Weekly Wonk Sunday July 28, 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 Director David Blatt’s Journal Record column looks at how much income it really takes to get by in today’s economy. David also argued in an Oklahoman article that if there was going to be a special legislative session it should involve a real debate on how to expand health insurance coverage.


The OK Policy Blog discussed why “middle-out” economics matches American values and economic reality better than the “trickle-down” theories being pushed by state leaders. We also explained why Oklahoma’s latest attempt to defund Planned Parenthood, SB 900 introduced and passed in the final hours of the legislative session, will likely have no effect and discussed the history of private prisons in Oklahoma. Lastly we reviewed “Kind of Kin,” a novel about Oklahomans reacting to strict immigration laws.

Numbers of the Day

  • 8.8 percent – The chance that an Oklahoma City child born in the bottom fifth of incomes would rise to the top fifth
  • 19.7 percent – Percentage of farms in Oklahoma where the principal operator is at least 65 years old
  • 405 – Number of violent crimes that occurred in 2011 in Ardmore, the city with the highest violent crime rate in Oklahoma
  • 60.5 percent – Percentage of students at Stilwell’s Bell Public Schools living in poverty, the highest rate in Oklahoma
  • 52 percent – Percent of Oklahomans employed in services, 2006-2010

Policy Notes

  • The New York Times reported on a large new study on differences in income mobility between US metro areas.
  • The Center for Economic and Policy Research examines how America’s low-wage workers are more educated and experienced than ever before, but they have not received wage increases to match.
  • A long-term study of children born at the height of the crack epidemic in Philadelphia found that poverty hurts kids more than being born to moms on cocaine.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union has a new report on how American use of solitary confinement in prisons is doing severe damage to inmates’ mental health.
  • Wonkblog discussed how a health care plan proposed in 2010 by Sen. Tom Coburn and other Republicans looked a lot like Obamacare.


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