The Weekly Wonk: September 7, 2012

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 Oklahoma Policy Institute covered a new report that reveals per pupil spending in the state has dropped more than 20 percent since 2008.  Oklahoma had the third largest decrease in education spending in the nation.

The OK Policy Blog set the record straight on Affirmative Action and State Question 759.  You can find information about November’s ballot issues at our 2012 State Questions page.  We posted about an upcoming public forum on education, sponsored by The League of Women Voters of Oklahoma.

OK Policy Director David Blatt’s Journal Record column examines the post-recession shift to more low-wage jobs.  Our director was also quoted in a Tulsa World article responding to a Heritage Foundation report on the cost of Medicaid expansion.
Policy Notes

  • The New England Journal of Medicine disputes the claim that Medicare and Medicaid spending are ‘out of control.’
  • The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities discusses dropping labor force participation due to more baby boomers hitting retirement age.
  • The National Women’s Law Center explains why closing the wage gap between men and women requires increasing the minimum wage.
  • The Economic Policy Institute examines how the decline of unions has contributed to rising inequality and faltering middle-class wages.

Quotes of the Week

  • Woody Guthrie was a fine man. Will Rogers is a fine man. But where was Clara Luper? Where was Ralph Ellison?  State Sen. Judy Eason-McIntyre, in an emotional appeal to state Democratic party members, accusing the organization of ignoring and under appreciating African-American activists
  • Of all the things that are useful in life, and important to address our poverty rate in Oklahoma, is understanding relationships and our health. How is it 48 other states have figured out this is important and we haven’t?  Jan Figart, associate director of the Community Service Council. Oklahoma is one of only two states that don’t have comprehensive health education in public schools to reduce teen pregnancy.
  • Put yourself in that place — you’re making $10 an hour, you’re 50 years old and you need a $1,000 test, what are you going to do? Nothing. You’re just going to wait, even though your doctor knows it’s probably indicated because of your family history.  Lou Carmichael, the CEO of Variety Care
  • It can happen to anybody. It can happen to you tomorrow. It doesn’t matter if you’re low-income, high-income, uneducated or not, young or old. That’s … why I think it needs to be affordable because anybody can be in this situation in a flash of light.  Laura Marrs, one of thousands of Oklahomans who can’t buy conventional health insurance because of a pre-existing condition



Leave a Reply

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