Tom Joad dances on

Kurt Hochenauer, whose OkieFunk: Notes from the Outback blog provides consistently sharp and perceptive commentary on Oklahoma political issues, recently had a nice piece in the Oklahoma Gazette putting the recent rise in poverty in the state in its historical perspective. He notes:

But what’s probably needed more than anything else is for more Oklahomans to realize how poverty is deeply rooted in the state’s history and remains the foundation for so many of the state’s social problems.

Hochenauer cites Robert Lee Maril’s 2000 book Waltzing with the Ghost of Tom Joad, which provided a vivid ethnographic study of  how poverty plays out in the lives of eight Oklahoma families.

If you missed Doc Hoc’s commentary, it’s well worth a read.


Former Executive Director David Blatt joined OK Policy in 2008 and served as its Executive Director from 2010 to 2019. He previously served as Director of Public Policy for Community Action Project of Tulsa County and as a budget analyst for the Oklahoma State Senate. He has a Ph.D. in political science from Cornell University and a B.A. from the University of Alberta. David has been selected as Political Scientist of the Year by the Oklahoma Political Science Association, Local Social Justice Champion by the Dan Allen Center for Social Justice, and Public Citizen of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.