Page 1

Tyler Gund Editor in Chief Emma Northcott Managing Editor Kimberly Schwicke Acquisition Manager

THE Heinz JOURNAL

Niles Guo Production Manager Rodolfo Scannone Web Manager Editors Sonya Acosta Laura Calloway Mengyu Chen Niles Guo Melissa Hannequin Rondell Jordan Rodolfo Scannone Leah Scott Emily Shawgo Aatir Siddique Joseph Tettey

Volume

14

|

Issue

1

|

March

2017

ARTICLES The Future for Intelligence Sharing in the European Union

1

Evan L. Nilsen and Joseph K. Sobek

Draping the Veil of Ignorance Over Families: A Rawlsian Case-Study of Swedish and U.S. Social Welfare Policy

12

Adrienne Anne Stonecypher

A Fat Tax for a Fat Problem

Colin P. Ashwood, Alexander C. Ervin, & Joanna M. Madias

Education in Tunisia and Morocco: A Comparative Study Challenges and Successes of Previous and Current Reforms Mariem Fekih Zguir

31

49


The Heinz Journal is the student-run publication of the H. John Heinz III College, Carnegie Mellone University, dedicated to the publishing works that link critical and theoretical analysis with policy implementation.

The Heinz Journal 4800 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania http://journal.heinz.cmu.edu

We accept submissions from professionals, policy school students, and members of the Pittsburgh community. Email submissions and questions to heinz-journal@andrew.cmu.edu.


CALL FOR SUBMISSION Guidelines:

About THJ:

Articles must contain graudate-level research.

THJ is a graduate student conceived and run publication dedicated to publishing works that links theory and implementation. THJ seeks to publish articles relevant and meaningful to both policy professionals and students. THJ offers a unique opportunity to showcase the quality work products of talented scholars in diverse fields. After a selective revie w and editing process, pieces are published on the web at http:// journal.heinz,cmu.edu.

Submissions accepted from students of any discipline, alumni, and professionals. Co-authorship is welcomed and encouraged. Must be in Chicago-Style format. Articles selected based on orginality, relevance, and readability. Policy analysis pieces between 4,000 - 10,000 words in length are encouraged, but length is not a condition for selection. For more guideline information, please visit our Submission Guidelines page at http://journal. cmu.edu. The Heinz Journal (THJ) intends to provide constructive feedback on both style and content to authors. Authors are expected to work with journal editors to edit, revise, add, or otherwise change the piece to improve quality as much as the schedule allows. The author must inform the editorial staff if any manuscript content has already been published or is under consideration for publication elsewhere.

This is a rolling submission. We are accepting submissions around the year. Please email your submissions to theheinzjournal@gmail.com and indicate your affliation.

The Heinz Journal 4800 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania http://journal.heinz.cmu.edu


The Future of Intelligence Sharing in the EU

The Future for Intelligence Sharing in the European Union Evan L. Nilsen and Joseph K. Sobek University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs Abstract In recent years and out of clear necessity, efforts have been made to improve the EU’s capacity for intelligence sharing. Some hoped that the European Security and Defence Policy (EDSP) would provide the missing link to improve EU Members’ ability to address crisis prevention and management. Yet, such efforts have been challenged by other sharing mechanisms outside the EU, involvement of the United States, political uncertainty, and fundamental distrust. The analysis provided in this study contributes a practical policy suggestion to strengthening EU intelligence capabilities, though it recognizes it may not be the most likely outcome in the near future. Introduction The EU continues to face significant economic and social challenges, which have raised questions about the security of the Member States. The European economy continues to underperform with many countries struggling with austerity policy and stagnant growth. Paired with continued disputes over sovereignty, a deepening migrant crisis, and the U.K.’s decision to leave the EU, intelligence sharing has become more of a necessity. Due to recent attacks in Paris and Brussels and the growth of violent extremism in Europe, there is increased pressure from the public to bolster domestic security. Some efforts have been made in recent years to improve the EU’s capacity for intelligence sharing, but these have largely failed to have any real impact on European policy-making. Instead, efforts to improve collaboration have taken place outside the EU framework, usually involving the “Five Eyes” (U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa) and existing bilateral agreements with the United States. The Five Eyes intelligence network is one of the most sensitive and effective shared-intelligence coalition that exists to date, which includes the states of the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. However, since the U.K. is no longer a member of the EU, there is little chance that the EU will be able to achieve any meaningful cooperation with the Five Eyes, let alone with the U.K. intelligence network. Efforts to improve intelligence sharing have ultimately fallen short because of fundamental distrust and the perception that national security remains the last bastion of nation-state sovereignty. There is some hope that either a new organization or the European Security and Defence Policy (EDSP) could provide the missing link to improve EU members’ ability to address crisis prevention and management. To investigate this challenge and possible solutions, we begin by reviewing the limited literature on the current state of intelligence sharing within the EU. In addition, the review will provide journal.heinz.cmu.edu

Spring 2017

1


The Heinz Journal some suggestions for improvements and explain why there has been little progress towards cooperation. In the second part of the paper, we will use both a SWOT analysis and an Alternative Competing Hypothesis (ACH) analysis to help establish the most likely policy outcomes and provide some practical policy suggestions for improving intelligence sharing capacities. Current State of Intelligence Sharing For consistency, we use a simple and common definition of intelligence as the collection, dissemination, and analysis of information collected from a variety of sources to inform the policy-making process. Additionally, intelligence sharing is described as when one state (sender) communicates intelligence that it possesses to another state.1 Intelligence sharing is largely considered a requirement for any political entity to improve a wide range of security policy areas such as counterterrorism (CT), countering violent extremism (CVE), law enforcement, and crisis prevention and management. Though EU Member States have some intelligence capabilities, they have been unable to support domestic security to a degree required to reassure the public. Even with its many challenges, the EU collectively represents the world’s largest economic zone. Its ambitious policies, though first limited to economic integration, now address a variety of areas. This has provided EU Members many benefits, but also created new challenges to European security. As part of the greater integration process, the EU has instituted the free movement of labor and persons through agreements such as the Schengen Agreement, forged a common market for capital, goods and services, and established a common currency. These policies have contributed to significant growth in the Union, while simultaneously leading to a greater demand for intelligence. Unfortunate1 Walsh, James I. 2006. "Intelligence-Sharing in the European Union: Institutions Are Not Enough." Journal Of Common Market Studies 44, no. 3: 627. Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed November 30, 2015).

2

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

ly, terrorism and organized crime has also benefited from lower national control on cross-border activities.2 Criminal organizations have been able to increase the scale of their operations not only within the EU, but overseas, due to the reduced risk of detection for illegal trafficking of drugs, people, and other illicit items. This raises additional concerns, especially when considering the greater ease of transporting chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) weapons and materials.3 The establishment of the Euro and the single financial market has provided criminals with easier ways to engage in a variety of illicit activities, which include money-laundering and black market transactions.4 Along these lines, the free movement provided by the EU and Schengen Zone allows terrorists and criminals easier transit between countries, quicker access to materials and resources, and easier organization of their operations.5 The high level of organization in which the November 2015 attacks in Paris were conducted made this painfully clear. The gunmen were either nationals or recent migrants registered in several different European countries, and arrests connected to the attacks were made across Europe. With continued threats of future attacks by ISIL and their operatives in Europe, the EU should increase its capacity to confront these new challenges as integration continues. Over the years, the EU has directed some of its efforts to limited intelligence cooperation and to increasing its intelligence capabilities. Crisis has not been the only motivation driving the EU to adopt a greater intelligence role within Europe. The formulation of the ESDP has led to greater demand for defense and overseas intelligence. Its origins can be traced to the Franco-British at St. Malo on December 4, where the EU’s intelligence capabilities were given special attention: 2 Ibid., p. 627. 3 Ibid., 4 Occhipinti, John D. 2003. The Politics of EU Police Cooperation: Toward a European FBI? Lynne Rienner Publishers, 121. 5 Walsh, 2006, Intelligence-Sharing in the European Union.

Spring 2017


The Future of Intelligence Sharing in the EU “In order for the European Union to take decisions and approve military action where the Alliance as a whole is not engaged, the Union must be given appropriate structures and a capacity for analysis of situations, sources of intelligence, and a capability for relevant strategic planning, without unnecessary duplication, taking account of the existing assets of the WEU and the evolution of its relations with the EU.”6

pillars, known as the European Communities. This pillar is largely responsible for the development of economic, social, and environmental policies. On the other hand, military intelligence and analysis, as part of the CFSP (the second pillar), cannot necessarily be integrated into the first pillar as it exists now. Some argue that if any integration of civil and military resources were to take place, it would likely have to occur in the second pillar or through the European Council.9 With the Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters falling under the In practice, this has been a somewhat more com- third pillar, it is clear that intelligence sharing enplicated goal. For one, there is still a very notice- compasses each pillar to a degree and would need able lack of coherence in EU foreign policy. This is to draw from the resources of each in order to be a major reason why European intelligence services effective. have not integrated, have primarily remained inward-looking, and have been reluctant to take any There is the potential that civil and military resourcmajor steps to cooperate with U.S. intelligence es- es could be combined to perform certain domestic pecially in global counterterrorism efforts.7 security functions. These functions could include early warning systems, situation assessment, and The EU Intelligence Sharing Mechanisms strategic planning. Such a synthesis would go a long way towards reducing the number of differOne area in which the EU might have been able to ent units that exist with similar goals, and remove cooperate more effectively is in intelligence collec- “unnecessary duplication.” Some of these units, tion to aid procurement efforts of Member States. which participate in the EU intelligence process, However, cooperation here has been made more include the EU Military Staff, the Policy Planning difficult as the collection process involves different and Early Warning Unit, and the EU Institute for positions, allegiances, needs, and ambitions.8 This Security Studies. As Björn Müller-Wille describes, is just one example of a major obstacle that pre- these units are unimpressive and often cannot vents progress in intelligence sharing. Essentially, match the capabilities of any of the smaller EU there is a great deal of friction within the EU’s in- Members.10 telligence process. One source of this friction is the division of EU competences across three pillars. In There are three key institutions that currently seek regards to the capacity for analysis, it has mostly to facilitate intelligence sharing between Member resided in the civil sphere and the first of the three States. Collectively, they are meant to provide the “technical mechanisms for the diffusion of intel6 “Franco–British St. Malo Declaration (4 December 1998).” ligence between national authorities, including 2016.Cvce.eu. Accessed February 2. http://www.cvce.eu/en/ organizing regular meetings of ministers and offiobj/franco_british_st_malo_declaration_4_december_1998-encials, creating common intelligence databases and f3cd16fb-fc37-4d52-936f-c8e9bc80f24f.html. sharing information on security practices such as 7 Aldrich, Richard J. 2009. "US–European Intelligence Co-operation on Counter-Terrorism: Low Politics and Compulsion."Britcounter-terrorism.”11 ish Journal Of Politics & International Relations 11, no. 1: 122. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost(accessed January 14, 2016). 8 Müller-Wille, Björn (2002) EU Intelligence Co-operation. A Critical Analysis, Contemporary Security Policy, 23:2, 69, DOI: 10.1080/713999737.

