Thrift or Debt: Which Direction Is Right for Texas?

By Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, Charles E. Stokes, and Stephen Reeves

In this appeal to the Texas Legislature, the Texas Thrift Coalition (a nonpartisan, volunteer group of leaders and organizations) promotes thrift and encourages saving as a path to family prosperity and financial security for Texans.  Drawing on the “2010 Survey of Texas Savers,” the report presents five major findings, including: 1. Texas families face a savings crisis; 2. Anti-thrift institutions, such as payday lenders, are trapping Texas families into debt; 3. Texans see danger in the rise of anti-thrifts; 4. Texans oppose the expansion of state-sponsored gambling; and 5. Texans want to save more.  The report concludes with six recommendations for change.

Barbara Dafoe Whitehead is the Director of the John Templeton Center for Thrift and Generosity.  Her books include The Divorce Culture: Rethinking Our Commitments to Marriage and the Family (Knopf, 1997) and Why There Are No Good Men Left: The Romantic Plight of the New Single Woman (Broadway Books, 2003).  Charles E. Stokes is the Roy Bergengren Fellow at the John Templeton Center for Thrift and Generosity.  Stephen Reeves is the Legislative Counsel of the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission.