Website ranks Tulsa No. 5 among 'Cities That Spoil Their Kids the Most'
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Thursday, June 07, 2012
6/07/12 at 2:49 AM
When Dr. John Schumann hears the word "spoiled," he thinks of Veruca Salt.
She was the bratty "bad egg" from Roald Dahl's "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory."
"She got what she deserved when she went down the chute," said Schumann, an associate professor of internal medicine at OU School of Community Medicine.
But Tulsa didn't come to his mind, despite a website's recent inclusion of T-Town among "The Cities That Spoil Their Kids the Most."
According to Bundle.com, a New York-based company that uses anonymous, aggregated spending data to rate businesses, Tulsa is No. 5 on the list, behind only New York City; Brooklyn, N.Y.; Miami, Fla.; and Minneapolis, Minn.
"It does sound like a dubious distinction," said Schumann, who's a parent. The ranking's connotation is that Tulsa is over-indulgent when he's always viewed the city as filled with hard-working people - not a city of spoiled Verucas.
Bundle.com came up with the ranking by:
"My family and I personally contribute to the ranking," quipped Rachel Anderson Hill, director of communications at Tulsa Metro Chamber.
- Examining spending by households with children at stores that sell toys, clothing and other services (e.g., cloth diapers) for tots, kids and teens.
- Identifying all locations for which Bundle.com had a reasonable sample size and determined the average spending by these households over the past three years.
- Ranking all locations based on the percentage spent above the average.
She and her husband, Ed, have a 2-year-old son, Tyler, who has enough toys, stuffed animals, movies and books to make the house look like a day care, she said.
As parents, they try to find a balance between teaching their son that he has to work hard to play hard and giving him the things they didn't have growing up.
"I'm talking about a kid who has not one but two motorized cars, a giant talking hobby horse, hundreds of books, a college savings account and front-row tickets to the circus," she said. "But he's still not too proud to wear Walmart clothes. So that's balanced, right?"
At Sweet Tooth Candy & Gift Co., 3747 S. Harvard Ave., manager Jeff Darby hasn't seen any spoiled-level upticks in spending.
"It's pretty across-the-board here," Darby said, then hinted that maybe it's a sign that Tulsa's economy is strong.
The city's cost of living is 10 percent below the national average, said Jim Fram, senior vice president of economic development at Tulsa Metro Chamber. So that means parents may have more expendable income.
Tulsa's jobless rate is its lowest since January 2009, the city's sales tax revenue last month increased 12 percent year-over-year, and Tulsa County's per capita income is 6.5 percent higher than the national average, Fram said.
"Our region's economy is strong, so there could easily be a connection to the ranking that shows Tulsa parents spend more on their children," he said.
Tulsa ranked one notch above Dallas. Oklahoma City didn't place on the list.
"It's just nice to be included in this list of elite cities, right?" Schumann joked.
Here's the top 10 from Bundle.com's "The Cities that Spoil Their Kids the Most":
... And here's the bottom 10:
Saint Paul, Minn.
For more, check out tulsaworld.com/bundlespoiledkids
Original Print Headline: Tulsa in top 5 for 'spoiled' kids
Jason Ashley Wright 918-581-8483
Tulsa ranks No. 5 among cities where parents most spoil their kids, according to a new poll. Courtesy