We have discussed the idea that evaluating the fiscal health with respect to debt of a particular jurisdiction also depends on the debt of its “dependents” and the situation of other jurisdictions which tax the same base to some extent (see discussion in Clingermayer and Wood (1995)). This NYT article discusses how cities risking bankruptcy may appeal instead to the state for support. What is the potential impact on the incentives facing cities regarding financial management?
Cities in debt turn to states, adding strain
Clingermayer, JC and BD Wood. 1995. Disentangling Patterns of State Debt Financing. The American Political Science Review 89, no. 1 (March): 108-120.
Here is a little piece from Salon (thanks Cliff for bringing this to my attention) on the issue of state sales tax remittance on purchases from online retailers with and without “nexus” – or substantial brick and mortar presence in a state – timely both in terms of our class and in terms of the winter shopping season. There is a very interesting bit of insight into Amazon’s firm location decision (Seattle vs. other possibilities) – the ways in which taxes shape behavior by changing incentives are many – for firms and individuals.
See also the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Initiative for more information on how states are trying to coordinate (or “harmonize” for the Euro-crowd) their own behavior to address the existing incentives created by a patchwork of diverse tax structures which give retailers an excuse of hardship in remittance compliance.
Every Day’s a Tax Holiday
How Amazon.com undersells Best Buy, the Apple store, and almost everybody else.
By Farhad Manjoo
Posted Friday, Nov. 19, 2010, at 4:56 PM ET
A thoughtful and refreshing policymaker perspective on the role of economics research in informing development efforts, by Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank Group (Speech at Georgetown University of 9/29/2010):
link at the World Bank
Thanks Shirene for sharing this, relevant to our session tonight…
Reuters.com – Americans want deficit cut even in tough economy
This segment on infrastructure touches on so many aspects of public budgeting and finance and PA generally, I had to share it with you. Budgeting for uncertain risks…capital budgeting…the web of intergovernmental and private sector relationships…challenges of privatization/contracting out…the role of nonprofits/advocacy groups as Lindblom’s “value watchdogs”…regulation…government as insurer of last resort…see if you can relate the conversation to these themes…
Pipelines to Potholes: America’s Ailing Infrastructure | WBUR and NPR – On Point with Tom Ashbrook
In light of our discussion tonight…how do we budget for timebombs…is it another way to look at regulation/inspection expenditure….
Fatal Pipeline Accident Turns Attention to Nation’s Aging Pipelines
This opinion piece from the NYTimes touches on the question, can life be good in the absence of economic growth, or how can culture adjust to new realities…given Japan’s amazing economic trajectory in the 20th century, the young people who came of age during and after the "lost decade" of economic stagnation (which some think we are risking here in the US) have a very different perspective than their elders.
Japan and the Ancient Art of Shrugging
By NORIHIRO KATO
Published: August 21, 2010
It’s a relief to no longer have the second-largest economy in the world.