In multi-racial countries where one group dominates the government system, a question regarding the government's attitude to the minority may be raised. There is an important practical application to this question as psychologists have found that when a minority group feels (justifiably or not) that it is being subjected to discrimination, clinical responses such as anxiety, paranoia, hostility and helplessness are likely to emerge, and this will affect the minority's ability to function as individuals and/or as a cohesive community.
The aim of this paper is to present a procedure to empirically measure government attitude to the minority sector of the population on matters relating to fiscal allotments. This empirical measurement becomes more complex when the minority group belongs to a weaker socio-economic sector. In such cases, making equal fiscal allotments to both sectors (the strong socio-economic majority and the weaker socio-economic minority) will not suffice and the government must adopt a policy of affirmative action, in other words the minority sector must receive a bigger fiscal allotment.
This study applies the proposed measurement procedure to the current situation in Israel, and examines whether the Israeli Government, which is dominated by the Jewish majority, adopts a policy of affirmative action to benefit the Arab minority. The research question will be: During the years 2000–2006, were fiscal allotments transferred by the government to the Arab sector local governments greater than the fiscal allotments stipulated for these local governments, and if the answer is positive, were these fiscal allotments big enough?
The general trend evident in the results of this study show an increase in fiscal allotments transferred to Arab sector local authorities; and in the year 2006, there was no significant difference between Arab and Jewish local authorities in sectors with the same socio-economic characteristics.
|Keywords:||Local Authorities, Fiscal Discrimination, Arab Sector, Government Budget|
Lecturer, Economics, The Max Stern Academic College of Emek Yezreel, Mosav Yaad, Israel
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