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

9 Ibid., p. 72. 10 Ibid., p. 73. 11 Walsh, 2006, Intelligence-Sharing in the European Union. p. 626.

Spring 2017

3


The Heinz Journal The first of these is the Berne Group/Club of Berne, which “brings together the security services of all of the Member States,” but operates outside of the EU institutions and with no formal commitment or expectation that participants share all relevant intelligence in their possession.12 It was formed in 1970s to serve as a forum for security services for the Member States and the principal point of contact of the heads of national security services.13 A product of the Club of Berne was the Counter Terrorist Group (CTG), which was created in 2001. Sometimes in cooperation with US, the CTG produces common threat assessments shared between members and some EU committees. After the 2004 Madrid attacks, the CTG determined that it would “act as the interface between the EU and the heads of member states’ security and intelligence services on terrorist matters.”14 Europol, which is perhaps more well-known than the Berne Group, “collects, shares and disseminates intelligence on threats such as organized crime and terrorism.”15 It began operations in 1999 and has since created a forum to coordinate national CT and international law enforcement efforts. It has established secure communication links between Member States for intelligence sharing on terrorism and for exchange of information on training and equipment. Europol even participates in the collection of relevant intelligence, conducts analysis, and provides threat assessments. After 9/11, its tools included the European Arrest Warrant, a common EU definition of terrorism, the ability to freeze terrorist finances, and a greater ability to share data with allies.16 Unfortunately, Europol also does not possess any formal requirement for sharing all relevant intelligence. While intelligence sharing is still a crucial mission, Europol remains focused on issues such as drug and human traf12 Ibid., p. 631. 13 Ibid., 14 Aldrich, 2009, US–European Intelligence Co-operation on Counter-Terrorism. p. 127. 15 Walsh, 2006, Intelligence-Sharing in the European Union. p. 631-632. 16 Aldrich, 2009, US–European Intelligence Co-operation on Counter-Terrorism. p. 123.

4

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

ficking, terrorism, forgery, money laundering, and cybercrime. The last of the important sharing mechanisms is provided by the European Union Military Staff, which focuses primarily on overseas issues and developments. As described by James Walsh, it supports the Military Committee and the Political and Security Committee and is responsible for early warning, assessment, and operational support on external security matters such as terrorism. Member States use representatives to supply intelligence to the Military Staff, and then the intelligence is used to produce assessments.17 However, this sharing mechanism is largely limited to military affairs. There are some other avenues that EU intelligence sharing policy could take. The EU Intelligence Analysis Center (IntCen) focuses on the collection and analysis of open source intelligence (OSINT), as such information does not require intelligence sharing from members and already makes up a large proportion of intelligence collection. It is, in fact, the only group that addresses the EU’s key priority areas of defense, CT and crisis management (Cross, 2013).18 Thus, it has been argued that IntCen is a fulcrum “that determines whether the EU takes a comprehensive approach to achieving a common intelligence space or not.”19 NATO also provides an intelligence sharing function, though it mostly addresses the security problems of its members. It can, however, provide a model from which future EU intelligence sharing mechanisms could draw lessons. For example, the EU could adopt mechanisms introduced at the 2006 Riga summit, which established the NATO interim information cell consisting of representatives of the intelligence services of Members and activated an Intelligence Fusion Centre. 17 Walsh, 2006, Intelligence-Sharing in the European Union. p. 633. 18 Cross, Mai'a K. Davis. "A European Transgovernmental Intelligence Network And The Role Of Intcen." Perspectives On European Politics & Society 14.3 (2013): 389. Academic Search Premier. Web. 8 Jan. 2016. 19 Ibid.,

Spring 2017


The Future of Intelligence Sharing in the EU What’s Holding Back Intelligence Sharing?

responsible for collection and analysis lack the resources and access necessary to be truly effective Though the groups, agencies, and units discussed in supporting the EU’s mission of crisis prevention might make it seem as if intelligence matters have and management and rely heavily on finished inbeen addressed, these organizations remain quite telligence products. weak. To date, there are no EU intelligence collection resources or formal agreements. Even if it is Perhaps one of the most problematic issues imagreed upon that the EU must be given the tools peding intelligence sharing is distrust amongst necessary to address the threats posed by orga- Member States. Diverging political and foreign nized crime and terrorist groups, foreign policy policy agendas greatly compound the issue of misand national defense are two key areas that re- trust. Disagreements in approaches towards spemain, for the most part, out of Brussels’ reach. cific privacy laws, differences in values, and varying degrees of involvement in global security matters Most Member States are wary to surrender such all weigh heavily on each state’s decision of what competencies. In the political realm, several na- to share and with whom to share it. Fear of intions must balance delicate bilateral relationships formation leakage is another common theme that with the United States. As part of their national contributes to mistrust. Naturally, as the number intelligence programs, many European countries of participants who share intelligence increases, have entered special treaties with the U.S. While some information may fall into the wrong hands. the European governments do benefit from the re- It is likely that certain Members are also concerned lationship, the American approach of private sec- that they will become the primary contributors tor partnership has been very unpopular amongst while other countries gain a low-cost access to inthe EU electorate. Even with the high level of crit- telligence gathering and analysis resources. Larger icism of American-led intelligence activities in Eu- nations with better-funded and more well-estabrope, Aldrich believes that since 2005, EU officials lished intelligence agencies would likely be the have welcomed many non-EU bodies such as the largest contributors and smaller nations would CTG.20 These agreements with the U.S., however, stand to benefit most from the sharing. Incidentend to complicate relationships amongst the Eu- tally, many of the calls for greater EU intelligence ropean countries, since the U.S. maintains tight cooperation come from nations such as Ireland, control over its own intelligence. This means that Belgium, and Austria.22 In order to make sure nathe information that European countries in the EU tions that do not invest as much in their own intelcan share amongst each other is greatly limited. ligence agencies make a fair contribution, certain checks would likely have to be included in any sigLack of progress could also be a result of insti- nificant EU intelligence-sharing regime. This contutional problems. As demonstrated previously, cern is merited, especially if one considers the fact there are no formal rules within the EU requiring that many members of NATO do not meet the 2% intelligence sharing amongst Member States. The of GDP goal for military spending. mechanisms that do exist tend to be very limited and lack the resources necessary to encourage the Cooperation in intelligence collection is made difsharing of relevant intelligence. Even Europol has ficult by the fact that many intelligence agencies strict and detailed restrictions on how analytical prefer to keep their collection methods a trade files are shared and accessed.21 Thus, the bodies secret. Even in the most trusting of relationships, partners are highly unlikely to divulge too much 20 Aldrich, 2009, US–European Intelligence Co-operation on detail. As suggested by Müller-Wille, framers of Counter-Terrorism. p. 128. 21 Walsh, 2006, Intelligence-Sharing in the European Union. p. 635.

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

22 Aldrich, 2009, US–European Intelligence Co-operation on Counter-Terrorism. p. 125.

Spring 2017

5


The Heinz Journal a new EU sharing regime would be wise to allow contributions to remain largely anonymous. Removing the fear of being identified as the source alleviates concern that “we do not want all others to know what we are able to find out.”23 Many possible solutions have been proposed. Walsh suggests that the EU could increase the costs of reneging on agreements or defection and foster greater trust by establishing “specific allowances for states to monitor each other’s compliance with agreements.”24 He also suggests strengthening and centralizing the intelligence-sharing institutions themselves by requiring Member States to share relevant intelligence rather than keeping it voluntary. Analysis As aforementioned, the current state of the EU’s intelligence capacities, while rather weak, is highly pragmatic; it does what it can so it can function. However, its pragmatism contains critical vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, violent incidents, such as the Norwegian mass shooting committed by Anders Breivik and the more recent terrorist attack in Paris at the behest of ISIL, continue to occur. However, it is possible to identify a common trend amongst these tragedies. The commonality is that it seems some degree of intelligence reporting had existed on the individuals responsible for both atrocities in other states prior to the actual attacks. This begs the question as to why these events occurred when there were reports and traces of these events being planned. It appears that the intelligence community within the EU is unnecessarily complicated and not designed to distribute intelligence between EU member states equally. Since similar incidents continue to occur and there is little progress towards restructuring EU intelligence policies to incorporate better intelligence sharing, it is obvious that there is a need to analyze the status quo and consider possible policy alternatives. 23 Müller-Wille. 2002, EU Intelligence Co-operation, p. 76. 24 Walsh, 2006, Intelligence-Sharing in the European Union. p. 630.

