the gap between the haves and the have nots widens

Texas leads U.S. in income gap between wealthy, middle-class
— reported by the Houston Chronicle

No other state has a wider income gap between its richest and middle class than Texas, according to a national study released today.

At the same time, Texas ranks second only to New York in its income gap between its richest and poorest inhabitants, according to the study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.

[snip]

From 2001 to 2003, the average income of the top 20 percent of Texas families — $118,971 — was nearly three times the average income of the middle 20 percent, which made $41,015, the study shows.

The average income of Texas’ richest families was more than eight times greater than the $14,724 average of poorest one-fifth.

The study also found that in both Texas and the nation, the gap between the richest families and those in the middle or lowest end continues to grow.

[snip]

“Texas and Houston have got to massively upgrade their education systems,” he said. “If we don’t find a way to educate the work force in the 21st century, the state is not going to be competitive.”

Author: Paloma Cruz

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