New research by a Sam Houston State University economics professor finds Texas fifth in income inequality — trailing just New York, Connecticut, Florida and California. Mark Frank told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Steve Campbell that the wealth gap in Texas might actually be increasing. In 2011, the top 10 percent of wage earners in the state received 48 percent of all the income. “For 2012, I wouldn’t be surprised if we cross the 50 percent threshold for the top 10 percent,” Frank said.
“Historically, education has been among the single best predictors of economic resources — income, wealth and ownership,” former state demographer Steve Murdock, who has a book coming out next month on the changes facing Texas, told Campbell. “Part of what we are saying in this book is that if we don’t change educational levels, Texas will be poorer and Texas will be less competitive.”
Income inequality until now has been a topic confined mainly to the national level because of President Barack Obama’s decision to champion the issue. But if income inequality has its roots in the quality of a person’s education, that would suggest that the issue could end up a major point of debate between the two major parties’ candidates for governor in Texas.
By John Reynolds of The Texas Tribune, a TownSquareBuzz.com content sharing partner.