Rick Perry: Inequality Not a Problem Because Bible Predicts Poor People

By Amanda Terkel | 10 December 2014
The Huffington Post

Rick Perry thinks that inequality is not a problem because the Bible predicts poor people. (Image: Screengrab via ABC News)

Despite a significant rise in income inequality in Texas, Gov. Rick Perry (R) is arguing that it’s not something the state ought to be worried about.

We don’t grapple with that here,” Perry told The Washington Post in a recent interview, while acknowledging that the state’s richest residents have seen the greatest spike in earnings.

“Biblically, the poor are always going to be with us in some form or fashion,” he added, an apparent reference to Mark 14:7. While Perry takes the message from the Bible to mean poverty is hopeless and therefore not worth grappling with, Jesus Christ was actually delivering a different lesson: “For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good,” the Son of God advises in the King James version of the Bible.

Yet the Biblical shoulder-shrugging is consistent with what Perry said while briefly running for president in 2011, when he proposed a tax plan that would have helped wealthy Americans while potentially raising the taxes of lower- and middle-income people.

I don’t care about that,” Perry said when asked by The New York Times about the effect on income inequality. “If that’s what comes, I’ll take that criticism.”

Texas was among 15 states that saw a significant rise in income inequality, meaning “people who are on the higher end of the income spectrum saw an increase in earnings and those on the lower end grew very little or saw no change,” the Houston Chronicle recently reported, citing new Census Bureau data.

Mark Frank, an economics professor at Sam Houston State University, has put Texas fifth in the nation in income inequality, and a study from Standard and Poors has found that the gap could hurt state tax revenues and economic growth.

The Post reported that Perry has recently been huddling with conservative economists who argue against the mainstream economic analysis of the causes and consequences of income inequality.

Rick Perry: Inequality Not a Problem Because Bible Predicts Poor People

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52 COMMENTS

  1. The real problem is this insane belief and trust of out-of-this world, superior, eternal gods. These man-created gods rule our lives. These gods determine our fate. These gods give us rain. These gods give us good health. These gods want us to sacrifice our lives for their holy sakes. PLEASE people, let’s put these gods where they belong–in the comic books and in the fairy tales. When mankind created these gods, he wrestled with the idea of why fire was hot and why thunder roared. The less mankind knew, the more gods he created, the more gods he created, the less he accepted the real world and science. It’s time for mankind to stop believing in fairy tales and comic book characters. It’s time for mankind to grow up.

  2. Well, its biblical stated that there is always going to be poor
    People. But its also in the bible that love thy neighbor as yourself.
    It is this reason, the rich have to help the poor. But if the poor
    in society is reduced, the rich would not have too many people to
    to help.
    We have to be real with each other. Every society you go into is
    divided by class. The have’s and have-nots. And that is why we have governments
    to be middle agent to bring some balance into the existence of
    human living. They devise policies to create environment that the
    poor or less privileged can tap to get out of poverty. And as far as I know
    education is the only way to climb up the ladder to the other side.
    I therefore think, governments should put more emphasis on ways
    to make education accessible to each and every citizen.

  3. The Bible also predicts that Christians will be persecuted for their beliefs–so come on over here, Tricky Ricky, and let me slap the sh*t out of you.

  4. His comment and flawed logic is so ridiculous, it's not worthy of comment. Sadly there are "Christians" who believe such nonsense.

  5. Deuteronomy 15:11
    There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.

    When quoting Jesus, please take a moment to discover what he, in turn, was quoting from. Dear mr. Perry, its not a commandment that Jesus made more an open wound in the society he was refering too.

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