Performance-Related Payments in Local Governments: Do They Improve Performance or Only Increase Salary?

Source: Alessandro Spano & Patrizio Monfardini, International Journal of Public Administration, Advance Access, January 19, 2017

From the abstract:
Personnel policies in public sector organizations are fundamental to improving public services, since they have an impact on both individual and organizational performance. Within the broad area of Human Resources Management (HRM), Performance-Related Pay Systems (PRPSs) are widely considered one of the cornerstones of public sector managerial reforms. Monetary incentives should be paid for performance achievements of single employees and/or teams, according to a defined set of objectives. While the role and appropriateness of PRPSs in the public sector have been widely discussed in the literature, in some countries monetary incentives have been used as a tool to increase individual salaries, without considering them as a motivating instrument in a wider HRM system. A small number of studies have been conducted to understand the limitations of this form of incentives and to investigate whether it can be replaced by different and more effective incentives in order to avoid the de-motivating effect caused by money, as recognized in the literature. This study tries to fill this gap investigating, through twenty-five interviews to informed respondents the effectiveness of existing PRPSs at Local government level in Italy both in terms of performance and motivation and the possibility to substitute monetary with non-monetary incentives. The findings suggest that the limitations of monetary incentives have been widely recognized, but it is still difficult to replace them with different and more effective alternatives.

Fairness Matters: A Chart Book on Who Pays State and Local Taxes

Source: Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), 2017

From the overview:
There is significant room for improvement in state and local tax codes. Income tax laws are filled with top-heavy exemptions and deductions. Sales tax bases are too narrow and need updating. And overall tax collections are often inadequate in the short-run and unsustainable in the long-run. In this light, the growing interest in tax reform among state lawmakers across the country is welcome news.

Too often, however, would-be tax reformers have proposed policy changes that would worsen one of the most undesirable features of state and local tax systems: their lopsided impact on taxpayers at varying income levels. Nationwide, the bottom 20 percent of earners pay 10.9 percent of their income in state and local taxes each year. Middle-income families pay a slightly lower 9.4 percent average rate. But the top 1 percent of earners pay just 5.4 percent of their income in such taxes. This is the definition of regressive, upside-down tax policy.

State and local tax systems add to the nation’s growing income inequality problem when they capture a greater share of income from low- or moderate-income taxpayers. Further, state tax systems that ask the most of families with the least are not well-suited to generate the revenues needed to fund schools, health care, infrastructure, and other public services that are crucial to building thriving communities. This problem is particularly acute in the long run since regressive tax systems depend more heavily on low-income families that face stagnating incomes while taxing the superrich, whose wealth and incomes continue to grow, at lower rates.

As the information in this chart book helps illustrate, it does not have to be this way. States vary considerably in the fairness of their tax codes, and pursuing policies adopted by states with the least regressive tax systems is a proven strategy for reducing tax inequity.

Unite – A practical guide for using social media to build groups for action

Source: organized by: Andrea M. Catone, contributing organizations: Pantsuit Republic (Texas), Action Together New Jersey, Stronger Together Western New York, Together We Will USA, FIERCE PA, Internal Resources Team, Molly Grover (formerly with Women for Bernie, now with Save Main Street), Action Together Monmouth County, Ashley Raymond and Anna Dillulio, Action Together Network, Action Together New York Capital Region, Tent State University, 2016

From the summary:
A step by step guide to using social media for grassroots organizing, advice, best practices, checklists, organization models, communication strategies, universal pain points, lessons from trial and error, resources, and guidance.

Resistance Manual

Source: Stay Woke, 2017

This Wiki is a collective resource, a hub of knowledge and resources to help you resist Trump’s agenda. Add new issues or make additions to any page on this site. Quality submissions will be reviewed and published here.

Topics include:
Trump / GOP Policy Agenda
Obamacare / ACA
Policing
Immigration
Voting Rights
Mass Incarceration
Tax Cuts for the Wealthy
Housing and Infrastructure
Women’s Rights / Reproductive Justice
LGBTQ Equality
Educational Justice
Muslim Ban / Registry
Consumer / Financial Protections
Climate / Environment

Essential Readings
find articles, curricula, and other readings in resistance

State and Local Pages
find info on issues, elections, and resources in your state and city

Political Issues
Political Appointments
Executive Actions
Elections
Trump Endorsers and Influencers
Corruption
Russia/Hacking
Mass Surveillance
Media Normalization
Societal Consequences of Trumpism
Institutional Racism

Resources
Crisis Resources
Tools of Resistance
People and Organizations
Upcoming Events/Opportunities

How Repealing Portions of Affordable Care Act Would Affect Health Insurance Coverage and Premiums

Source: Congressional Budget Office, publication number 52371, January 2017

From the summary:
…In brief, CBO and JCT estimate that enacting that legislation would affect insurance coverage and premiums primarily in these ways:
– The number of people who are uninsured would increase by 18 million in the first new plan year following enactment of the bill. Later, after the elimination of the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility and of subsidies for insurance purchased through the ACA marketplaces, that number would increase to 27 million, and then to 32 million in 2026.

