Do The Research

In two recent online conversations, I have had people make absolute, declamatory statements contrary to my own beliefs, and then inform me that their positions were not arguable, because they had “done the research.” If I didn’t agree, then all I needed to do was “do the research,” and then I would have no choice but to cede my position and accept theirs. Such is the power of “doing the research,” apparently.

The problem is, though, that in neither case did “the research” in any way, shape or form adhere to the standards to which I myself have been held as a student, or to which, as a University administrator, I would hold students  before I let them make absolute, declamatory statements at me.

So what is “research,” really?

To me, “research” is the word that we use to define a set of tools and protocols designed to help people turn subjective assumptions into objective conclusions. It can take many forms, but its fundamental requirements include:

  • Intellectual rigor in seeking out credible sources, records and documents beyond those easily available in the public domain;
  • A willingness to seek out and fairly consider documents and records supporting views in opposition to those of the researcher;
  • An ability and willingness to compile qualitative or quantitative data using generally accepted statistical and scientific methods;
  • A method for testing those data against a hypothesis, followed by an ability to have the results of those tests stand up to independent re-testing;
  • An affirmation of the research data and conclusions by a body of experts in the field of research; and
  • A recognition of the utility of the data compiled and conclusions drawn, as evidenced by cites and references from other researchers in the field of study.

That may be a bit academic and arcane, so perhaps a better way to frame this post would be to flip the question and ask: So, what isn’t research, really? To which I would reply:

  • Using Google, Wikipedia or Youtube as the primary search engines for source documents, since none of those portals have filters for accurately assessing the credibility of sources, and none of them index the countless proprietary scholarly, academic or scientific journals and resources that require proper library assistance to access;
  • Throwing out entire sectors of the printed and online media worlds because they are “mainstream” and do not cover certain topics in the way that the researcher may wish to see them covered;
  • Working in a vacuum, without the intellectual testing that comes from the healthy give-and-take of collegial debate and discourse;
  • Reaching conclusions that are only cited or referenced by other individuals who enter the realm of research with the same viewpoint as the researcher;
  • Promoting positions without having ever actually compiled, analyzed, or tested data independently, but instead relying solely on data developed by others, oftentimes without appropriate scientific or statistical rigor; and
  • Using shock tactics or logical fallacies to make points in the absence of said data.

I’ve spent more time in and around classrooms over the past decade as a College and University employee and as a “non-traditional” (which means “old”) student than most folks my age have, so let me cite one personal example of what I consider to be an acceptable level of documentation and work such that, if necessary, I could go online and say “I did the research,” and have it mean something.

My Masters Paper in Public Affairs and Policy was called “Where the Air is Sweet? A Policy Evaluation of Public Broadcasting in the United States.” What went into the research behind this paper? I never tallied the total hours, but it was an immense amount of time, and it took about nine months from inception to completion of the research project, the summary of which was a 60 page, 14,000 word document with 52 end-notes and 42 specific works cited. The conclusions reached were based on two massive databases that I developed myself, one related to a large, random sample of quantitative financial information regarding the nation’s public radio and television stations, and one related to coded qualitative data related to the programming offered by the same stations over the course of a month. I also conducted extensive interviews, spent extensive amount of time wading through proprietary scholarly literature not available to public search engines like Google, and had an academic advisor and an independent reader read, review, and challenge my results and conclusions, which then had to be presented to a board of faculty members at the college for acceptance.Perhaps most noteworthy, after conducting my research, I reached conclusions that were different from the assumptions I made going into the project, rather than discarding information that didn’t support my preconceived notions in the field.

So if you and I entered into a conversation about public broadcasting in the United States today, I would feel reasonably confident about making some absolute, declamatory statements, and telling you “I did the research,” because I actually did. There are very few other areas, though, where I feel that I could ever take such a position of authority, with the facts and data available to back up my positions.

If you haven’t done a comparable level of work to that described above, then you really have no right to dismiss my positions or those of others who may disagree with you by saying “These are the facts, because I did the research.” That’s insulting to people who have actually conducted real research, and it undermines your arguments, because you can’t really defend them with any objective, testable data or facts.

