Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Impact of Tax and Expenditure Limits on Municipal Credit Ratings

Source: Craig S. Maher, Steven C. Deller, Judith I. Stallmann, and Sungho Park, American Review of Public Administration, OnlineFirst, July 1, 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The research focuses on the impact of the restrictiveness of tax and expenditure limitations (TELs) on the credit ratings of 566 U.S. municipalities over the 2007-2010 time period. The credit ratings used are by Moody’s rating agency, and municipal fiscal data are drawn from the Government Financial Officers Association’s (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting program. Results suggest that more restrictive TELs imposed on municipalities by the states have a weak negative impact on credit ratings which will likely force municipalities to face higher interest costs.

Returns on Investment in California County Departments of Public Health

Source: Timothy T. Brown, American Journal of Public Health, Published online ahead of print June 16, 2016
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From the abstract:
Objectives: To estimate the average return on investment for the overall activities of county departments of public health in California.

Methods: I gathered the elements necessary to estimate the average return on investment for county departments of public health in California during the period 2001 to 2008–2009. These came from peer-reviewed journal articles published as part of a larger project to develop a method for determining return on investment for public health by using a health economics framework. I combined these elements by using the standard formula for computing return on investment, and performed a sensitivity analysis. Then I compared the return on investment for county departments of public health with the returns on investment generated for various aspects of medical care.

Results: The estimated return on investment from $1 invested in county departments of public health in California ranges from $67.07 to $88.21.

Conclusions: The very large estimated return on investment for California county departments of public health relative to the return on investment for selected aspects of medical care suggests that public health is a wise investment.

Explaining Durable Business Coalitions in U.S. Politics: Conservatives and Corporate Interests across America’s Statehouses

Source: Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Studies in American Political Development, FirstView Article, Published online: 22 March 2016
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From the abstract:
Scholars of business mobilization emphasize that national, cross-sector employer associations are difficult to create and maintain in decentralized pluralist polities like the United States. This article considers an unusual case of a U.S. business group—the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)—that has succeeded in creating a durable coalition of diverse firms and conservative political activists. This group has emerged since the 1970s as an important infrastructure for facilitating corporate involvement in the policymaking process across states. Assessing variation within this group over time through both its successes and missteps, I show the importance of organizational strategies for cementing political coalitions between otherwise fractious political activists and corporate executives from diverse industries. A shadow comparison between ALEC and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce further serves to reinforce the importance of organizational structure for business association management. My findings engage with literatures in both American business history and comparative political economy, underscoring the difficulties of forming business coalitions in liberal political economies while also showing how savvy political entrepreneurs can still successfully unite otherwise fragmented corporate interests. These conclusions, in turn, have implications for our understanding of business mobilization and corporate influence in politics.

Police Culture in the Twenty-First Century: A Critique of the President’s Task Force’s Final Report

Source: Julian A. Cook, University of Georgia Law School, UGA Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-5, February 15, 2016

From the abstract:
In May 2015, the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, established by President Barack Obama to address problems associated with aggressive policing, issued its Final Report which details a comprehensive set of recommendations. This essay examines an important theme of the Final Report — the reforming of police culture — and concludes that the report’s well-intentioned recommendations are destined to fail absent meaningful revitalization of the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule and the establishment of a robust standing doctrine.

Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2017

Source: Office of Management and Budget, February 2016

From the overview:
….The Budget makes critical investments in our domestic and national security priorities while adhering to the bipartisan budget agreement signed into law last fall, and it lifts sequestration in future years so that we continue to invest in our economic future and our national security. It also drives down deficits and maintains our fiscal progress through smart savings from health care, immigration, and tax reforms.

The Budget shows that the President and the Administration remain focused on meeting our greatest challenges – including accelerating the pace of innovation to tackle climate change and find new treatments for devastating diseases; giving everyone a fair shot at opportunity and economic security; and advancing our national security and global leadership – not only for the year ahead, but for decades to come…..