6

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

The methodologies that were used to analyze the current atmosphere, and thus the future, of European intelligence sharing include a SWOT analysis and an analysis of competing hypothesis (ACH). The use of a basic SWOT analysis is appropriate to not only outline the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, but also to understand how those strengths can be used to improve known weaknesses, exploit opportunities, and to mitigate the potential threats to the EU intelligence communities’ future effectiveness. Following the analysis of the SWOT attributes, we then propose our hypothesis and test it against a spectrum of other hypotheses in an ACH test. Based on ten key facts and observations used as evidence, we test which hypothesis is more likely to occur and we offer policy recommendations as possible alternatives to the status quo. This test is largely subjective and is the product of observation gathered from research and interpretation of facts and events. Even so, this technique is helpful to illustrate our larger analysis and justify the conclusions we make about the most likely future of the EU intelligence network. At first glance, the strengths of the current EU intelligence efforts are determined by the basic organizational capabilities of the EU. These capabilities demonstrate that pre-existing security policies, such as the EDSP, provide the necessary groundwork for EU intelligence sharing capabilities. However, as the SWOT analysis will demonstrate, it is obvious that there are critical weaknesses existing within the EU intelligence apparatus and that they far outnumber the strengths. The next step in the process is to consider what opportunities are present for the EU. Given the strengths of the EU, coupled with its credibility as a political entity and the financial capabilities of many of its member states, there are many opportunities to improve the EU’s intelligence efforts. There already exists a strong momentum from some EU states (Belgium, France, Austria, etc.) to expand Brussels’ intelligence capabilities in order to prevent future incidents, and

Spring 2017


The Future of Intelligence Sharing in the EU to be able to offer guidance and advice on crisis management. This momentum, combined with other strong opportunities, presents the EU with the potential to begin altering policies on intelligence sharing to ensure security and common defense of the EU itself. As discussed earlier, despite such potential opportunities, there are many political, social, and strategic obstacles to their realization. Figure A shows that threats far outweigh strengths, which is a serious concern for EU politicians who wish to expand intelligence integration and cooperation. However, with such an enticing list of potential opportunities for the EU, there is sufficient incentive for policymakers to consider alternative EU intelligence and intelligence sharing policies. Figure B demonstrates how the use of those strengths can improve known weaknesses of the EU’s intelligence capabilities. The same diagram also demonstrates how the use of those strengths can be used to exploit known opportunities to mitigate common and developing threats. In the short run, known EU strengths would likely be used to improve weakness by implementing intelligence regulations, utilizing EU Member States’ regional specialties for intelligence reporting, and creating a more intensive collaborative border defense. However, considering efforts up to this point and the reforms that would likely be necessary to make significant improvements, the EU’s ability to effectively address these weaknesses within the near future may be a little overambitious.

both analysis and collection for the sake of European intelligence sharing. Again, these are ambitious goals and are unlikely to be achieved in time to be useful in preventing known and developing threats over the next few years. Figure B showcases the strong ability for the EU to use its resources to improve on some organizational weaknesses that impede intelligence sharing capabilities. Unfortunately, Figure B also demonstrates the lesser ability of the EU to exploit opportunities in and little ability to mitigate threats as the EU exists at this point. Despite the strengths of the EU, significant policy changes would have to be implemented to exploit known opportunities or to mitigate threats in the short run, as there is currently insufficient means and political will to do so. • • •

• • •

STRENGTHS Autonomy of the EU as an entity Co-operation between EU states European Defense and Security Policy (EDSP) set framework for collaborative intelligence effort Existence of EUMC EU cooperation with NATO Push from some states to improve on EU intelligence efforts

• • • • • •

• •

The EU’s ability to utilize opportunities to mitigate both unknown and known threats is more concerning. In the long run, there will be chances to use and exploit opportunities but, as many EU states have learned the hard way, threats to European security are a constant reality. Long run solutions might include the development of a EU perspective intelligence analysis, the synthesis of civil and military bodies to create sound intelligence reports for local and regional use, and the creation of a single intelligence agency that can streamline

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

• • • • •

Spring 2017

WEAKNESSES Pooled sovereignty of EU states Lack of a single cohesive foreign policy Schengen Zone Distrust amongst EU states Over-reliance on US bilateral agreements Competition with NATO Lack of a single organization for intelligence collection/dissemination Organizational structure (multiple agencies and jurisdictions) Separation of responsibilities into EU “pillars” Under-staffed sub-agencies Individual states’ financial limitations Lack of intelligence regulation Increase in intelligence leakage as EU grows EU limited to intelligence “requests”

7


The Heinz Journal

• •

• • •

• • • •

OPPORTUNITIES Expansion of EDSP Combination of both civil and military intelligence efforts within EUC Organizational structure to create/expand intelligence efforts Develop agency to incorporate EU states’ collection efforts Reassure EU states of the effectiveness joint EU intelligence efforts aside from national intelligence Consolidation of existing EU intelligence commissions Collaboration with other states (possibly Five Eyes states) Updates to EU charter to include intelligence efforts Relief of reliance on the US

• • •

• • • • •

THREATS Insufficient monitoring of Intra-Europe Borders (especially Schengen) Overlapping responsibilities Individual state’s cooperation and limitations States who are already EU members and unwilling to re-adopt EU charter changes Unpopularity of changing norms within EU societies Inability to collect and analyze intelligence in a timely manner Dependent on each state’s contributions Blending of spheres of authority with EU and state sovereignty Disunity in the EU Brexit, migrant crisis

Figure A

• • • •

• •

USE STRENGTHS Use EU’s credibility and influence to emphasize intelligence sharing Emphasize importance to EU members to foster cooperation Expand upon the EDSP’s capabilities Use both civil and military resources to expand intelligence efforts Use multiple existing agencies to formulate effective intelligence sharing Utilize EUMC to better understand intelligence collection Cooperation within EU and NATO members to formulate initial means of sharing Follow through with initial movement to expand EU intelligence sharing efforts

EXPLOIT OPPORTUNITIES • Use/expand EDSP to have a more efficient intelligence effort • Utilize and build upon existing civil, military, local, and interstate cooperation efforts • Develop a single agency to streamline analysis and collection • Define clear mission to alleviate member concern over sovereignty • Develop EU perspective analysis for EU consumers

IMPROVE WEAKNESSES • Convince states of the benefits of intelligence and defense through pooled sovereignty • Share norms and customs for foreign policy interests and defense • Develop collaborative border effort • Foster better relations through dialogue of a third party (Five Eyes member) • Restructure existing intelligence commissions • Expand to a “fourth pillar” of the EU for intelligence matters • Hire specialists from each state • Use proportional resources from states who are able • Create intelligence regulations • Use each state’s regional specialties MITIGATE THREATS Narrow the scope and objectives of EU analysis and collection • Focus on open-source collection • Have products available to all EU officials • Strengthen EU intelligence collection capabilities

Consequently, the EU should begin by focusing on exploiting their opportunities as an investment for the future. Threats will never be eliminated and as the EU adjusts to outward pressures, such as aggressive politics from Russia in response to the current migrant crisis, it is in the EU’s best interest to be prepared now rather than deal with the consequences later. Specifically, consolidating many of the preexisting intelligence bodies within the EU into a single intelligence agency would be highly beneficial for not just the EU, but for each of its member states. While this transition and organizational restructuring would be difficult to achieve, it is feasible given the example of existing Figure B cooperation within entities such as NATO and the There are many possible directions that the EU in“Five-Eyes.” telligence network could take in the future. These range from the collapse of the EU itself to a crisis which would force the EU to adapt state-shared intelligence. The SWOT analysis illustrates that there is a vulnerability facing the EU’s ability to mitigate 8

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

Spring 2017


The Future of Intelligence Sharing in the EU threats but there are also opportunities to adapt to these threats, and that there is clearly room for improvement within the EU’s intelligence bodies. Our initial hypothesis caters to our SWOT analysis; the EU is likely to accept the growing threats and provided their ability and strengths, the EU will logically create an effective intelligence body to promote intelligence sharing amongst EU member states. This hypothesis, although it is the most ideal, may not be feasible. In light of the doubt surrounding the political feasibility of achieving intelligence reform, other alternative hypotheses or outcomes must also be considered.

example, which is classified as low credibility, is the EU’s worry over the potential of the collapse of the Schengen Agreement. This piece of evidence was ranked low because of a lack of actionable intelligence. Due to the nature of the subject, most evidence came from the review of relevant literature, and what could be and has been released to the public by relevant agencies.

The next step was to form hypotheses over which path the EU intelligence network might take. We used the ACH to evaluate the validity of each hypothesis and its consistency with evidence we identified from our research and observations. Ten specific facts posing as evidence regarding EU intelligence reform policies were chosen to weigh the inconsistency of each offered hypothesis. Along with our specific hypothesis, we also included the collapse of the EU’s intelligence efforts, the EU maintaining the status quo, and a crisis forcing the EU to adopt meaningful intelligence reform. Figure C. We rated the credibility of each listed piece of evidence, determined whether they were consistent with each policy, and evaluated the weighted in- After reviewing the evidence, each piece was laconsistency score of each hypothesis. beled from a range of highly inconsistent, to neutral, to highly consistent (II->I->N->N/A->C->CC). This ACH technique does not determine the prob- Based upon the completion of the ACH test in Figability of each hypothesis: rather, it evaluates ure C, we conclude that our original hypothesis which hypothesis is most consistent with the evi- that the EU will effectively create an intelligence dence provided. A higher consistency score trans- agency for the benefit of all EU states is not the lates to more consistency between the hypothesis most likely out of the proposed hypotheses. Our and the evidence. This evaluation is also heavily hypothesis scored a weighted inconsistency score influenced by the credibility of each piece of ev- of -5.121, which is the third most feasible alteridence, which was determined by us based upon native. All four inconsistency scores are displayed the source from which it was received. An exam- in Figure D. Though our hypothesis was not the ple of this is the head of the EUMC meeting with highest scoring, both Figure C and Figure D illusNATO to call for improvement to EU intelligence trate the most feasible hypothesis. efforts. This source was ranked as a high credibility piece of evidence because it was directly stated by the EUMC chair in a public conference. Another

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

Spring 2017

9


The Heinz Journal As it stands, there are severe vulnerabilities and critical intelligence flaws facing EU security. The recent attacks in Paris and Brussels, the escalating migrant crisis, and the persistence of enemies abroad are prime motivators for the EU to incorporate intelligence sharing capabilities into a functional EU intelligence agency that can both anticipate and prevent similar attacks in the future. It is possible that terrorist attacks such as these could have been prevented if such an organization had been in place. Though this argument relies on hindsight, if the opportunity to significantly improve future crises prevention and management were to emerge, there are sufficient incentives present to drive such necessary reforms.