Which is not to say, of course, that you can’t offer your subjective positions so that we can debate them. I welcome that! I love to argue! The world is a mushy place, and most of the interesting stuff that engages us on a daily basis is unquestionably subjective and subject to debate. Easily 98%+ of everything I ever write or say is subjective, and open to discussion, and there’s nothing at all wrong with that. Engage me! I like that! But if you disagree with me, I promise I won’t slam the door in your face and dismiss your position, citing “research” that I didn’t actually conduct.

Please extend me the same courtesy when we have conversations in virtual or real space, okay?

How to Get a Grant

Or a donation, or a sponsorship, or a gift, or whatever. The principles are the same.

First and foremost: to get a grant, you’ve got to ask for a grant, in the most direct terms possible. As they say in the trade: you can’t get the gift if you don’t make the ask. But it’s amazing how many worthy organizations drop the ball with this seemingly straight-forward point, holding endless cultivation meetings, spreading the word about their good cause, hoping that an angel (or Santa Claus) will be moved to donate — without ever actually asking anybody directly for some money.

Ideally when you do get to the point of requesting money, you want to do it face to face, and peer to peer. If you’re soliciting a corporate CEO, you need to find another corporate CEO to ask on your behalf, preferably someone who is so knowledgeable about your cause that they can ask seamlessly, as if they themselves were the cause. And if you can’t find a corporate CEO to believe so deeply in your cause, then you might want to do some serious self-assessment about just how good your cause really is.

It helps to ask for a specific amount, too, and an ambitious “stretch” amount is always a good idea. Open-ended “whatever you can do” appeals will always result in smaller donations, because donors won’t push themselves as hard or as far as you can push them. You’ve also got to do your research before you make the ask, knowing what an individual or organization can give (sometimes with creative financing options of which they might not even be aware), knowing whether they support causes like yours, knowing whether they support organizations like yours, knowing whether they give in your geographic region.

Many foundations and businesses won’t fund individuals, so if you’re serious about your cause, you need to take appropriate legal actions to establish an organization in its behalf, in accordance with applicable state and federal tax guidelines. It’ll seem like a lot of work, sure, but it will provide a degree of legitimacy that will open an amazing number of doors, doors that you need to have opened. You need to understand who holds the keys to those doors, too, and recognize that sometimes it may not exactly be the person who the organization chart would indicate.

I received a corporate sponsorship once for no other reason than because I had a great relationship with a member of the Vice President’s clerical pool from having helped her daughter get an internship. She went to bat for me. We got the gift. And those kinds of relationships are priceless, although people often react with horror at the thought of asking friends or close associates for money, or asking them to ask others for money. But if you can’t bring yourself to ask someone who knows you, and knows how important your cause is to you, then how will you ever get to the comfort point of asking for the kindness of strangers?

And when I say ask, I mean ask. Don’t beg. Don’t go into a solicitation with your bowl in your hands, looking for alms. Your program must have value, or you wouldn’t be so invested in it, would you? To be successful, a grant must be a partnership, benefiting both parties. And people respond to success more than they respond to need. So have a plan. Know your outcomes. Know how your community will become a better place if you get your grant. Communicate that fact to the donor, and make her or him a party to that success. People want their money to make a difference. Have the vision to show donors how it will.

Oh, and then, finally, there’s that thing they call the grant application. Some are easy. Some are complicated. But in either case, you can write the best application in the world (and you should do that, of course, following all of the application’s instructions to the absolute letter), but if your proposal comes from a stranger, to a stranger, for a strange cause, you’re not going to get anything for all your hard work. My favorite grant was a $25,000 foundation gift that I received in response to a half-page letter, which took me 10 minutes to write. But it was the months of personal contact that preceded the application that made all the difference.

And it will for you too — sometimes. But be prepared: a successful grant writer gets a gift about as often as a successful baseball player gets a hit. You need multiple prospects for every ask, and can’t get frustrated by rejections. It’s a tough business, but if you believe in your cause wholly, others will too. And they’ll prove it with their money.

You Ain’t Got A Dog In That Fight . . .

The best thing about today’s social media applications is that everyone with a computer can write about whatever they want to write about, push a button, and share it with the world. But the worst thing about today’s social media applications is also that everyone with a computer can write about whatever they want to write about, push a button, and share it with the world.

Just because you can write about something, doesn’t always mean you should write about something, and it seems to me that this ability to self-filter is a dying skill in the blogosphere of late. One of the great truisms of successful written communication is to “write what you know,” and I’ve always taken the word “know” to mean more than “I researched it on Google and Wikipedia for 10 minutes.”

