The problem, in a nutshell.
Eighteen percent of Texans, and 25 percent of Texas children, lived below the federally defined poverty level, according to the 2005 American Community Survey. The nationwide percentage below poverty level was 13 percent.
Overall poverty rates, locally and nationally, didn’t change much between the 2000 census and last year, although levels increased somewhat more significantly among Hispanics and blacks in Harris County.
“Generally, the survey reports that the socioeconomic profile of Texas has stayed pretty much the same as it has been for years. It was bad to begin with and has not gotten better,” said State Demographer Steve Murdock, with the Texas State Data Center at the University of Texas in San Antonio.
That would be a good description of the Perry administration, but that’s neither here nor there. What is of importance is Moving Forward: Common Sense Policies to Promote Prosperity for Working Texans, which is a meaty report (PDF) by the Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) that gives a number of strategies for improving our bad-and-not-getting-better socioeconomic profile. Check it out.