FigureD.png

Following our SWOT analysis, we would advise that the EU must adapt to the growing threats it faces and take advantage of the strengths it possesses. Our policy recommendation is to create a single EU agency that is responsible for facilitating Member States’ intelligence cooperation. Since the problem of mistrust is unlikely to be resolved soon, this agency would be primarily responsible for collecting OSINT, and producing EU-perspective intelligence analyses for European policy makers. As was made clear by our ACH test, however, this recommendation is not likely to be enacted soon. Instead, it is far more likely that EU will maintain its current trajectory of intelligence vulnerabilities (status quo). However, this is not to say that the status quo of intelligence sharing and cooperation could not be gradually improved to be more effective. As OSINT methodologies and collection venues have improved to include advanced technology (an example would be to use public satellite imagery), there exists potential EU intelligence agencies and organizations to embrace these advancements in OSINT to improve intelligence collection and expand on the rigor of currently existing OSINT reporting.25

Based upon our evidence, the most feasible hypothesis is that the EU will maintain the status quo of having a pragmatic intelligence effort (inconsistency score: -0.0). However, this hypothesis may or may not be accurate due to the frequent neutral relationships the hypothesis carries. These neutral justifications essentially serve as nullified factors to each hypothesis; effectively eliminating themselves from consideration. In addition to the highest scoring hypothesis, Figure D also demonstrates important information about the provided hypotheses. Due to the close scores of both H:2 and H:4, it would be best if a separate analysis was conducted to evaluate the potential of each by using an Alternative Future Scenarios Test (AFST). Despite the high inconsistency score of H:1, there are also benefits in its inclusion in the ACH test. These include a proper low-probability/high-impact analysis to establish the effects and consequences if H:1 were to become a reality. However, this analysis goes beyond the scope of this paper and would be supplementary to this study if a future analysis were conducted. However, there is always the possibility for change. 25 Hanham, Melissa. “EGF -- Open Source.� Facebook. November 21, 2016. Web. November 22, 2016. https://www.facebook. com/pg/eurasiagroupfoundation/posts/.

Conclusion

10

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

Spring 2017


The Future of Intelligence Sharing in the EU Another hypothesis involves a severe crisis essentially forcing the EU to adopt better intelligence policies to support crisis prevention and management. It is also possible that momentum may build gradually within EU policy circles to reform intelligence policies along the lines of our recommendation. Unfortunately, the political feasibility of intelligence reform in the meantime is rather low. Hopefully, it will not require a large-scale crisis or attack to force the EU into reform. It is up to the EU, its leaders, and its citizens to push for intelligence cooperation and determine the EU’s overall role in preserving future European security.

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

Spring 2017

11


The Heinz Journal

Draping the Veil of Ignorance Over Families: A Rawlsian Case-Study of Swedish and U.S. Social Welfare Policy Adrienne Anne Stonecypher Introduction Income procurement is a necessity that affects virtually every citizen across the globe. Yet simply being compensated for work is not enough; wages must be of an amount sufficient to afford the earner the most basic costs of living. Living wages provide individuals with the ability to enjoy a decent standard of living, beyond poverty, without requiring a never-ending cycle of working just to get by. Individuals’ access to sustainable incomes yields benefits to society as a whole on economic and social platforms, as well as to the mental and physical health of citizens. In this sense, protecting employment and filling in gaps where the private sector fails should be of the utmost importance to all nations. As such, Article 23 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights explicitly states: 1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. 2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.1 The right to work is contained in a number of other international human rights documents as well, such as Article 6(1) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (“ICESCR”)2 which states: "The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right to work, which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts, and will take appropriate steps to safeguard this right."3 Implicit within the concept of rights are corresponding duties to ensure that those rights are upheld. Thus, as the Declaration and ICESCR apply to those member states which have ratified them, we can infer that it is the duty of each consenting state to ensure the rights contained therein to their citizens. Yet the right to work is a complex one both within the enforcement and moral domains, and is understandably a difficult concept to truly develop in quantifiable terms. 1 The United Nations. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 1948. Art. 23. 2 Article 1(2) of the ILO Convention No. 122 provides that all member states shall ensure that "there is work for all who are available for and seeking work." International Labour Organization, Convention concerning Employment Policy (ILO No. 122), 569 UNTS 65, entered into force 15 July 1966. 3 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Dec. 16, 1966, S. Treaty Doc. No. 95-19, 6 I.L.M. 360 (1967), 993 U.N.T.S. 3.

12

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

Spring 2017


Draping the Veil of Ignorance Over Families The ability to work contains both positive and negative implications. While employment provides individuals with monetary compensation needed to physically survive and, in some cases, psychological income in the form of a sense of accomplishment and purpose, it is also intrinsically tied to “the strain of mental or physical effort, to distress and even some degree of suffering.”4 Therefore, obligations of the state can likewise be viewed as positive and negative: a positive duty to ensure that individuals have access to work and a negative duty to refrain from imposing unnecessarily deplorable working conditions. While the Declaration does not specifically make mention of states’ negative responsibilities, the ICESCR does, commanding states to provide “[s]afe and healthy working conditions” and “[r]est, leisure and reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay, as well as remuneration for public holidays.”5 From the outset, it must be noted that the right to work is an ambiguous one; while employment opportunities must be made available for all citizens, states are expressly prohibited from requiring citizens to work too much. Other rights, such as healthcare, food, and housing are certainly not subject to such limitation. Unfortunately, as with many of the rights guaranteed under international convention, the U.N. has remained ambiguous within its promulgations; the text of the Declaration includes no ascertainable definition of “just and favourable conditions,” and, in practice, we see that a right to “equal pay for equal work” is not a requisite that necessarily applies uniformly across separate states.6 Even Article 7 of ICESCR, which specifically lists the facets of the right to work to be recognized by the state, includes such amorphous terminology as “fair 4 "Module 10: The Right to Work and Rights at Work." The Right to Work and Rights at Work. University of Minnesota Human Rights Resource Center; Circle of Rights: Economic, Social & Cultural Rights Activism, A Training Resource. Web. 1 Dec. 2015. <https://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/edumat/IHRIP/circle/ modules/module10.htm>. 5 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Dec. 16, 1966. 6 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 1948.

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

wages,” “safe and healthy working conditions,” and “reasonable limitation of working hours.”7 However, one of the most confounding assertions of Article 23 of the Declaration is contained in numerical Paragraph 3: “Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.”8 Similar language is contained in Article 7(a)(i) of ICESCR: “Remuneration which provides all workers, as a minimum, with…a decent living for themselves and their families in accordance with the provisions of the present Covenant.”9 It is apparent that these international treatises give due respect to the entwinement of employment and family obligations. However, yet again, when applied to the context of the global stage, terms such as “favourable remuneration,” “existence worthy of human dignity,” and “decent living” actually tell very little about what is expected of state actors. What repercussions do the linguistics of this text have on equal application connotations between gender and age differentials? If a “family” is entitled to human dignity obtained through work, the language can be construed to apply uniformly to all individual members of that family. And what are the minimums of human dignity, for that matter? Welfare societies which provide amenities such as food and housing, regardless of workforce participation, could be viewed as complying with this right if those amenities are, in fact, all that is necessary to uphold human dignity and a decent standard living. However, when internal satisfactions associated with the process of working are examined alongside the end results of labor, we see that an occupation can provide individuals with social interaction and personal development, benefits which cannot tangibly be provided by the state without an active dedication to ensuring physical 7 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Dec. 16, 1966. 8 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 1948. 9 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Dec. 16, 1966.

Spring 2017

13


The Heinz Journal employment.10 Hence, without setting parameters of “human dignity,” it is nearly impossible to determine if the right to work is being completely fulfilled. If these questions are left open for interpretation, then the resulting paradox becomes: what, exactly, are the obligations of states, both positive and negative, in regard to ensuring their citizens’ right to work? Many societal characteristics, such as education, licensing, and physical barriers, impact an individual’s right to work. However, of particular interest in countries across the world are the ways in which family life affects employment opportunities and the means by which governments may aid individuals in their balancing of the two. Several countries have forged the way in promoting the social wellbeing of the family unit, focusing attention on providing supportive aids to families and their specific members in the context of striking a balance between work and family responsibilities. For example, Sweden provides a complex and comprehensive scheme of benefits which seeks to provide mothers and fathers with financial security and autonomy while reconciling work, education, and family life. As such, these policies attempt to ensure the right to work of families by unifying both the quantifiable terms of employment (i.e., monetary compensation) and the non-quantifiable (i.e., mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing). However, not all countries have been nearly as proactive as Sweden in ensuring a family’s ability to work. While Sweden has taken the stance that citizen welfare in connection to employment is a state responsibility, the U.S. system expects “private forces to solve social problems.”11 This paper aims to directly compare family welfare policies in Sweden and the United States, focusing on four key aspects: the work-family balance and support of the state, national social class issues, child outcomes, and gender equality. This analysis ac10 "Module 10: The Right to Work and Rights at Work." 11 Janet C. Gornick and Marcia Meyers. Families That Work: Policies for Reconciling Parenthood and Employment. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2003. 58. Print.

14

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

cordingly examines the socio-economic currents at play within each of these nations and attempts to draw correlations between outcomes and policy. The utilization of either of these vastly differing policies exhibits moral and ethical dilemmas which can be applied to a number of philosophical theories and practices. Those theses are further studied within the context of this real-world case study. Work-Family Balance/Support One of the biggest hindrances in the access to employment revolves around an intense individual resource allocation between supporting a family both in terms of physical presence and money. Attentiveness to this balance has huge ethical ramifications. "[Laws which command employers to respect familial obligations] promote ethical human resource decisions because they give employers a framework for making decisions that balance important and conflicting needs in an employee's personal life with the needs of the employer. Ongoing application of this framework allows employers to develop ethical habits that are the core of ethical business decisions."12 Sweden has been exceptionally progressive in this respect by providing its citizens with paid parental employment leave, offering parents the “most generous combination of time and financial support” of any other country.13 Currently, Sweden offers families a shared 480 days (16 months) of parental leave at a benefit level of 80% of earnings 12 King, Nancy J. "The Family Medical Leave Act: An Ethical Model For Human Resources Policies and Decisions." Marquette Law Review (1999): 321. Marquette Law School. Web. 1 Dec. 2015. 13 Dominique Anxo. Parental Leave in European Companies: Establishment Survey on Working Time 2004-2005. Dublin: European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, 2007. 5. Print.

