Governance

Social Security and the Politics of Assumptions

Social Security and the Politics of Assumptions
Public Administration Review, May/Jun85, Vol. 45 Issue 3, p363, 9p.

Light, P.C.
01/01/1985

This article addresses the importance of economic and demographic assumptions in framing the public policy process. It examines functions of such assumptions as an important aspect of government and as a new challenge for public managers. Using Social Security as a case study, the article suggests that recent fore- casts have been inaccurate for four basic reasons: (I) the social and economic environment, (2) technique, (3) assumption drag, and (4) politics. Nevertheless, the assumptions have been crucial at several key legislative turning points in recent Social Security reforms. The article reviews the impact of political pressure in three specific instances and suggests an emerging pattern in the use and misuse of assumptions. The article concludes with suggestions on how to address the importance of assumptions in the public policy process.

The Relationship of Emergency Management to Governmental Policies on Man-Made Technological Disasters

The Relationship of Emergency Management to Governmental Policies on Man-Made Technological Disasters
Public Administration Review, Jan 1985, Vol. 45 Issue Special, p29-39, 11p.

Zimmerman, R.
01/01/1985

Examines the relationship between emergency management and governmental policies on technological disasters. Exploration of whether or not disasters exist from man-made technologies involving hazardous materials and what mechanisms are currently in place to cope with such emergencies; Review of incidents involving environmental contamination; Regulations in place to deal with contaminations; Conclusion that laws have become powerful tools for detecting and mitigating against environmental problems.

Taxing Over Tax Limits: Evidence from the Past and Policy Lessons for the Future

Taxing Over Tax Limits: Evidence from the Past and Policy Lessons for the Future
Public Administration Review, Jul/Aug 1981, Vol. 41 Issue 4, p445-453, 9p

Hickam, D., Berne, R. & Stiefel, L.
07/01/1981

It is generally thought that across-the-board tax limits, white encouraging fiscal restraint, create hardships for jurisdictions with above average and uncontrollable needs. Because of the recent imposition of most limits, the conclusion is difficult to confirm empirically. This article provides a test of the conclusion based on a study of New York State city school districts where limits long in effect were suspended between 1970 and 1978 because of unusual local behavior and legislative action. Because some, but not all, districts took advantage of legislatively granted authority to tax beyond their limit, art empirical investigation can be used to explain this behavior. The results of the analysis, which show that low ability to pay, low inter-governmental grants, and high needs account for much of the behavior of districts that exceed limits, are helpful in designing flexible tax limits.

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