Here’s the deal: some people are very knowledgeable about certain topics, while other people are very knowledgeable about other topics, but precious few human beings are qualified to serve as blogging polymaths. The best bloggers, to me, are those who stick within a reasonably tight span of personal expertise and experience, and whose responses to current affairs and news are tempered by a mature understanding of where they can add value to a particular debate, and where they can’t.

Unfortunately, such nuanced, informed bloggers are becoming an increasingly rare commodity. Their more-measured words are all too often trumped by the “I blog about everything” school of online scribblers, often backed by the endless, self-reinforcing do-loops created by equally non-selective readers. Collectively, they’ve created an all-noise/no-substance paradigm that appears to be as addictive and destructive to discourse as any opiate, beverage, fetish or vice.

This “blog about everything” compulsion becomes particularly annoying when such bloggers are first out of the blocks on sensitive, important or fast-breaking news topics and, by virtue of their cranked-up reflexes, become default sounding boards for addressing such topics, even though they have little to offer beyond half-baked opinions about things they gleaned from headlines. This rush by the ill-informed to serve as first responders results in them posting some truly idiotic and embarrassing material, though their shame responses seem to perish around the same time that the self-filters burn out.

As I am assaulted by such material while looking for more mature and responsible fare, I often find myself wondering why so many all-purpose bloggers feel compelled to offer endless running commentary on topics beyond their ken. I generally conclude that it’s either because they have a desperate need for constant attention, or because they’ve become obsessed with their online hit counts, impressions, visits and follows. Or both. Either way, though, their pathologies manifest themselves through malformed blurts online, typically written from a center-of-the-universe perspective that places them (and their feelings) smack in the middle of narratives where they have no meaningful place whatsoever, by any lucid, objective standard.

Where and when I grew up, if you spouted off in public regarding things about which you were ignorant, or which had no bearing on your life in any meaningful way, you’d be told in no uncertain terms to shut up, since you ain’t got a dog in that fight . . .

I’d like to see more of us use that kind of response online when we’re confronted with ill-formed blogger blather, especially when it’s peddled to us by commercial interests. Perhaps if we collectively push the B.S. button on such bloggers more often, we’ll be able to raise the level of online discourse above the point where it is controlled by the folks who have little more to offer beyond their ability to get to their computers before anybody else does.

At bottom line, not every thought that enters a blogger’s head is valid, and not every feeling that a blogger experiences merits sharing. A little discretion goes a long way, even here, even now, and to those bloggers who fail to recognize this most fundamental fact, there’s another expression from my childhood that fits you to a tee . . .  That dog don’t hunt . . .

How to Keep a Secret

There are dozens of quasi-secret, secret and top secret facilities scattered about the Capital Region, employing tens of thousands of workers. Do you know what they do at their jobs all day? No, of course you don’t. It’s a secret. But I know what happens at a few of them, because I worked there, and at a few other highly secured facilities throughout the United States. What did I do there? I can’t tell you. It’s a secret.

Which meant that I couldn’t tell my wife or my daughter or my parents or my closest friendly confidants either. I was sworn not to. That’s part of the process of being authorized to have access to secrets, a sense on the part of your employer that you can keep your lips, your briefcase and your laptop closed once you leave your office each and every day. Which isn’t as hard as it might seem, since one of the paramount rules of working at a secret installation is that you don’t carry work in and out every day. Instead, you start and end your workday with a clean desk, and overnight, all your working materials are locked in strong safes, then locked behind strong doors, then guarded by strong men and women with (sometimes) strong weaponry.

So compartmentalization is king. At a secret facility, you can’t bring the office home with you. In many cases, you can’t even stay in office after quitting time. And there are no 10 PM phone calls to your staff or your boss to review the day behind or the day to come, because, hey, who knows, something might be bugged, or someone might overhear, or it might not even be your boss at the other end of the line. Sounds paranoid, sure, but as Peter Gabriel once sang: “How can we be in, if there is no outside?”

And your outside life and your inside life must remain truly distinct. In one job, I spent most of the day doing, uh, secret stuff with a group of engineers who happened to be on the other side of the negotiating table. Well, if we had a negotiating table, I mean, hypothetically speaking. But anyway, by day, these guys were in, and by night, they were out, as neighbors, on three sides. By day, we talked secrets. By night, sports, the weather, gardening, home repair, family. Ne’er the twain could meet. Ne’er they did.