Related:
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The New Science of Customer Emotions

Source: Alan Zorfas Daniel Leemon Scott Magids, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 93 no. 11, November 2015
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…Our research across hundreds of brands in dozens of categories shows that it’s possible to rigorously measure and strategically target the feelings that drive customers’ behavior. We call them “emotional motivators.” They provide a better gauge of customers’ future value to a firm than any other metric, including brand awareness and customer satisfaction, and can be an important new source of growth and profitability…. The advent of big data analytics brings clarity, discipline, and rigor to companies’ long-held desire to connect with the customer emotions that truly matter. Emotional connections no longer have to be a mystery—they can be a new source of real competitive advantage and growth….

Census of Jails: Population Changes, 1999–2013

Source: Susan M. Brumbaugh, Scott Ginder, Todd D. Minton, Harley Rohloff, Hope Smiley-McDonald, Bureau of Justice Statistics, NCJ 248627, December 8, 2015

From the abstract:
Presents state-level estimates of the number of inmates confined in local jails at year end 2013, by sex, race, and Hispanic origin. This report provides information on changes in the incarceration rate, average daily population, admissions, expected length of stay, rated capacity, percent of capacity occupied, and inmate-to-correctional officer ratios. It also includes statistics, by jurisdiction size, on the number of inmates confined to jail and persons admitted to jail during 2013. It features a special section on the 12 facilities that functioned as jails for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Highlights:
– From 1999 to 2013, the number of inmates in local jails increased by 21%, from 605,943 to 731,570. During this period, the growth in the jail population was not steady, as the jail confined population peaked in 2008 at 785,533 then declined to its 2013 level.
– The adult jail incarceration rates changed slightly between midyear 1999 (304) and yearend 2013 (310).
– Nearly half (46%) of all local jail inmates were confined in jurisdictions holding 1,000 or more inmates in 2013, down slightly from 50% in 2006.
– Between 1999 and yearend 2013, the female inmate population increased by 48%, from approximately 68,100 to 100,940. The male inmate population increased by 17%, from approximately 537,800 to 630,620.
– The juvenile population (persons age 17 or younger) held in adult jail facilities in 2013 (4,420) decreased by more than half from its peak in 1999 (9,458).
Related:
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Racial Income Inequality and Public Sector Privatization

Source: George Wilson, Vincent J. Roscigno, Matt Huffman, Social Problems, First published online: 4 May 2015
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From the abstract:
Social science accounts have only recently begun to recognize “new governance” shifts, including, but not limited to, privatization occurring in public sector institutions (e.g., education, prisons, the military) and in the functioning of federal and state sector jobs. This article, which presents unique analyses of wages across time using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) and retested on similarly representative data from the Integrated Public Use Micro Sample (IPUMS) and the American Community Survey (ACS), examines the extent to which these changes have generated significant inequalities for African Americans relative to whites. Most important, our results show that the relative racial parity in wages that once existed in public sector employment has eroded in the face of new governance, and racial inequalities for both men and women have intensified. Supplementary and decomposition analyses further highlight the potential escalation of discrimination as a core mechanism under new governance. Along with discussing the short- and long-term implications, we conclude by suggesting an important corrective to stratification scholarship—a corrective that highlights what structural transformation may mean for inequality and that recognizes important shifts that have made the public sector, much like the private sector, a locus of contemporary racial disadvantage.

Women’s Work

Source: Heather Rogers, Slate, December 17, 2014

The jobs recovery was supposed to be great for women. It hasn’t exactly worked out that way. … With so many aging boomers, demand for home health aides is expected to skyrocket. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an expansion of 48 percent between 2012 and 2022. New positions primarily in service occupations have allowed women to regain more jobs than they lost during the recession—and more than men have reclaimed. … Home health workers earn a median wage of less than $21,000 a year. That’s well below the median annual wage across all occupations, which is almost $35,000, and just above the federal poverty line for a family of three. Similarly low wages are common in other growing job sectors that employ mostly women, including retail and food service. Also common to low-wage, mostly female work: long hours, unpredictable schedules, and no sick days or benefits. …