OKLAHOMA 2016 BUDGET CRISIS IS THE PERFECT NEOLIBERAL CRISIS

Appalling tactics from Oklahoma’s Legislature, confirmed by Richard Morrissette, D-Oklahoma City, that higher education got a severe budget cut because of a ballot initiative by OU President David Boren to raise a sales tax to fund education.

Another example of maladaptive governance concerned a proposal to close a long list of higher education institutions made two days before the end of the session. Although it turns out the suggestion was a half-joke, the Legislature would hardly seem the proper place for anything less than utmost seriousness when discussing the budget, and especially considering the dire nature of what they were dealing with.

The Oklahoma budget is a dysfunctional mess (as per Glen Puit’s news story). But I can’t help thinking that a budget crisis like the one this year actually serves the ideology of the governing body. Its failure to deliver and any future budget failures will create the perfect platform for the final plan where the state and its institutions can be cast in the neoliberal mold. The more I read about neoliberalism the more I come to understand that is what is happening in Oklahoma.

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