So it was paranoid and schizophrenic in that regard. But in the same way that delusional people are often quite happy in their delusions, there was a comfort in having a divided life. I mean, think about it . . . you can’t bring work home. You can’t be working at 10 PM each night. You can’t sit at your home office designing, uh, secret stuff. And that’s not a bad thing in this day and age when 24/7 workaholics rule the world, is it? A: No it’s not. And keeping to such a schedule also makes you exceedingly efficient during the time that you’re working at your office, since you know that if it doesn’t get done when it’s supposed to get done, then it isn’t getting done at all.

Discretion becomes the better part of valor when you’re outside, too. Most secure facilities require ornate security passes and badges, but like an army of robots, workers know to remove them from their lanyards or their pocket pencil protectors and stuff them in wallets or purses when they leave each day. Or at lunch. Or when you run an errand. No need to advertise the fact that you’ve got access to a place that few others do. You never know who might be interested in such facts. I mean, other than your wife and kids, who you don’t let visit your office because, well, it’s a secret. And loose lips sink, um, secret things, so you need to make sure that you keep your own under control, which means that you need to be darn careful about what you drink and smoke, and how much, and where you do it, and with whom. Blackouts are no excuse for trading secrets to the other team.

There are other ways to ensure that secrets are kept, too, of course, but I can’t tell you about them, because they’re secret. And no amount of cajoling, or bribing, or teasing, or influence peddling should be able to change that, because above all else, keeping a secret is a trust — bestowed not only by your employer, but by all the taxpayers or customers or clients who fund your work. You owe it to them. Shhh.

Understanding Immigration: A Primer

Immigration policy in the United States has always hinged on two key questions: who is allowed to enter the country and, once here, who is then accorded the rights of citizenship?

Today, immigration falls under Title 8 of the US Code. It’s volatility over the years is notable in that chapters 1-5 and 7-10 of Title 8 have been repealed or transferred over the years, while only Chapters 6 and 11-14 still govern.

From 1870 to 2003, immigration policy was administered by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), which at different times in its history was part of the Departments of Treasury, Commerce and Justice. Most of its functions were subsumed into the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, where it is now known as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Questions about citizenship and immigration were pressing even at the dawn of the Republic; the United States Constitution (1787), Article One, Section Eight states “Congress shall have the right . . . to establish a uniform rule of naturalization.” The Naturalization Law of 1790 responded to Article One, Section Eight by allowing naturalization of “free white persons” “of good moral character” who had been in the country for two years and in their claimed state of residence for a year. While it was racially restrictive, it was considered radical in its day for its inclusion of people of all religious faiths.

The residency time limits for citizens were expanded by the Naturalization Laws of 1795 and 1798 (the latter, one of John Adams’ infamous Alien and Sedition Acts, was later over-turned); today the time limits are generally five years, (three years if married to a U.S. Citizen).

In the Supreme Court case Dred Scott vs. Sandford (1857), Chief Justice Roger Taney wrote a decision ruling, among other things, that slaves and their descendents could never become citizens of the United States. The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution (1868) over-turned the Dred Scott decision, making former slaves born in the United States citizens, and guaranteeing equal protection under the law for all persons.

Since the Civil War and the Fourteenth Amendment, immigration policy has tended to be cyclical; during periods of economic prosperity requiring an expansion of the labor force, policies tend to reduce barriers to immigration; during periods of economic malaise when labor forces contract, xenophobic reactions tend to fester, and pressures for more restrictive policies increase.

Take for example the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which suspended immigration from China, after large numbers of Chinese laborers and their families has come to the United States to work in the California gold fields and on the Transcontinental Railroad. This act was not repealed until 1943.

European immigration rose in the years that followed, which, again, resulted in restrictive legislation once the economic situation led to rising unemployment among native-born citizens and the resultant xenophobia that followed it; The Emergency Quota Act of 1921 and Immigration Act of 1924 established quotas for numbers of immigrants from selected nations, typically Asian, African, and Southern/Eastern European ones.

The quotas were reaffirmed by McCarran-Walter Act of 1952, but were finally abolished by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which was both an attempt to right past wrongs (paired with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights of 1965), and an attempt to curry favor in the Third World and among the “Non-Aligned Nations” during the peak years of the Cold War; the provisions of this act are still largely in effect, though numbers of visas issued, etc., have changed.

