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The economy today


Oklahoma photo
Oklahoma photo

During the early postwar years, Oklahoma prospered under the Democrats. Much of the prosperity, however, centered around Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and both areas grew dramatically through the 1940s and 1950s. In the 1960s large electronics plants and a Federal Aviation Administration installation were built in Oklahoma City. During the 1970s wheat and other grain prices soared to near-record levels following massive grain sales to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Crude oil and natural gas prices increased dramatically after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) refused to sell oil to allies of Israel during the 1973 Arab-Israeli War of 1973.

For a short time unemployment all but disappeared, new workers were attracted to the state, per capita income approached the national average, and money for public services and education increased.

All of that changed abruptly when international oil prices and the price of wheat began falling rapidly in 1985. Oil-industry jobs disappeared by the thousands, and family farmers lost their farms. Merchants depending upon the regular flow of oil and wheat money were affected next. Automobile dealerships, home builders, entire shopping malls, and several dozen state banks all went out of business. "Oklahoma" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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