Spring 2017


Draping the Veil of Ignorance Over Families for 13 months,14 and a flat rate of roughly $22.31 per day for the remaining three months.15 In the event of twins, families receive an additional 90 days at 80% of earnings and 90 days at the flat rate.16 Above a double birth, families receive an extra 180 days at 80% of earnings for every additional child in a multiple-child birth.17 Thus, Sweden’s welfare system appreciates not only the huge capital cost of starting a family, but also considers the exponential rate with which conflicts arise in the event of expanding that family.

days per year to tend to the needs of an ill child, again receiving 80% of covered earnings.22 Because Sweden, along with other progressive Nordic countries, has implemented a parental leave system that is both flexible and supplemented by generous earning-replacement benefits, parents in these countries are partaking in parental leave more frequently than in other countries.23 Surveys found that employees of 89% of Swedish establishments take part in some form of parental leave.

This generous leave time is available to both fulltime and part-time employees and can be maneuvered to permit families to enjoy a combination of both leave benefits and part-time employment compensation.18 Parental leave is available to either parent until a child reaches his or her eighth birthday or has completed his or her first year of school.19 Sweden’s aggressive dedication to the work-family balance also encompasses periods predating the birth of a child. “[V]arious benefits for working pregnant women includ[e] paid leave prior to giving birth, and compensated paternity leave that enables fathers (or, in certain circumstances, someone other than the father) to remain at home for 10 days at the birth or adoption of the child.”20 The state’s active concern in supporting working parents extends up to 12 years of a child’s life,21 allowing parents to take a combined 120

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the United States. The U.S. is one of three out of 185 countries, for which data is available, that does not provide any form of monetary compensation for parental leave.25 In 1993 the U.S. implemented the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).26 The United States Department of Labor website describes FMLA as being “designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. It also seeks to accommodate the legitimate interests of employers and promote equal employment opportunity for men and women.”27 However, FMLA, in practice, serves very few Americans. Restrictions include only applying FMLA provisions to public agencies, public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees.28 Further, the FMLA must also be correspondingly applicable to the employee. “Employees are eligible

14 Parental leave benefit is subject to a maximum income ceiling of approximately $54,283 per year. Ann-Zofie Duvander and Linda Haas. "Sweden." Leave Network. 1 Apr. 2013. 1. 15 Ibid., 16 Ibid., at 3. 17 Ibid., 18 Lachs Ginsburg, Helen, and Marguerite G. Rosenthal. "The Ups and Downs of the Swedish Welfare State: General Trends, Benefits and Caregiving, by Marguerite G. Rosenthal and Helen Lachs Ginsburg, New Politics." The Ups and Downs of the Swedish Welfare State: General Trends, Benefits and Caregiving. 2006. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <http://newpol.org/content/upsand-downs-swedish-welfare-state-general-trends-benefitsand-caregiving>. 19 Ibid., 20 Ibid., 21 The system allows this time to be taken up to the 16th year of a child’s life in certain circumstances.

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

24

22 "Family Policy Database." Family Policy Database. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <http://www.demogr.mpg.de/cgi-bin/databases/ FamPolDB/index_data.plx>. 23 Anxo, supra note 13, at 15. 24 Ibid., 25 Sasanna Kim. "US Is Only Industrialized Nation Without Paid Maternity Leave." ABC News. ABC News Network, 6 May 2015. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <http://abcnews.go.com/Business/us-industrialized-nation-paid-maternity-leave/story?id=30852419>. 26 "U.S. Department of Labor — Wage and Hour Division (WHD) — The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993." U.S. Department of Labor — Wage and Hour Division (WHD) — The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/statutes/fmla.htm>. 27 Ibid., 28 Ibid.,

Spring 2017

15


The Heinz Journal for leave if they have worked for their employer at least 12 months, at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles.”29 As a result, only about 59% of all Americans qualify for FMLA, and because the time is unpaid, a great deal of those who do qualify do not exercise leave time because of the financial ramifications for their families.30 The result is a higher percentage of American parents who, though technically apprised of the right to work, are left being deprived of the negative obligations of the state in that they are being forced to work during physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding times. As a result of a system which does not offer an appropriate allotment of leave time for new parents, a 2008 study showed that of women who gave birth to their first child between 2006 and 2008, 26.6% resorted to work abandonment,31 50.8% utilized paid leave,32 42.4% used unpaid leave, and 9.5% made use of disability leave in order to take necessary time off of work in connection with their pregnancy or birth.33 Even when women are provided maternity leave pay through state temporary-disability insurance, on average they receive only $140-$270 per week.34 It can hardly be said that these individuals are receiving “just and favourable remuneration ensuring for [her]self and [her] family an existence worthy of human dignity,” nor is the loss of earning “supplemented […] by other means of social protection.”35 Here, it is 29 Ibid., 30 "A Look at the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2012 Family and Medical Leave Act Employee and Worksite Surveys." National Partnership for Women and Children. 1 Feb. 2013. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <http://www.nationalpartnership.org/research-library/ work-family/fmla/dol-fmla-survey-key-findings-2012.pdf>. 31 Either through voluntary or involuntary employment termination. 32 As FMLA does not offer compensation for parental leave time, this category includes use of paid sick leave, vacation time, or maternity leave if provided by an employer. 33 Ibid., at 9. 34 Gornick and Meyers, Families That Work: Policies for Reconciling Parenthood and Employment, supra note 11, at 55. 35 The United Nations. Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

16

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

evident that many individuals apprised of the right to work are not extended the actual ability to do so due to a lack of financial backing from the state. In addition, though potentially better off financially, working individuals may suffer physical, mental, and emotional detriment. In fact, the American approach to the work-family balance has left many of its citizens in a cycle of exhaustion to avoid poverty. In the 2008 survey mentioned above, approximately 65.6% of women continued to work during their pregnancy. 88.1% of those still working continued until less than three months before their child’s birth, and 64.6% continued until less than a month prior to birth.36 And it is not just mothers feeling the fire. While Swedish citizens spend approximately 1,552 hours per year at work on average, Americans weighed in at an unprecedented 1,966 hours per year, and this number is only growing.37 On average, dual-earner families in Sweden spend 11 fewer hours at work per week when compared to the average 80 hours logged by U.S. families, leaving greater time to dedicate to family and child responsibilities.38 This is a result of a Swedish system which places a larger emphasis on the epicenter of the family unit rather than on employment, and compensates individuals for contributing to their private wellbeing. In contrast, the United States encourages financial competitiveness, yet does not offer corresponding family support. Such support would contribute to overall social welfare and the ability of parents to adequately maintain both employment and home obligations. "Many Americans report dissatisfaction with their ability to balance work and family life. According to a recent national survey conducted by the Families and Work Institute, more than half (53 percent) of American workers report that they experience conflict ‘in bal-

1948. Art. 23. 36 Laughlin, Lynda. "Maternity Leave and Employment Patterns of First-Time Mothers: 1961–2008." United States Census Bureau. 1 Oct. 2011. 5. <https://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/ p70-128.pdf>. 37 Ibid., at 59. 38 Ibid., at 60.

Spring 2017


Draping the Veil of Ignorance Over Families ancing work, personal life, and family life.’"39 Sweden is able to contribute so substantially to the wellbeing of its citizens through a number of national policies. First, Sweden only spends 1.2% of its GDP on national defense, therefore freeing up more funds for citizens.40 Sweden also has one of the highest tax rates in the world.41 Thus, whereas the U.S. largely places the cost of international treaty compliance on the private sector, in Sweden, the burden lies on society as a whole with governmental support. While intuitively it may seem that this higher cost per person would disgruntle citizens, many feel that the costly tax system serves their own self-interests by providing them unsurpassed public services and boosting the economy overall.42 In many ways, this embodies philosopher John Rawls’ idealized predisposition for even-handedness within society. Rawls hypothesized a society wherein justice is rendered fairly by a group of individuals inhabiting the “original position.”43 At this original position, no ethical or moral laws exist and each individual has an equal voice.44 Further, “Rawls assumes that people in the original position are concerned with advancing their own interests. They want to make sure that their own lives will go well, and they want principles of justice that will protect them from various kinds of bad conditions.” As such, decision-making is a result of disinterested parties who are not necessarily selfish or egotistical, but who deliberate based on their own preferences, and not the wellbeing of others. Rawls’ theories on individual motivations support a distinct method of policy-making: “if we make the principles acceptable to people who care about themselves, then those principles 39 Ibid., at 79. 40 Medow, Mike. "The German Marshall Fund of the United States." Sweden's Social Welfare System Up Close. 18 Dec. 2013. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <http://www.gmfus.org/blog/2013/12/18/ swedens-social-welfare-system-close>. 41 Ibid., 42 Ibid., 43 Nathanson, Stephen. "Chapter Eight of Economic Justice." Economic Justice. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1998. Print. 44 Ibid.,

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

will protect the basic interests of all.”45 Finally, the main conception of Rawls’ theory was the “veil of ignorance.” Under this hypothesis, “the people in the original position must be ignorant of any particular facts about themselves. They cannot know who they are, what features they possess, or what specific position they will occupy in society.”46 To this extent, individuals are more apt to support and invest in policies and practices that provide the greatest good for the least well-off member of society, for fear that that particular individual may very well be themselves.47 Though the individuals in the original position may be aware of the huge potential return of great inequality were they to end up in the highest position, Rawls claimed that, given the choice, people will not elect “the highest possible winnings, but rather […] a situation in which if they lose, their losing situation will be as good as possible.”48 This was Rawls’ “maximin” principle. The Swedish welfare system exhibits strong principles of Rawls’ philosophies. Under the veil of ignorance “each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive total system of basic liberties compatible with a similar system of liberty for all.”49 Compared with Sweden’s welfare policies which “are based around the idea that there should be equal opportunities, social solidarity and security for all members of the population” we can see striking similarities in language.50 Much akin to purchasing medical insurance, Swedish citizens endorse a higher upfront buy-in price for the family support programs under the assumption that at some point in the future, they may desperately need it. Swedish citizens do not support the welfare system for some altruistic sense of brotherhood, but rather are developing their own self-interests. 45 Ibid., 46 Ibid., 47 Ibid., 48 Ibid., 49 Ibid., 50 "Why There Is Less Poverty in Scandinavia." BORGEN. 6 Feb. 2014. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <http://www.borgenmagazine.com/ nordic-welfare-model-less-poverty-scandinavia/>.