Key immigration legislation since then has included:

  • Immigration Reform and Control Act (1986): Made it a crime to knowingly hire illegal aliens, while providing amnesty to those already here.
  • The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (1996): Significantly tightened processes for prosecuting and deporting illegal aliens.

Today, the primary issues associated with immigration have to do with the differences between immigrants who entered and remain in the country legally, and those who either entered legally, but remained past the expiration of their visas, or those who entered the country illegally and still remain.  The Center for Immigration Studies notes that immigrant population in the U.S. (legal and illegal) reached an all-time high of 37.9 million in 2007. Immigrants tend to be less educated, are younger, have larger families, and earn less than native-born citizens also per Center for Immigration Studies research.

Pew Hispanic Center estimates there are about 12 million illegal aliens (nearly 1/3 of all immigrants) currently in the United States, a number supported by independent GAO analysis. Of these, 57% are from Mexico, 24% are from Central America, and the remaining 19% are from the rest of the world.

Note that illegal immigration from Mexico is not a new issue; in 1954, the INS embarked upon “Operation Wetback,” designed to deport 4 million illegal Mexicans from the country. Ultimately, they deported ~130,000, while another 1.2 million fled the U.S. rather than be deported.

Today, there are two primary fears driving the illegal immigration debate today: (1) post 9/11 fears of terrorists illegally entering the country to cause harm to its citizens, and (2) economic fears about native-born workers losing jobs to illegal immigrants, who also consume an inordinate amount of social service resources.

Interestingly, given the press this issue has received in recent years, the Center for Immigration Studies conducted a survey in 2008 which revealed that most voters in the Presidential elections generally didn’t know what their chosen candidates’ positions on immigration were—and often disagreed with them when they were informed.

The bottom-line fact of the matter today is that it would be physically and economically impossible to deport 12 million illegal aliens; even finding and identifying them would be an immense task. We can close the gates now, but we can’t remove those who have already arrived.

The legal side of the immigration issue also has its share of policy problems today, first and foremost involving the H1B Visa, which is issued to highly skilled immigrants. There are only 85,000 issued per year. Last year, 163,000 applications were received. The USCIS uses a lottery system to decide who gets them, so they are all consumed immediately each year. The most skilled workers often simply lose out to luckier applicants who may not be the best candidates.

Ultimately, the key issue for America’s policymakers is to identify how to incorporate illegal and legal aliens into the fabric of American life in a way that doesn’t cause undue hardship either to the government, the taxpayers, the social service and educational infrastructure or the aliens themselves. We can wall off the border with Mexico to our heart’s content (at absurd expense), but there’s no way a modern “Operation Wetback” is going to reverse sloppy controls of the border over the past quarter-century.

Recommended Further Reading:

  • Urrea, Luis Alberto. The Devil’s Highway, Little Brown and Company, 2004.
  • Higham, John. Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, Rutgers University Press, 2002 (originally published in 1963).
  • Swain, Carol (editor). Debating Immigration, Cambridge University Press, 2007.
  • Tichenor, Daniel J. Dividing Lines: The Politics of Immigration Control in America, Princeton University Press, 2002.
  • Ford, William F. “Immigrationomics,” Economic Education Bulletin, Vol. XLVII, No. 10, American Institute for Economic Research, October 2007.
  • Hing, Bill Ong. Defining American Through Immigration Policy (Mapping Racisms), Temple University Press, 2004.
  • Center for Immigration Studies Website, http://www.cis.org.

Understanding Retirement Policies: A Primer

Most of the significant policy issues associated with retirements and pensions in the United States today hinge on the relative responsibilities of Government, employers and employees in providing for the well-being of workers and their families after they retire. These three interconnected sources of retirement income are all governed by Federal legislation and statutes, each of which offers its own issues, opportunities and challenges. I’ll briefly review each of the three and provide an overview of the policy considerations involved with each.

Government Funded Programs: The Federal Government provides social insurance programs under the Social Security Act of 1935, as amended, and as implemented in Title 42, Chapter 7, of the U.S. Code. These programs originated in the Great Depression, when over 50% of elderly, retired people in the United States lived in poverty.

