Right to Work is working for Oklahoma

At the Rio Grande Foundation, we’ve been focusing attention on the need for Right to Work legislation to turn New Mexico’s economy around. Interestingly, a bordering state, Oklahoma, has a recent experience with having adopted such legislation.

According to this analysis from Scott Moody and Wendy Warcholik who have done work for RGF as well, since 2003, “Oklahoma’s manufacturing GDP has grown 45 percent…outstripping that of the average manufacturing growth in in non-Right To Work states (22 percent).”

Also, according to the same report, the economic growth associated with Right to Work has led to more people and economic growth happening in the Sooner State: “between 1995 and 2002, Oklahoma lost 10,681 households, 3,461 people, and more than $1 billion in income. From 2003 to 2008, however, Oklahoma has gained 13,215 households, 40,693 people, and $99 million in income.

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4 Replies to “Right to Work is working for Oklahoma”

  1. Something doesnt make sense here.
    The number of households went up about 2500, the number of people went up almost 10K, the income went down drastically. If you do the math each persons income is only $2400.00? I support Right To Work but these figures confuse me.

    1. It is not each persons income but the added revenue to the state. Each person contributed $2433 to the state coffers if you count every man, woman and child as income producers. A better measure is how much each added household contributed – $99 million new income divided by 13,215 new households = $7491 per household. Each household, of course, did not contribute those dollars but the economic activity that they generated by local shopping for groceries, clothing, paying utilities, etc. is responsible for the increase in revenue. Now, if OK is only responsible enough not to waste the money on social welfare programs, then the state should see growth and better services to the general population.

    2. I’m not sure I understand your comment. The numbers make sense to me if you read through them. I’m not sure where yours are coming from, but I’d be happy to clarify with the author.

  2. My sister lives in Detroit, the city depressed in large part because of the auto industry unions. In September, Walmart was concerned that children might not have enough money for school supplies as they were returning for the new school term. Walmart offered a $25 voucher for all these children. The Detroit Public schools refused to accept the offer because Walmart employs non-union workers.

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