Saturday, October 28, 2006

Oh My...Uh...Angelou? Who's Zooming Who?

Who do the Tulsa Stakeholders think they're fooling? is reporting the very impressive impact that the Oklahoma State University system has on Oklahoma's economy.

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Oklahoma State University has nearly $2 billion in economic impact on the state, a study released Friday says.

With 8,000 full-time employees, second in the state only to Wal-Mart if compared to private employers, and nearly $120 million generated in local and state tax revenue, the OSU system has an estimated annual impact of $1.89 billion on Oklahoma's economy.

It also accounts for more than 31,000 jobs and produces $13 in economic output for every dollar it gets from the state.
Fantastic news and "Go Pokes!"


As good as the news is for the administration of the Oklahoma A&M colleges, the numbers are far more interesting when compared with another recent story in the news. The following was reported in Friday's Tulsa World:

The proposed river development project The Channels would have a $35.3 billion long-term economic impact because it would draw in young professionals, increasing entrepreneurship and company relocations to the area, a national consulting firm says.

No specific figures or formulas were given during a Thursday news conference to explain how Angelou Economics came to its conclusion about the project's economic impact spanning a 20-year period.

The Channels' total economic impact is predicted at $38.5 billion. Of that amount, $3.2 billion would come from construction and operation of the islands over a total of 14 years beginning in 2007. An additional $35.3 billion would be generated up until 2027, the study indicates.
Do those numbers seem familiar? No? Well let's do some very easy analysis.

The entire impact of all of the universities, branch campuses, extension offices et. al., of Oklahoma State University has an annual impact on OKLAHOMA'S economy of $1.9 billion each and every year. If the figures remain constant over the next twenty years, OSU's economic impact statewide could be determined by a very easy formula [1,900,000,000 X 20 = 38,000,000,000].

$38 Billion? Isn't that the same number Angelou Economics said the fanciful The Channels would add to the Tulsa economy? Over how long a period of time? Oh...also twenty years?

Wow! The Channels, if built, will have an equivalent economic impact on TULSA's economy that a comprehensive land-grant university and all of its off-shoots have on OKLAHOMA's economy.

Well we've just got to build those islands!

This comparison alone would be interesting enough, if it weren't for one other delicious fact. The overly optimistic study done for Tulsa Stakeholders, Inc. was done by Angelou Economics out of Austin, TX. So who did the economic study for OSU?

By was Angelou Economics out of Austin, TX! KOTV further reported:

The study was presented Friday in Tulsa during a meeting of the Board of Regents for Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges. OSU paid $23,500 for the study.
It was conducted by Austin, Texas-based Angelou Economics, an economic development consulting firm with clients in Arkansas, Louisiana and Florida, among others.
OSU paid just over 23-grand for a study that seems on the surface to be accurate. How much did the Stakeholders pay the same guys for an estimate that seems wildly over the top?

Remember, it was just two weeks ago that I was on the Michael Delgiorno show on KFAQ-AM asking the Stakeholders why we hadn't been given an economic impact study. How could they expect us to support the use of $600 Million in tax-payer money without such a study?

Two weeks later? Lo and behold! Behold but don't ask us quesions on camera. Don't ask us specifics about how the number was arrived at. And for Gosh sakes, don't notice the similarities in the numbers between this study and another that Angelou did for OSU!

For those that still love the numbers, Angelou's impact study for The Channels [if it is to be believed...which is a stretch!], would mean that each and every man, woman and child in Tulsa County would see $5,000 of economic impact, EACH YEAR, for the next twenty years!

Think about it. There are just under 400,000 people in Tulsa County. For simplicities sake, round the number to 380,000. Use the basic formula [$38 billion / 20 years = $1.9 billion].

That means $1.9 billion per year in economic impact to Tulsa County. To get the per capita impact [per capita = "every man, woman and child"], divide $1.9 billion by Tulsa County's 380,000 inhabitants. [1.9 billion / 380,000 = 5,000].

So for a mere investment of $200 to $500 per year in sales tax impact to your household, a family of four [if you believe Angelou Economics] could net out $20,000 in economic impact!

WOW! How can you vote "no?"

The real question is, given the obviously fabricated economic impact study that has been laid before the citizens of Tulsa County, how could you ever trust these people enough to vote "yes?"


Anonymous said...

Good posting. I love a little simple economic analysis. This pattern of civic projects to benefit a small group of local insiders has to stop. Angelou should be seen for what they are, a group that will rubber stamp projects (that have no impact on their pocket book) in exchange for a consulting fee. Angelou knows that if they say this project stinks, that the city insiders will find another firm to say otherwise, and not call Angelou again. I would not be suprised if Angelou put in less than 2 hours of actual work on this analysis, but I could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

gawrsh! that's a great reason to flood west tulsa for a "waste-water wetlands". I kinda hope they do build this fantastic example of affluent aristocracy gone mad and actually wanting to shop to the the smell of us real midtowners (lord knows they all have septic tanks) waste.