Weekly Wonk Sunday July 21, 2013

The Weekly Wonk is a summary of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s events, publications, blog posts, and coverage.  Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The Know.  Click here to subscribe to In The Know.

 OK Policy analyst Gene Perry explained in the Oklahoma Gazette why policy that supports the middle-class would grow the economy better than more tax cuts or incentives for the wealthy. OK Policy Director David Blatt’s Journal Record column discusses how the taboo on questioning tax breaks for the energy industry in Oklahoma is finally changing.

Graph 1 (HC Blog) - crop

On our blog, Guest blogger John Thompson wrote that Oklahoma’s educational policy is on the right track. OK Policy volunteer Zoraya Hightower explained that while the recent recession accounts for a large portion of the health care spending slowdown it’s clear that the Affordable Care Act also deserves credit. We also discussed why the latest state revenue report should leave us worried  and reran a post on why high levels of poverty persist in Oklahoma.


 Numbers of the Day

  • 77 – The number of counties in Oklahoma (all of the state’s counties) where the unemployment rate increased in May 2013; statewide the unemployment rate rose in May for the first time since July 2012
  • 4 percent – Percentage of total employment in Oklahoma in the agriculture sector, which still employs more people than oil and gas (3.7 percent) or any other commodity sector in 2011
  • 224 percent – Percentage growth in non-labor income (dividends, interest, and rent) in Oklahoma since 1970, versus just 137 percent increase in labor earnings
  • $109 million – The amount actual FY 13 revenue was below the projection developed in February.
  • 27 minutes – Average one-way commuting time in Lincoln County and Pawnee County, tied for the longest in Oklahoma.

Policy Notes


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