Spring 2017

17


The Heinz Journal Social Class Sweden and the United States also differ greatly in the ways in which they have responded to the effects of work-life balance on national social class statistics. Though flat numbers would suggest, at first glance, that the U.S. has an economic advantage over Sweden, these numbers may be misleading in determining the success of each country to render equal distribution of wealth. Sweden’s GDP per capita is roughly $42,00051 while the United States boasts nearly $55,000 per average household.52 Likewise, the U.S. outperforms Sweden in terms of national employment, with an unemployment rate of only 5%53 compared to Sweden’s 6.7%.54 It seems odd then that with citizens earning less and facing larger percentages of unemployment than U.S. employees, Sweden enjoys one of the lowest poverty rates in the world, at only 9.1%,55 while the U.S. sees rates of nearly 15%.56 This phenomenon can be explained by Sweden’s distribution of wealth: “Compared to the United States, another high employment rate country, Sweden is distinguished by a relatively egalitarian distribution of hours of work among those employed as well as by a compressed wage structure.”57 Consequent51 "Economies." Global Gender Gap Report 2014. 2014. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2014/economies/#economy=SWE>. 52 This number has been progressively growing at a uniform rate from $49,781 in 2011, $51,456 in 2012, and $52,980 in 2013. "GDP per Capita (current US$)." GDP per Capita (current US$). Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/ NY.GDP.PCAP.CD>. 53 "United States Unemployment Rate | 1948-2015 | Data | Chart | Calendar." United States Unemployment Rate | 19482015 | Data | Chart | Calendar. 2015. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/unemployment-rate>. 54 "Sweden Unemployment Rate | 1980-2015 | Data | Chart | Calendar | Forecast." Sweden Unemployment Rate | 1980-2015 | Data | Chart | Calendar | Forecast. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <http:// www.tradingeconomics.com/sweden/unemployment-rate>. 55 Why There Is Less Poverty in Scandinavia, supra note 50. 56 "Poverty." About. 2014. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <https://www. census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/about/overview/>. 57 Richard B. Freeman, Robert Topel, and Birgitta Swedenborg. "Generating Equality and Eliminating Poverty, the Swedish Way." The Welfare State in Transition Reforming the Swedish

18

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

ly, though the average family in Sweden is outearned by the average family in America, fewer Swedish families experience poverty. In addition to the aforementioned variety of state support, Sweden has implemented uniform child allowances which alleviate poverty in correlation to growing families. Families receive approximately “[$135] for their first child and progressively more for each additional child.”58 Surplus supplements for additional children range from approximately $18 for a second child and up to $153 for a fifth.59 In a further effort to eliminate family obligations from the poverty equation, Sweden also offers an additional child allowance which aims to support parents who are full-time students.60 Similarly, families receive “advanced maintenance payments,” public grants given to custodial parents in the event of death of a spouse or divorce.61 What is more, Sweden provides a baseline income – albeit at a low, fixed rate – to parents who are unemployed at the time of their child’s birth.62 By offering such incentives to families universally, Sweden has largely eliminated the caste system inherent of U.S. society. The unique combination of benefits has supported a dual-earner family model within the country which has contributed to financial stability in families on a national level. Though Sweden went through a depression from 1992-1993, the country’s one-for-all-and-all-for-one welfare scheme helped to “maintain a low rate of poverty and avoid the growth of an underclass and the homelessness that developed in the United States,” which has not implemented the same social policy.63 The diminishment of class differences is so great that use of the word “poverty” must be distinguished by national context. The average standard of living of those below the poverty line in Sweden is generally comparable to the middle Model. Chicago: U of Chicago, 1997. 34. Print. 58 Ginsburg and Rosenthal, supra note 18. 59 Anxo, supra note 13, at 60 Ibid., 61 Ibid., 62 Ibid., 63 Freeman, Topel, and Swedenborg, supra note 57, at 33

Spring 2017


Draping the Veil of Ignorance Over Families class families of other developed nations.64

economically prosperous.”69 Rawls proffered that the liberties afforded to individuals by virtue of What this all equates to is another dimension of being human were of such grave importance that the social welfare analysis within the context of they could not “be traded away or denied in order employment. While U.S. citizens are enjoying to promote economic progress.”70 greater wealth and employment opportunities on average, the structure, as it stands, leaves those As applied to Sweden and the U.S., it is clear that below the average struggling to survive. The fact the U.S. necessarily fails to implement a social welthat the poverty rate in the U.S. is so high is alarm- fare system which benefits all members of society. ing; however, it is even more troubling to consider Wealthy members of society are standing on the just how impoverished those falling below the line backs of those less fortunate, creating huge soare. cial inequalities. Because of the lack of national aid offered to families in the form of monetary com"Applying a ‘family budget’ methodology to pensation for family leave, U.S. families are fallestimate the income needed to avoid ecoing below the poverty line when they must forenomic hardship, researchers Heather Boushey go employment opportunities to provide family and her colleagues of the Economic Policy care. When U.S. families begin down the path of Institute estimate that whereas 10 percent of poverty, they have much further to fall, and the families with children were ‘officially’ poor in climb back up to stability can be difficult, if not the late 1990s, nearly 30 percent had incomes impossible. Because of the great incongruence bebelow the level required for a safe and decent tween American social classes and the overall lack standard of living."65 of autonomy in securing resources for the poor, we see that poverty is often breeding future genAgain, the ideas of John Rawls can be seen in the erations of poverty.The fact that a much smaller poverty conundrum of the U.S. when compared proportion of the U.S. population enjoys a greater to Sweden. While Rawls accepted the fact that so- amount of the country’s wealth does not indicate cial inequalities were inherent of any free state, he an evenhandedness in the distribution of state advanced the notion that these inequalities may resources. Thus, even though the GDP per capita only be tolerated if the end return is a system of and employment rate of the U.S. are substantially distribution that benefits all members of society.66 high relative to other countries, these are not inWithin the particular context of employment, Raw- dicative of the justness of the state. In addition, ls states that “if higher rewards attach to some failure to uphold the right to work in this manner occupations, the opportunity to obtain those oc- has negative impacts on not only individuals, but cupations must be open to all people.”67 Rawls be- society at large. Article 6 of the ICESCR frames the lieved that, to be just, a state must at least provide entitlement as “the right of everyone to the opits citizens with the most basic forms of liberty, the portunity to gain his living by work.”71 Thus, the right to earn a decent living being one;68 “this is right is a two-way street; states must compensate true even if it succeeds in making [some] people individuals for their contributions to society, and individuals must make such contributions to be compensated.72 64 Ibid., at 33. 65 Gornick and Meyers, Families That Work: Policies for Reconciling Parenthood and Employment, supra note 11, at 55 66 Nathanson, Stephen. "Chapter Eight of Economic Justice." Economic Justice. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1998. Print. 67 Ibid., 68 Ibid.,

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

69 Ibid., 70 Ibid., 71 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Dec. 16, 1966, S. Treaty Doc. No. 95-19, 6 I.L.M. 360 (1967), 993 U.N.T.S. 3. 72 “Module 10: The Right to Work and Rights at Work." The Right to Work and Rights at Work. University of Minnesota Hu-

Spring 2017

19


The Heinz Journal "The term "to earn" has certain moral overtones. If you earn money, you are justly rewarded for some service you render for the well-being of others. Work thus has to do with your relation to and participation in your society’s (or your family’s) activities to secure its survival and well-being."73

the EU averages of 30% and 83% respectively.”77 But it is not simply the equal distribution of educational resources that contributes to the just society as Rawls envisioned it. Aside from tuition fees, Sweden has implemented a payment schedule for additional educational costs which is reflective of each individual family’s income and accounts for the number of children in a given family.78 Hence, families occupying the lower levels of the economic food chain receive a larger benefit. The fees requested of parents may never exceed three percent of the family’s monthly income and may never be more than approximately $155.79

When viable candidates are excluded from the workforce in order to tend to their familial needs, society is deprived of contributions to production. We see that Rawls’ theory in regard to equity works seamlessly with Swedish policy. While families are receiving lower income, on average, a redistribution of wealth serves to better society as a whole. In the U.S., the cost of childcare is a burden to be carried almost exclusively by parents.80 The cost Child Outcomes of enrolling children in some form of infant care system generally costs about 15% of the median Not only does Swedish policy work to alleviate income for married couples and nearly 50% of the stress from parents, it also contemplates the future state’s median income for single mothers, wheresocietal return of adequate childcare. All children as enrollment of children in a preschool system are eligible for free public childcare from the time costs approximately 11.5% of the median income they reach one year of age, meaning there is no lag for married couples and over 39% of the median time between the allotted 16 months of parental income for single mothers (see Appendices 1, 2, leave and children’s eligibility for free care.74 Like- & 3). Childcare in America is, in fact, costlier than wise, preschool is free for all children between the college tuition in many situations. ages of three and six.75 Sweden eliminated educational fees for parents through the Independent "In 2013 the average annual cost for an infant School Reform of 1992 which affects both statein center-based care was higher than a year’s 76 run and independent educational institutions. tuition and fees at a four-year public college The heavily subsidized cost of primary education in 31 states and the District of Columbia. Even has resulted in high enrollment rates of Swedish the annual average cost of care for a fourchildren. “51% of children under three and 95% year-old in a center, which is less expensive of children between three and six are enrolled in than care for an infant, was higher than public formal childcare. These figures are well above […] college tuition and fees in 20 states and the District of Columbia."81 man Rights Resource Center; Circle of Rights: Economic, Social & Cultural Rights Activism, A Training Resource. Web. 1 Dec. 2015. <https://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/edumat/IHRIP/circle/ modules/module10.htm>. 73 Ibid., 74 Ibid., 75 Cost-free preschool is available up to 15 hours per week. "Sweden: Successful Reconciliation of Work and Family Life", supra note 96. 76 "Free Education from Age 6 to 19." Sweden.se. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <https://sweden.se/society/free-education-from-age-6to-19/>.

