The Weekly Wonk – August 5, 2011

What’s up this week at Oklahoma Policy Institute? The Weekly Wonk is dedicated to this week’s events, publications, and blog posts.

This week at OK Policy, we surveyed some of the best pieces analyzing the debt limit deal. We discussed a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities showing that significant interstate migration due to tax flight is a myth. The post includes an interactive map where you can see which states Oklahoma gained or lost households to since 2004. On Wednesday, we replayed a post from last summer on how the private sector also suffers when the public sector decays.

Also this week, we highlighted a short film by independent filmmaker Debby Takikawa that explores the underlying and immediate causes of infant death.  Oklahoma has the 6th highest infant mortality rate and 2nd highest black infant mortality rate in the country.  We spoke with Lynn Gray, Director of the Economic Research and Analysis Division of the Oklahoma Economic Security Commission, about how labor force data casts doubt on the real strength of Oklahoma’s recovery.

OK Policy is looking for one or two students for a paid part-time internship during the fall 2011 semester.

In the Know, Policy Notes

Numbers of the Week

  • $2,667,539,569 – Annual federal funding the state receives for Oklahoma’s Medicaid program, SoonerCare, FY 2010
  • 13.1 percent – The unemployment rate for black workers in Oklahoma in 2010, compared to an overall unemployment rate in the state of 7.2 percent
  • 13, 524 – Net gain in jobs created to date by the Oklahoma Main Street Center, a program that invests in preservation-based commercial-district revitalization.
  • 6th – Oklahoma’s rank nationally for wind power generation, 2010
  • 30 percent – Percentage of Oklahoma 3rd graders with unsatisfactory reading scores in 2009. During the 2011/2012 school year, 3rd graders not satisfactory or above will not advance to 4th grade.



Gene Perry worked for OK Policy from 2011 to 2019. He is a native Oklahoman and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in history and an M.A. in journalism.

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