The Weekly Wonk – October 7, 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 shared a video that puts the recent economic downturn in historical perspective. We released the third part in our series on Oklahoma’s racial unemployment gap, which evaluates solutions for closing the gap.

OK Policy released a statement on Governor Fallin’s plan to fix the state’s decaying bridges by putting more money in the ROADS fund, which receives a portion of income tax revenues that would otherwise go to the state’s General Revenue Fund. Our comment was mentioned in The Oklahoman and The Tulsa World.

Some lawmakers have proposed replacing Oklahoma’s income tax with higher consumption taxes. In the post, “Easier to shop in Kansas than move to Texas,” we provided five reasons why that would be bad for our state and the economy. We also explained why a federal Balanced Budget Amendment will never happen, and why that’s a good thing.

In the Know, Policy Notes

Numbers of the Week

  • 48th – Oklahoma’s rank nationally on a state scorecard of the quality and capacity of long-term services and supports for older adults and people with disabilities, 2011
  • 7.0 percent – Percentage by which total compensation paid to state employees ($62,215) lagged behind their private sector counterparts ($66,578), FY ‘10
  • 2 in 5 – Working-aged adults living in poverty in Oklahoma were employed part-time or full-time in 2010
  • 6.0 percent – Percentage increase in the urban Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) for groceries over the past twelve months, August 2011
  • 12th – Metropolitan Oklahoma City’s rank nationally on a list of smoggiest combined statistical areas as of August 2011; Metropolitan Tulsa ranked 14th smoggiest


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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