CNN: Texas Governor Rick Perry likes to brag that his state is an economic powerhouse. But don’t tell that to the nearly one in five Texans who are living below the poverty line.
…. Texas ranks 6th in terms of people living in poverty. Some 18.4% of Texans were impoverished in 2010, up from 17.3% a year earlier, according to Census Bureau data released this week. The national average is 15.1%.
And being poor in Texas isn’t easy. The state has one of the lowest rates of spending on its citizens per capita and the highest share of those lacking health insurance….
…. Some 550,000 Texan workers last year were paid at or below the federal minimum wage of $7.25, more than double the number making those wages in 2008 … for someone working full-time, that’s just over $15,000 a year before taxes, which is under the poverty line for a single parent with two children.
Some 9.5% of Texas’ hourly workforce are minimum-wage workers, the highest percentage in the nation – a dubious title it shares with Mississippi.
For residents living in poverty, the state doesn’t offer many services or even make federally-funded benefits easily accessible ..…. Experts chalk up the minimal services and take-up rates to Texas’ anti-welfare attitude. In the Lone Star State, you are expected to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. “The Texas mentality is you don’t ask for help,” Ferguson said…..