Economic empowerment is the only sustainable way to eliminate personal poverty and improve one’s economic opportunities. State and local lawmakers should unshackle Texans from burdensome occupational licensing laws and regulations that make it too expensive for entrepreneurs from starting their own business, and even skilled workers from entering the workforce. Moreover, we should refrain from any state or local minimum wage laws that prohibit businesses from hiring more employees. At the end of the day, the best social program is a job – so any artificial barriers that state and local governments have put in place to make it harder for Texans to enter the workforce should be removed.
Our state’s high sales and property taxes also negatively impact our state’s poorest. While not as easy to see the impact on the surface, the taxes families pay everyday on food, gas, and other essentials quickly add up and make it that more difficult to have the quality of life they deserve – let alone the ability to create a decent savings. Texas’s high property taxes make rent poor expensive as the burden of these taxes on the home and apartment owners are passed down to the families that rent them. And for those Texans trying to live the American dream and purchase their first home, that barrier to entry is that much steeper due to the taxes they need to hand over in addition to mortgage payments.