20

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

In fact, the cost of childcare is the most expen77 Ibid., 78 Ibid., 79 Ibid., 80 U.S. parents bear approximately 60% of the funding for childcare. Lynette Fragaet al. "Parents and the High Cost of Child Care, 2014 Report." ChildCare Aware of American. 2014. 26. <https://www.ncsl.org/documents/cyf/2014_Parents_and_ the_High_Cost_of_Child_Care.pdf>. 81 Ibid., at 22.

Spring 2017


Draping the Veil of Ignorance Over Families sive single household expenditure for most U.S. families (see Appendix 4). The staggering costs of childcare throughout the United States are causing fewer and fewer children to reap the benefits of early development education. Studies have shown that only 23.4% of U.S. children under the age of five were enrolled in some form of organized childcare in 2012.82 In an effort to save money, 75.2% of households which have a mother working full-time, and 86.3% of households with mother employed part-time instead make use of extended family or cut back work hours to provide needed care for children.83 American children are certainly suffering as a result of these lower enrollment rates. Studies have definitively shown that early activation of educational institutions has substantial effects on a child’s outcomes.

when compared to Sweden (nearly one in five children85), those who are below the poverty line are likely to maintain that position throughout adulthood based on a lack of early educational resources. Even with the high cost of care, “most childcare settings do not rank highly on quality indicators. Nationally, it is estimated that less than 10 percent of [U.S.] childcare is of sufficient quality to positively impact children’s outcomes.”86 Though children across the country are suffering from a lack of federal involvement in this area, those of poor families are experiencing much greater downfalls.

The negative impacts of a system that fails to ensure early childhood development are not merely limited to the children being inadequately educated. The inability of parents to access adequate childcare has a slippery slope effect on the U.S. "[E]arly intervention programs demonstrated economy on a national scale. significant and often sizable benefits in at least one of the following domains: cognition and ac"U.S. businesses lose $3 billion annually due ademic achievement, behavioral and emotionto employee absenteeism as the result of al competencies, educational progression and child care breakdowns; During a three-month attainment, child maltreatment, health, delinperiod, 29 percent of employed parents expequency and crime, social welfare program use, rienced some kind of child care breakdown, 84 and labor market success." resulting in absenteeism, tardiness and reduced concentration at work; A 2009 study The lack of a nationally cohesive benefit scheme showed that employees leaving their jobs for has not only resulted in fewer children enrolling in child care related reasons represented a poearly development education, but has also creattential $6 million loss to employers in downed a huge deficit between those fortunate children town Santa Barbara, a community of less than who can afford to attend independent institutions 91,000 residents. Parents in this study ranked and those who remain in state-run facilities. Again, cost as their top child care challenge."87 this relates back to the social class issues characteristic of the U.S. Not only do a higher per- Thus, whereas it is customary in the U.S. for parcentage of children experience poverty in the U.S. ents to only pay about 23% of a public college education,88 the Swedish model of both frontloading 82 Organized childcare including daycare centers, nurseries, state responsibility and offering above-and-beand preschool. Sarah Jane Glynn. “Fact Sheet: Child Care.” yond advantages to lower income children may be Center for American Progress. 16 Aug. 2012. Web. 30 Nov. more beneficial in the long-run, both from a per2015. <https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/labor/ news/2012/08/1 6/11978/fact-sheet-child-care/>/ 83 Ibid., 84 Lynn A. Karoly, M. Rebecca Kilburn, and Jill S. Cannon. "Proven Benefits of Early Childhood Interventions." Rand Corporation. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <http://www.rand.org/pu bs/ research_briefs/RB9145.html>.

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

85 Gornick and Meyers, Families That Work: Policies for Reconciling Parenthood and Employment, supra note 11, at 54. 86 Fraga and McCready, supra note 80, at 8. 87 Fraga and McCready, supra note 80, at 9. 88 As the rest is heavily supplemented by state and federal funds. Ibid.,. at 26.

Spring 2017

21


The Heinz Journal sonal and economic perspective. "For those programs with benefits that could readily be expressed in dollar terms and those that served more-disadvantaged children and families, the estimates of benefits per child served, net of program costs, range from about $1,400 per child to nearly $240,000 per child. Viewed another way, the returns to society for each dollar invested extend from $1.80 to $17.07."89 The concept that Rawls offers, known as the “different principle,” which refers to the proposition that states should work to provide “the greatest benefit [to] the least advantaged,” is clearly present in this analysis.90 The overall benefit of a government that plays an active role in the rendering of childcare is substantial. In particular, it contributes to standard of living equality among children. To the extent that we rely on parents’ private resources, children in low-income families receive far less than their affluent counterparts.”91 In turn, the children that are cultivated adequately from a young age yield a greater positive return in their communities over time.92 Without such federal support systems, “society as a whole may eventually pay a collective price in the form of children who fail to achieve their full potential, at best, or become a drain on public programs, at worst.”93 Rawls was a supporter of government-provided education to all citizens.94 However, it is not enough to simply make educational outlets available to everyone; if strict principles of equity were applied to the problem, we would see that while the less well-off would move up the chain, they would still be positioned behind the top earners, as apex-status citizens too would have experienced a comparative 89 Karoly, Kilburn, and Cannon, supra note 84. 90 Nathanson, Stephen. "Chapter Eight of Economic Justice." Economic Justice. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1998. Print. 91 Gornick and Meyers, Families That Work: Policies for Reconciling Parenthood and Employment, supra note 11, at 110. 92 Ibid., at 110. 93 Ibid., at 109. 94 Nathanson, 1998.

22

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

benefit. Thus, though actual income and stability may improve, this would simply shift the definition of poverty, not distribution of benefit. Rawls was less concerned with the resources of persons in their individual capacities, but more so with relativism in “socioeconomic groups.”95 Accordingly, in just societies, Rawls theorized, the system in place must attempt to over-serve the underprivileged so as to uniformly yield results of equilibrium among the classes. The Swedish model exemplifies this theory by first making education available to all children, and then offering further benefit to those lower class families. The result has been verifiable equality within the primary and secondary education systems of Sweden which, in turn, has contributed to overall economic prosperity. Accordingly, state intervention in child rearing can be viewed not only as a morally obliged break to parents, but as an economic investment. Gender Equality Sweden is among the most gender-equal countries in the world. In 2012, the country boasted a 79.2% employment rate for mothers with children under the age of six.96 Conversely, in 2014, the labor force participation of U.S. mothers with children under the age of six was 64.2%.97 Accordingly, the Gender Gap Index for 2014 ranked Sweden fourth out of 142 countries studied in terms of gender equality, with the U.S. occupying the twentieth position.98 In Sweden, there is a 78% labor force participation for women and an 82% participation rate for men, resulting in a .94 femaleto-male ratio.99 The same statistics for the United States are noticeably more disparate, with wom95 Ibid., 96 "Sweden: Successful Reconciliation of Work and Family Life". European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC). Web. 08 March 2016. <http://europa.eu/epic/countries/sweden/index_en.htm>. 97 "Employment Characteristics of Families Summary." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 23 Apr. 2015. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ famee.nr0.htm>. 98 "Economies." supra note 51. 99 Ibid.,

Spring 2017


Draping the Veil of Ignorance Over Families en’s labor force participation at 67% and men’s at 78%, resulting in a .86 female-to-male labor force participation ratio.100 From these numbers, we see that while the failure of the U.S. to protect the right to work in light of family responsibilities has a negative impact on the population as a whole, the state’s inaction creates even more detriments to social welfare based on gender divides. Sweden enjoys a level of superior gender equality partly because of its family welfare promotions. Sweden is among the few countries which employ what has become known as the “daddy quota.” Of the 480 days of allotted parental leave, 60 are designated specifically to each parent.101 In an attempt to combat the lion’s share of parental leave being taken by mothers, Sweden has implemented legislation which forfeits these days if not taken by the entitled parent in order to incentivize fathers to more actively engage in child rearing during formative years.102 Realizing, however, that a gross proportion of the remaining 360 days are still being utilized by mothers, Sweden has taken further measures to level the playing field among the sexes. As more and more mothers revert to part-time work following child birth, Sweden’s employment scheme has been structured so that part-time workers receive nearly three percent more per hour than full-time employees.103 Sweden has also recently announced its intention to introduce a third month of leave allotted only to fathers in 2016.104 What’s more is that Sweden also offers a “gender equality bonus.” The more days of the total 480 that Swedish parents divide equally, the more money they receive as government 100 Ibid., 101 Anxo, supra note 13, at 22. 102 Ibid., 103 Gornick and Meyers, Families That Work: Policies for Reconciling Parenthood and Employment, supra note 11, at 63 104 This will, accordingly, be met with a third month likewise being designated to mothers as well. Agence France-Presse, "Swedish Fathers to Get Third Month of Paid Paternity Leave." The Guardian. 28 May 2015. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <http:// www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/28/swedish-fathers-paid-paternity-parental-leave>.

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

incentive.105 The bonus caps out at approximately $1,664 per child.106 Sweden has based its social reform around the more egalitarian “workfare” ideology wherein men and women are regarded as “self-supporting individuals” who both work to support the family.107 While other countries have attempted to compensate new parents in the same ways that Sweden has, their reforms have been less robust and, therefore, have for the most part failed to address these underlying issues of gender stereotypes which accompany traditional family roles. For example, statistics have shown that even of those U.S. employees fortunate enough to be covered under the narrow constraints of FMLA, a grossly disproportionate number of female employees exercise leave time, as opposed to men in similar situations (see Appendix 5). The unequal split in employment reduction should be viewed as both a breakdown in national policy and a hesitancy of American employers to shed preconceived notions of gender roles within the family. As FMLA does not provide compensation to either parent in the event of leave, mothers and fathers are forced to look to implementation by their employers, which generally only widen the gender gap: "Although most workers have no access to paid parental leave at all, more employers provide paid maternity leave than paid paternity leave. A 2012 Department of Labor study found that fewer employers offer paid parental leave for men than for women, and also that fewer men report receiving paid parental leave than women. (Only 13 percent of men who took parental leave received pay compared with 21 percent for women)."108 105 "Sweden: Successful Reconciliation of Work and Family Life", supra note 96. 106 Ibid., 107 Asa Gunnarsson and Eva-Maria Svensson. Gender Equality in the Swedish Welfare State. 1st ed. Vol. 2. 2012. 3. <http://journals.kent.ac.uk/index.php/feministsatlaw/article/ view/51/147>. 108 "DOL Policy Brief, Paternity Leave: Why Parental Leave for Fathers Is So Important for Working Families." United States

Spring 2017

23


The Heinz Journal Thus, though recent decades have seen a slew of greater education and employment opportunities for women, policy has failed to dispose of gender roles and make long-term female careers feasible. As such, the “bread-winner” mentality, wherein the man financially supports the family, is still holding strong in the U.S. due to a lack of alternative options. These notions of gender norms have, in turn, affected U.S. policy: “In U.S. policy debates, proposed solutions to these dilemmas often force tradeoffs – to promote child well-being at the expense of gender equality, or to support gender equality at the expense of children’s time with their parents."109 There seem to be no real attempts to combine gender equality with family life as Sweden has done. The runoff effect has been that U.S. women are still feeling overwhelming pressure to reduce work hours to meet family responsibilities. Although the female labor force participation is relatively high in the U.S. when compared to other countries, U.S. women are still lagging behind their male counterparts in terms of probability of employment, working hours, and pay as they are still implicitly expected to forego career opportunities to care for children.

