California's Proposition 13 is one dramatic example of the fiscal constraints which threaten revenue base of governments, with long-term consequences for employment patterns and opportunities for minorities. Hypothesizes that decisionmakers have implicit objectives in mind for alternative budget strategies based on efficiency, equity, feasibility and implementability. Various causes of local government fiscal contraction are explored, showing a peak in revenues and spending in the mid-1970s and lower growth rate of public employees and earnings since. Los Angeles exemplifies significant losses particularly for low-skilled minority workers since passage of Proposition 13 in 1978. Predicts harsh results for minority employment elsewhere should Proposition 13 fever spread. As job prospects worsen in the public sector, minority workers suffer disproportionately, in jobs lost and slower advancement toward middle class status. Realistically, jobs as well as services, are an output of local government. In cutting back, costs of foregone opportunities should not be overlooked.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.