– Premiums in the nongroup market (for individual policies purchased through the marketplaces or directly from insurers) would increase by 20 percent to 25 percent—relative to projections under current law—in the first new plan year following enactment. The increase would reach about 50 percent in the year following the elimination of the Medicaid expansion and the marketplace subsidies, and premiums would about double by 2026. …..

CBO’s Long-Term Projections of Labor Force Participation

Source: Joshua Montes, Xiaotong Niu, and Julie Topoleski, Congressional Budget Office blog, January 13, 2017

In preparing the economic forecast underlying its forthcoming report on the budget and economic outlook, CBO updated its projections of labor force participation. In this blog post, we explain those updates and compare them with the agency’s previous projections and with those of the Social Security Trustees. The full economic forecast will be described in The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2017 to 2027, which will be released on January 24.

What Are CBO’s Current Projections of Labor Force Participation?
CBO projects that the rate of labor force participation (that is, the number of people who are either working or seeking work as a share of the civilian noninstitutionalized population age 16 or older) will decline from 62.8 percent in 2017 to 61.0 percent in 2027 and to 59.2 percent in 2047—constituting a drop of 3.7 percentage points over 30 years (see the figure below). The projected decline in the participation rate is faster for men than for women. ….

Police Body-Worn Camera Legislation Tracker

Source: Urban Institute, 2017

Laws governing how and when police body-worn cameras can be used and whether the footage is released vary considerably across the country. Use our legislation tracker, which we will update periodically, to find out more about passed and pending legislation in your state. ….
Related:
Police body camera policies: What’s in and what’s out
Source: Nancy G. La Vigne, Margaret Ulle, Urban Institute, January 12, 2017

State policies governing police body camera use are changing as rapidly as cameras are being deployed. About a year ago, we launched an interactive feature that tracks relevant body camera legislation. Since then, legislatures in 18 states passed new body camera laws. ….

Are third-party candidates spoilers? What voting data reveal

Source: Daniel P. Franklin, Abigail C. Bowen, Judd Thornton, The Conversation, January 18, 2017

…..[W]e decided to test the notion that third-party candidates increase turnout in presidential elections.

To start, we collected voter turnout data going back to the election of 1868. That election was the first after the Civil War and represents the earliest days of the modern two-party system.

We looked at how voter turnout interacted with the voting performance of third-party candidacies. We took into consideration the expansion of the voting franchise through the 15th Amendment, which granted universal male suffrage; the 19th Amendment, which extended the vote to women; the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age to 18; and the Voting Rights Act. We also compensated for historical and demographic trends.

We found that not only do third-party candidacies fail to increase turnout, they are actually associated with a statistically significant reduction in turnout. Put simply, fewer people vote in elections in which third-party candidates receive a substantial portion of the vote…..

The Impact of Health Insurance on Preventive Care and Health Behaviors: Evidence from the First Two Years of the ACA Medicaid Expansions

Source: Kosali Simon, Aparna Soni, John Cawley, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Early View, First published: January 16, 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The U.S. population receives suboptimal levels of preventive care and has a high prevalence of risky health behaviors. One goal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was to increase preventive care and improve health behaviors by expanding access to health insurance. This paper estimates how the ACA-facilitated state-level expansions of Medicaid in 2014 affected these outcomes. Using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and a difference-in-differences model that compares states that did and did not expand Medicaid, we examine the impact of the expansions on preventive care (e.g., dental visits, immunizations, mammograms, cancer screenings), risky health behaviors (e.g., smoking, heavy drinking, lack of exercise, obesity), and self-assessed health. We find that the expansions increased insurance coverage and access to care among the targeted population of low-income childless adults. The expansions also increased use of certain forms of preventive care, but there is no evidence that they increased ex ante moral hazard (i.e., there is no evidence that risky health behaviors increased in response to health insurance coverage). The Medicaid expansions also modestly improved self-assessed health.