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.”