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Economist Katz Urges Oklahomans To Adapt To Changing Economy

Bruce Katz, vice president and founding director of the Metropolitan Policy Program, regularly advises national, state, regional and municipal leaders on policy reforms that advance the competitiveness of metropolitan areas.

Organized citizens of large cities can be a greater force of innovation in leadership than state or federal governments, according to the vice president of the Brookings Institution.

Bruce Katz discussed the premise of his book The Metropolitan Revolution during a January 28 event at the University of Central Oklahoma. He emphasized the country’s economic growth model needs to “get back to the fundamentals” without relying on state and federal governments to lead the way.

“Like Elvis, the federal government has left the building,” Katz said, referring to congressional stagnation and recent shutdowns. By their absence of leadership, Katz argues, the federal government is saying, “you’re in charge.”

The first step in Katz’s so-called “metropolitan revolution” is to figure out how local business leaders and city governments can work together to implement solutions he said are pragmatic, and actually solve the problems of their jurisdictions.

“It’s time to re-think power in America,” Katz said. “Metros will lead, and states and the federal government will follow.” 

He cited large infrastructure projects in Denver, Houston, and New York he said are specifically tailored to each city's unique location and culture.

“It’s really up to cities to figure out what’s going to be that game changing intervention,” Katz said. “The cavalry is not coming.”

Jim is a journalism/mass communications graduate from the University of Oklahoma who has been a life-long radio listener and enthusiast.
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