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Income Inequality Could Impact Texas Negatively

 
Income Inequality Could Impact Texas Negatively
Posted Tuesday, January 21st 2014 @ 3am  by KTRH’s Cliff Saunders

By now you’ve probably heard about income inequality and how it could become a big issue in the mid-term elections later this year. Now experts warn that it could have impacts closer to home.

It could have a negative impact on Texas and its business climate.

One of those experts is Rice University's Steve Murdock, who says the advantages we have now could go away.

“As we change the population composition, if we don’t change through education and other factors we will become poorer and less competitive,” Murdock told KTRH.

Murdock says median incomes for Hispanic and African American families were about 35 thousand dollars in 2010. The average for white and Asian families was around 64 thousand dollars.

“Their poverty rates are about three times as high as non-Hispanic Whites,” Murdock explained.

Murdock told KTRH there's only one thing that can reverse what he sees coming.

“Education pays. Education pays substantially. Education is the key,” Murdock stated. “If we are successful in educating these components of our population we would have a younger and more competitive population than nearly any other part of the United States. We could turn this potential disadvantage into an advantage for Texas.”

But that is something he says the state has not done well with recently.

“If you look at the decade between 2000 and 2010 we actually reduced spending for higher education in Texas,” Murdock explained.

Murdock warns we could say the poverty rate increase to 17.7 percent by 2050, and that could lead businesses to decide that Texas, instead of being 'Open for Business' as Governor Rick Perry says, would be closed for business.

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