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City Administration and Human Services Issues

Income Inequality — Reasons For Being Out Of Trend

Income inequality has always been considered one of the most urgent problems in society. The federal government, as well as local authorities, realized the need to address the issue of income inequality. Such a tendency was predetermined by the fact that the state had to provide all people with equal opportunities for well-being. The aim of any democratic country is to build a prosperous nation. It is impossible without the appropriate level of income in all classes of society.

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The article under consideration is entitled “Do Mayors Still Care about Income Inequality?” was written by J. B. Wogan in 2015. The author provides readers with information concerning the tendency to address income inequality issues by would-be mayors in several electoral campaigns. The author finds out that income inequality seems to be out of trend nowadays as far as only a few candidates dwell on this topic.

In my opinion, the author moves in the right direction while identifying reasons for the lack of concern about income inequality. This issue was of primary significance during the previous elections two years ago. From first sight, one may assume that the lack of concern means that there is no such problem anymore. However, other reasons predetermine this situation. The problem is relevant even nowadays, but most elections will take place in cities where the mayor’s legal power is restricted. I agree with the author that the major reason refers to the fact that the mayors of cities in the South and Southwest do not have the legal power to modify social policies (Wogan, 2015). In my opinion, the information is not enough for making any decisions about the issue in New York City. It is unclear why the number of signs decreased drastically only in a few months. The author should provide an explanation for all statements.

Transparency and Effective Organizational Structure

The effectiveness of Adam Smith’s theory of “invisible hand” has been already discussed numerous times. H. George Frederickson puts this theory in the framework of public administration. The article entitled “Public Management and the Visible Hand” examines the current problems that are pressing in the sphere of public management.

The main point of the author refers to the fact that the theories of “visible hand” or the administrative coordination and hierarchical management are the most suitable approaches for proper public management. Frederickson (2007) explains his position by stating that “because laws and policies do not carry themselves out, a professional, educated, and technically competent public service must be organized and managed to administer laws and policies” (para. 5). From first sight, it seems that this conclusion is logical. However, the issue of transparency occurs.

The organization of public management under the “visible hand” approach decreases the level of transparency. In my opinion, transparent actions are important in modern organizations as far as they promote the freedom of opinions and public support. The transparency within the scope of “visible hand” may be damaged by the close connection between public management and elected lawmakers. Their interconnection and close relations may lead to bureaucratic accountability.

The division of public management and lawmakers seems to be a possible solution to the problem. However, it cannot be easily implemented in practice due to the significant influence of elected officials. Thus, one may conclude that the achievement of the balance between strong, decisive actions and transparency for efficient public management is rather a challenging task. In my opinion, even if the balance cannot be achieved, it is still necessary to implement “visible hand” approach. Although it may decrease the level of transparency, it is crucial for efficient functioning. Transparency should be increased gradually in such a situation later.

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Rethinking Human Services

The last article for contemplations is “Data and the Opportunity to Rethink Human Services” written by B. Walker and T. Fishman. The authors of the article introduce the idea that providers of human services measure purely quantitative changes in human lives and overlook qualitative alternations and their investigations. They pay attention to the fact that human services do their best to cope with their primary tasks. For instance, they should respond to as many calls as possible within twenty-four hours. The problem of qualitative or transformational measures is puzzling. It refers to the need to know whether “service agencies do the right work for the right people at the right time” (Walker & Fishman, 2015, para. 2).

There is no doubt that technological advances will improve the efficiency of human services. However, I do not understand exactly the way qualitative changes will be measured in people’s lives. According to the article, these technologies are time-saving. Consequently, caseworkers will have more time to work with clients. At the same time, it does not mean that transformational goals will be achieved. Described modifications will improve the working process of the staff, but there is no vivid examples or proof of positive consequences for people. It is necessary to investigate the efficiency of the described ways of improvement in practice.

References

Walker, B., & Fishman, T. (2015). Data and the Opportunity to Rethink Human Services. Web.

Frederickson, H. G. (2007). Public Management and the Visible Hand. Web.

Wogan, J. B. (2015). Do Mayors Still Care about Income Inequality? Web.

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