Title 42, Chapter 7 governs a variety of social insurance programs (including Medicare, Medicaid, TANF, etc.) , though when we use the term “Social Security” we are generally referring only to the Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program. OASDI provides monthly benefits to retirees, dependants, widows, spouses, divorced spouses and disabled workers. In the United States today, workers contribute via mandatory payroll deductions under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), which are then matched by their employers.

These funds are held in, and dispersed from, the Social Security Trust Fund. OASDI is a “pay as you go” program, meaning that today’s workers pay for today’s retirees, not for their own future retirements. The problem with this approach in the United States today is obviously a demographic one: the ratio of current workers to retirees is decreasing rapidly as the baby boom generation reaches retirement age, and people are living longer as birth rates decline. By most forecasts, if nothing changes, the Social Security Trust Fund will run dry sometime between 2030 and 2040.

None of the policy options available to remedy this situation are likely be popular among voters (e.g. suspend the program, allow private employee-directed investments, reduce benefits, increase minimum retirement age, raise Social Security taxes, borrow to pay OASDI benefits, make riskier investments with the trust fund in the hopes of increasing investment gains, etc.), hence the decisions tend to just keep getting deferred. This is one of the most profound socioeconomic issues facing our country today, especially as other entitlement programs grow and expand.

Employer Funded Programs: The traditional employer funded pension was a defined-benefit plan, in which employees, in exchange for set periods of employment, were granted certain payments and benefits for the remainder of their lives after they left the work force.

Defined-benefit plans are rapidly dying out everywhere except for in Government and larger, older, more unionized companies and corporations. They are being replaced with defined-contribution plans, like 401(k)s, where employers, employees or both make contributions that go into individuals’ retirement accounts.

The most important piece of legislation governing employer or employee funded programs is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), as amended. ERISA was designed to protect the interests of pension plan participants by requiring disclosure of information concerning plans and by establishing standards of conduct for plan administrators.

ERISA also established the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), an independent Government agency designed to provide uninterrupted pension benefits in cases where employers can no longer meet their obligations to their retired employees. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 sought to strengthen the PBGC and ERISA in general by eliminating loopholes and penalizing companies that under-fund their pension programs.

Defined-benefit plans are also typically “pay as you go” type arrangements, and they have run against the same sorts of demographic pressures that assail Social Security. From a government policy standpoint, lawmakers must balance provisions that protect employees with realistic assessments of what businesses can bear; if the government mandates pension provisions that bankrupt businesses and cause all of their employees to lose their jobs before they get a chance to retire, has the net utility to society been increased?

Employee Funded Programs: Given the resource pressures noted above, the Government and businesses have a vested interest in encouraging employees to help fund their own retirements.

In addition to ERISA, the Internal Revenue Codes of 1954 and 1986, as amended, are the primary laws influencing employee funded programs, as they provide tax incentives for employees to set aside funding for their retirement; “401(k),” for example, refers to a chapter in the tax code.

Employees may contribute to defined-benefit plans such as 401(k)s that are sponsored by employers, or they may contribute to individual retirement accounts (IRAs); there are several different types of IRAs (Roth, Traditional, SEP, Simple, etc.) that have different tax provisions associated with them.

As originally constituted, IRAs were essentially cash vehicles, but the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 made it easier to use other types of assets to fund retirement accounts.

From a policy-making standpoint, lawmakers must balance a desire to have employees fund their own retirements with a realization that the tax incentives being offered to encourage such investment also results in reduced tax revenues to the federal government; it would be simple to write tax law that would encourage employees to dramatically increase their contributions, but that would dramatically increase the budget deficit by lowering revenues.

Recommended Further Reading:

  • The Coming Generational Storm: What You Need to Know about America’s Economic Future, by Laurence J. Kotlikoff and Scott Burns, MIT Press, 2005.
  • Coming Up Short: The Challenge of 401(K) Plans, by Annika Sunden and Alicia Haydock Munnell, Brookings Institution Press, 2004.
  • Fundamentals of Private Pensions (Eighth Edition), by Dan McGill, et al., Oxford University Press, 2005.
  • The Economics of an Aging Society, by Robert L. Clark, et al., Wiley-Blackwell, 2004.

A Model for Municipal Management

I wrote this article in 2008 as part of an urban and regional planning seminar. It attempts to provide a modeled framework within which municipal managers may maximize the civic impact of their planning and financial decisions. Click on the link below to open the PDF version of the article.

A MODEL FOR MUNICIPAL MANAGEMENT

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