This chapter is being developed to support the Texas segment of Poverty and Politics, a version of Government 312L taught by Professor Henry Dietz in the Government Department at the University of Texas at Austin. The topic is part of Dietz's lower division Government class entitled Poverty and Politics that covers poverty and politics in the US and Texas, as well as the Third World.
The course consists of three sections. The first covers areas such as how to define poverty and the various ways poverty has been viewed over time. It also discusses the many explanation that have been offered as to why poverty exists and persists in a country such as the United States. The second examines what policies are in place to confront the issue of poverty, how those policies have changed over time, and that the current strengths and weakness are of policies now in place. The third section deals briefly with global poverty.
For each of the first two sections, the course devotes some time to poverty in Texas. It presents the basic facts and figures that describe poverty in the state, and some of the distinctive characteristics of poverty in Texas. It also looks at what the state has done in the past and does presently for its low-income populations.
This chapter covers a good deal of the information covered in the class, and presents numerous charts and tables and other graphic materials for the students to use. It also has several video interviews carried out with academics and experts who present their various perspectives on various aspects of poverty in Texas.