A Word to the Wise on Public Budgeting, Finance and Special Populations
By Julie Ann Racino, Member of American Society for Public Administration
October 3, 2017
In the middle of the 2017 election campaigns, which today have new northeast woman Mayors running and winning small to medium size city offices, and new black Mayors, both men and women, in cities in the South and Mid-West such as Houston, Texas (on news, this week; kickoff by Gwen Ifill, 2009, now deceased), we will take a minute to examine Public Budgeting and Finance.
The term Special Populations as opposed to general populations, usually refers to sub-population groups, for example in disability fields from broad mental health populations, to populations with heart disease, intellectual and developmental disabilities, or sensory impairments (e.g., visual, hearing, sense of smell). Special populations may also refer to clients of a department or program, though that is often a misnomer - child abuse and neglect, criminal justice and offenders with disabilities, low income or below poverty thresholds. Why? That's the origin of disability as distinct from the General Population, and also as part of the general population (e.g., Marcuse, 1989, issue of housing). Community integration (see, wikipedia, federal use) is based upon assumptions and beliefs about "special populations", in addition to research related to the General Population.
In areas such as employment and hiring (Human Capital), the term "protected classes" under human rights laws is less popular in 2017, and many people who never understood affirmative action in the first place, were then a bit taken aback by needing to be colorblind! Why? Well, who writes about protected classes as a chosen or designated job is usually, the protected class members (See, composition of EEO, 2016)! Is it still true today after the Obama Presidential election and second term? Yes and no. For example, when there is women in public administration next to minority (male, black) public administration at public planning, is it surprising that America remains as a segregated and divided society (Carr & Kutty, 2008, Segregation: The rising costs to America)?
Now, I have just examined the three issues of Public Budgeting and Finance (2017), and already the lead issue authors almost separated into one issue of woman leadership! And as our feminist authors (e.g., Fine & Asch, 1988; Traustadottir, 2006) would "not state", writing not as women (a peculiar thought according to the "other women" who have not had their consciousness raised by "their sisters"), but as "male job peers" in an unjust society. Yet, all striving for "equal pay and benefits" to their gender counterparts discounting the factors of social class and, surprisingly, then merit (from an Ivy!). Thus, this author's first personal essay on the subject after Junior Achievement Treasurer of the Year (Indiana, 1967- "mixed gender" or "co-ed") and real hospital and entrepreneur, business budgets!
In these 2017 issues, however, the themes revolve around public borrowing "for private organizations" and municipalities, public pensions as a liability in the new "public bankruptcies", special district financing, the new role of tax and expenditure limits (e.g., on property taxes), municipal bonds versus new municipal purchases, "subnational debt in Mexico" (e.g., Smith & Benton, 2017) and "Italian regulation", the role of insurance and underwriting, banking and transportation infrastructure, case study of New York budget process, casino taxes and future revenue expectations (e.g. Srinivasan & Lambert, 2017), and fracturing, taxes and the environment. Interesting are the authors, who for example, recommended commercial over development banks, and long-term debt management plans (for government to carry high debt) which have also led to bankruptcies.
At the American Society for Public Administration, we now have a new LGBT (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender) Section and the standing Women in Public Administration Section (SWPA), and Women Section Chairs and Presidents of the Association. However, disability has been ushered to its Special Population Associations other than as part of the general association itself (e.g., ASPA as Non-Voluntary Governance, all federal categories, and as Federal, Local and State Governments). That brings us back to the Nothing About Us Without Us (Charlton, 2000- as the Association enters domains of international world order, rule of law, decades of worldwide NGO growth (e.g., women, disability, ethnic), and "involuntary care" hidden from the public eyes.
With the growth in health care and health care financing, and "publicly approved" designations of human service NGOs as health care organizations, the role of communities, advocacy, independent and supportive living (See, wikipedia), supported housing and supported employment, non-profit human services, and governance are changing considerably, especially post-911 (e.g., Racino, 2015, ASPA. Chicago, Illinois). The shifting of US budgets-personnel and government- to an extra-ordinary health care system, together with privatization of essential government functions outside the public eye, has raised the importance of these matters to the health, well being and futures of local individuals, families and communities in America (and worldwide).
Carr, J. & Kutty, N. (2008). Segregation: The Rising Costs of America. NY, NY: Routledge.
Charlton, J.I. (2000). Nothing About Us Without Us: Disability Oppression and Empowerment. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California.
Fine, M. & Asch, A. (1988). Women with Disabilities: Essays in Psychology, Culture and Politics. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
Ifill, G. (2009). The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. NY, NY: Doubleday Publishers.
Marcuse, P. (1989). The pitfalls of specialism: Special groups and general problem of housing. In: C. Hartman & S. Rosenberrry (Eds.), Housing Issues in the 1990s. NY, NY: Praeger.
Racino, J.A. (2015). Community Financing in the 21st Century: The Rise in Health Care Financing in the Community. Chicago, Illinois: American Society for Public Administration. [Budget and Finance Section Member]
Smith, H.J.M. & Benton, A.L. (2017). The role of metropolitan cooperation and administrative capacity in subnational debt dynamics: Evidence from municipal Mexico. Public Budgeting and Finance, 37(2): 58-82.
Srinivasan, A.K. & Lambert, T.E. (2017). The impact of stagnating casino revenues on state and local governments tax receipts. Public Budgeting and Finance, 37(1): 26-46.
Traustadottir, R. (2006). Disability and gender: Introduction to the special issue. Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 8: 81-84.
Wikipedia. (2012). Community Integration, Supportive Living, Supported Housing