Income Inequality in Texas

Following in the storied footsteps of Mahmoud Amhedinijad, who once declared that there were no gay people in Iran, Rick Perry told the Washington Post that they don’t deal with income inequality in Texas. Whether he meant they don’t have it or just don’t care about it is an open question.

Last week, Perry studied income inequality and economic mobility with experts Scott Winship, Erin Currier and Aparna Mathur. In the Post interview, he was asked about the growing gap between rich and poor in Texas, which has had strong job growth over the past decade but also has lagged in services for the underprivileged.

“Biblically, the poor are always going to be with us in some form or fashion,” he said. He cited statistics showing that since he took office in 2000, wages have increased among all four income quartiles. He said a young man who dropped out of high school in South Texas could make more than $100,000 a year as a truck driver.

Perry acknowledged that the richest Texans have experienced the greatest amount of earnings growth, but dismissed the notion that income inequality is a problem in the state, saying, “We don’t grapple with that here.”

The reality is that Texas has the 5th highest rate of income inequality in the country and it’s been rising rapidly. But they don’t “grapple with it,” they just ignore it.

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  • bryanfeir
  • dugglebogey

    Rich religious folks always ignore that “camel through the eye of a needle thing.”

    It doesn’t mean “unlikely.” It means IMPOSSIBLE. Jesus said it was IMPOSSIBLE for a wealthy person to get into heaven. It’s IMPOSSIBLE for a wealthy person to be a morally good person.

    That’s YOUR religion Rick Perry.

  • davefitz

    “Biblically, the poor are always going to be with us in some form or fashion,”

    What does ‘Biblically’ here even mean. How about, ‘in reality’?

  • D. C. Sessions

    But they don’t “grapple with it,” they just ignore it.

    If you ignore it, how can you possibly get better at it? It is, after all, one of the Lone Star State’s biggest selling points: the huge numbers of people who live there and are not only desperate for work but can’t make a fuss over anything you do because they’re afraid of La Migra (not to mention the police, who know how to deal with troublemakers.)

  • raven

    Perry: We Don’t Worry About Income Inequality in Texas

    He is just pointing out the reality of Texas.

    Texas is controlled by an oligarchy of wealthy, mostly white, old men. Until the peasants storm the castle with torches and pitchforks, who cares about them.

    This does happen occasionally but the oligarchies can hang on for a long time, until it is French Revolution or Russia-1917 time.

    Texas leads the USA in children growing up in poverty at 26%. This is an important metric because people growing up in poverty are unlikely to ever escape it.

    There was a 47 percent increase in the rate of Texas children living in poverty from 2000 to 2011, according to the Kids Count report by the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a liberal think tank that advocates for low-income Texans.

    And the child poverty rate is increasing. As Perry says, he doesn’t care. Why should he, they are just children, poor, and mostly, but not by any means all,…nonwhite.

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    @ dugglebogey,

    I don’t know. After they’ve been run through an industrial wood chipper ,the rich would fit easily through the eye of a needle.

  • colnago80

    Spelling Nazi here. The man’s name is spelled Ahmadinejad

  • David C Brayton

    Yeah, that’s right. Truck drivers are making more than $100,000 a year.

  • dugglebogey

    @fifthdentist

    I don’t know if Jesus is okay with that, but it’s 100% fine with me.

  • Michael Heath

    dugglebogey writes:

    Rich religious folks always ignore that “camel through the eye of a needle thing.”

    It doesn’t mean “unlikely.” It means IMPOSSIBLE. Jesus said it was IMPOSSIBLE for a wealthy person to get into heaven.

    Actually the Bible’s means the exact opposite. Because it’s impossible to thread a camel through the eye of a needle, and because God will save all rich white Americans, that will prove the awesome power of Jesus!!! As if one needs further proof.

    Did you know that Jesus is a perfect fit for everyone? It’s true; I just saw it on a Xmas card I received.

  • http://mostlyrational.net tacitus

    Conservative Christians tend to use a convenient alternative explanation of the “eye of the needle” parable. They claim there was a gate into old Jerusalem called “The Eye of the Needle” (there wasn’t) which was too narrow for a camel to pass through unless you dismounted and unloaded it first.

    In other words, you can be as rich as you like, so long as your conscience is unencumbered by your worldly possessions when you come before God. Problem solved!

  • Artor

    Colnago80, you spelling Frankenberger, the man’s name is spelled in Persian. It can’t be directly translated to English, so there are a number of equally valid ways to spell it. Remember Khaddafi/Qaddafi/Gaddafi?

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2009/09/how-many-different-ways-can-you-spell-gaddafi/

  • grumpyoldfart

    @ bryanfeir #1

    Thanks for the link. Very interesting.

  • dingojack

    Of course god can get a camel through the ‘hole in a needle’:

    “Though the mills of God grind slowly;

    Yet they grind exceeding small;

    Though with patience he stands waiting,

    With exactness grinds he all.” (Retribution. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow).

    :) Dingo

  • colnago80

    Re Artor @ #12

    Hister, I say Hister.

    As for Mahmoud, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_Ahmadinejad

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Well, it all depends on the cargo of the truck – but the drivers who make that kind of pay don’t report it on their tax forms…

  • grumpyoldfart

    He said a young man who dropped out of high school in South Texas could make more than $100,000 a year as a truck driver.

    A long time ago I knew a very rich fruit-picker. He was amazing. I saw a few of his paychecks and he was earning about three times what I was earning (and I was working hard). Then I discovered that during the season he took his kids out of school and they, along with his wife, would all work in the orchard. Easy to earn three times above the average when you’ve got two adults and one child working flat out, plus another two kids doing all the fetch and carry chores so the pickers don’t have to stop. Whenever you hear a story about high school drop out earning $100,000 per year you can be sure there is more behind the story than the story-teller is revealing.

  • thebookofdave

    What does ‘Biblically’ here even mean.

    Glad you asked, davefitz. Biblical solutions to poverty usually involve some form of Total Labor Stewardship. Since the 13th Amendment basically rendered government support for bible-based wealth inequality outreach illegal, Perry’s hands are essentially tied on the matter. Thus, his answer, “We don’t grapple with that here.”

    Private industry continues to explore potential loopholes in this overbearing act of Big Government intervention.

  • raven

    What does ‘Biblically’ here even mean.

    Glad you asked, davefitz. Biblical solutions to poverty usually involve some form of Total Labor Stewardship.

    Or you could just sell your kids as sex slaves like it says to do in Exodus.

    The amount you get will carry you through at least a few years.

  • coragyps

    The $100,000 a year truck driver story is true, for now, in South Texas and a few other areas where the oilfield business is still hopping. All those frac jobs need lots of sand, water, and equipment, and it gets there on trucks.

    A couple of months of this $55 crude oil, though, and that will change. This will be the fifth time I’ve seen it. I think it’s because greedy people never learn from history.

  • roggg

    Ignore it? That’s a fucking insult…You dont get to #5 by accident you know. They dont ignore it…they work hard to achieve it. Give credit where credit is due.