"Although specialization may bring higher total income for some families, it also creates inequalities within families. Specialization is especially risky for full-time homemakers as it leaves them socially isolated in the home, lacking in bargaining power within the family, less able to exit the family in the event of domestic abuse or other serious problems, and in a precarious economic position if the family breaks up."110 Within this predicament, provision of resources cannot overcome an inability to make use of them. Building upon Rawls’ theories, Martha Nussbaum believed that “the mere income redistribution would not be enough if the deliberate efforts to develop the human ability to use broadly defined assets were not present.”111 As Sweden has seen, the majority of remaining inequality cannot be regulated away due to long-standing individual gender norm predilections. However, a system which not only redistributes skillsets, but also the abilities of individuals to put those skillsets to work, has a bigger impact on inequalities such as gender divides. Rawls realized that private capabilities are not under ownership of the state; he appreciated that these talents must be hard-earned by individuals themselves. In application the U.S. has bequeathed women every opportunity to cultivate their talents, yet is seeing serious downturn in female labor force participation proceeding birth based on conflicts which require them to redirect attention. The majority of these conflicts are a result of a state which does not adequately account for the intolerable amount of inequality between the sexes.

The Swedish model seeks to eradicate gender inequality from the family. While a system based on a strict earner-career structure such as that of the U.S. oftentimes generates higher monetary return for families, the implications on social welfare reach far beyond a simple cash-in-cash-out examination. This is yet another plane of the social welfare analysis as women in the U.S. are subjected to a greater lack of unquantifiable resources than Conclusion those of more egalitarian societies. Though admittedly Sweden and the U.S. impleDepartment of Labor. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <https://www.dol. gov/asp/policy-development/PaternityBrief.pdf>. 109 Janet C. Gornick and Marcia Meyers. “Work/Family Reconciliation Policies for the United States: Lessons from Abroad.”. May 11, 2004. https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~wright/Meyers_Gornick_Princeton_chapter1.pdf.

24

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

110 Gornick and Meyers, Families That Work: Policies for Reconciling Parenthood and Employment, supra note 11, at 109. 111 "The Influence of Western Philosophy on Definitions of Social Justice." Social Justice and Social Work: Rediscovering a Core Value of the Profession. Ed. Michael J. Austin. Los Angeles: Sage, 2014. 27. Print.

Spring 2017


Draping the Veil of Ignorance Over Families ment vastly contrasting systems of national policy in regards to family relations, the differing outcomes cannot be viewed as determinative of reform success or failure. Other societal undertones also play into the social wellbeing of a country’s citizens. In terms of the data examined and analyzed, it can be surmised that the effects of national contribution to family stability on child development, gender relations, poverty, and workplace arrangements are at least closely intertwined with a state’s justness. Inasmuch, examining the Swedish welfare model, we can see that Rawls’ theories as they pertain to a fair society seem to have positive implications on social welfare, at least in this limited capacity. We also see that greater state aid is not made possible but for exceptionally high individual pay-in. Thus, the benefits associated with welfare will be naturally diminished by the offset of higher taxes and reduced GDP per capita. The reason that the welfare system works for Sweden can be linked to citizens’ belief that overall societal stability furthers individual interests, as Rawls theorized. These attitudes are more reflective of personal experiences than of state regulation. Likewise, citizens’ preconceived notions in regards to gender norms and family roles cannot be altered overnight by a change in policy. As such, Americans have been exposed to a society which has allowed them to peek behind the veil, almost certainly altering the feasibility of such welfare within the U.S.

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

Spring 2017

25


The Heinz Journal

Appendix 1: Average Cost of U.S. Childcare in Terms of Median State Income112

112 Fraga and McCready, supra note 80, at 15.

26

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

Spring 2017


Draping the Veil of Ignorance Over Families

Appendix 2: Cost of Infant Childcare in the U.S. as a Percent of State Median Income113

113 Ibid., at 16.

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

Spring 2017

27


The Heinz Journal

Appendix 3: Cost of Preschool Childcare in the U.S. as a Percent of State Median Income114

114 Ibid., at 17.

28

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

Spring 2017


Draping the Veil of Ignorance Over Families

Appendix 4: Comparative Cost of Childcare in the U.S.115

115 Ibid., at 23.

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

Spring 2017

29


The Heinz Journal

Appendix 5: Percentage FMLA Participants by Gender in 2009116

116 Maansi Johri. â&#x20AC;&#x153;, An Analysis of FMLA Leave-Taking: Women are in it for the Long Haul, are Men?â&#x20AC;? 2009. 40. http://mmss.wcas. northwestern.edu/thesis/articles/get/665/Johri2009.pdf.

30

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

Spring 2017


A Fat Tax for a Fat Problem

A Fat Tax for a Fat Problem Colin P. Ashwood, Alexander C. Ervin, & Joanna M. Madias Indiana University, School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) Bloomington, Indiana

Abstract: In an effort to combat the obesity pandemic, countries and municipalities all over the globe are experimenting with taxes on sugary drinks and unhealthy foods as a way to discourage consumption. Whether these “fat taxes” truly work is a contentious topic, but as waistlines and healthcare costs keep growing, lawmakers in the United States are beginning to consider the possibility of creating an American fat tax. This report applies several standards and principles of effective tax policy to the concept of a federal unit excise tax on sugar, soda, and “junk foods” in general to determine the feasibility and potential structure of such a tax in the United States. The report determines that a fat tax would need to be set at an unprecedentedly high rate in order to change consumption as desired, and concludes by outlining an alternative, yet similar, tax policy proposed by the authors that could be a stepping stone for future research and legislation. Introduction Virtually all taxes are designed to do at least one of two things: raise revenue for the government or correct for externalities by inducing a change in behavior.1 In response to the obesity problem gripping much of the industrialized world and imposing significant healthcare costs on its population, some American states, localities, and other developed countries have experimented with so-called “fat taxes” in recent years.2 Such fat taxes impose costs on everything from soft drinks and candies to “junk food” in general,3 and could potentially take either (or both) the revenue-producing or externality-correcting approach. Higher prices imposed by the tax can deter consumption and lower healthcare costs, while revenues produced by the tax can be used for general purposes or even reinvested into food subsidies or educational programs to further promote healthy lifestyles.4 The question then becomes whether continuing this trend and expanding the use of fat taxes across the U.S. is a sound policy decision. Consequently, to determine if a fat tax meets the standard principles of tax policy, we need to determine its structure and then examine its yield, equity, neutrality, collection 1 Mikesell, John L. Fiscal Administration: Analysis and Applications for the Public Sector, Ninth Edition. (Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2014). 2 Smed, Sinne. "Financial penalties on foods: the fat tax in Denmark." Nutrition Bulletin 37, no. 2 (2012): 142-147. 3 Brownell, Kelly D., and Thomas R. Frieden. "Ounces of prevention—the public policy case for taxes on sugared beverages." New England Journal of Medicine 360, no. 18 (2009): 1805-1808. 4 Powell, Lisa M., Jamie F. Chriqui, Tamkeen Khan, Roy Wada, and Frank J. Chaloupka. "Assessing the potential effectiveness of food and beverage taxes and subsidies for improving public health: a systematic review of prices, demand and body weight outcomes." Obesity reviews 14, no. 2 (2013): 110-128.

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

Spring 2017

31


The Heinz Journal costs, and transparency. At the end of this paper, the authors propose their own version of an American fat tax that is consistent with these measures and provides a sensible policy solution for the problem, albeit without actually taxing literal fat. Ideal Structure In any case, a fat tax is ideally structured as an excise tax. The fundamental philosophy behind these taxes is that consumers or producers of certain products deserve higher tax burdens, either because the product itself produces harmful externalities or it is an input for a good or service that relies on quasi-user charges for production or operation.5 The revenues from this tax are used to either supplement general funds or support specific projects often related to the tax.6 The category a fat tax revenue falls into is subject to considerable debate, which we address in later sections as it significantly impacts the evaluation of several tax policy standards. Similarly, whether the tax should be implemented at the state or federal level is an important policy question. Most research examines state level taxes,7 but this report will later make the case for a federal excise tax. An excise tax on unhealthy food has more advantages than an ad valorem sales tax. An excise tax is a tax on a per unit basis and imposed at the manufacturer or distributor level.8 Conversely, an ad valorem tax is a tax proportional to the price of the good and is applied at the retail level.9 A fat tax will most likely be implemented as an excise tax in order to easily add a specific tax amount per designated unit or volume—a penny per ounce of soda, for example.10 Unlike ad valorem taxes, though, 5 McCarten, William J., and Janet Stotsky. "Excise taxes." Tax Policy Handbook (1995): 100-103. 6 Mikesell, Fiscal Administration. 7 Brownell et al., “Ounces of prevention,” 1805-1808. 8 McCarten et al., “Excise taxes,” 100-103. 9 Mikesell, Fiscal Administration. 10 Wang, Y. Claire, Pamela Coxson, Yu-Ming Shen, Lee Goldman, and Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo. "A penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages would cut health and cost burdens of diabetes." Health Affairs 31, no. 1 (2012): 199-207.

32

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

unit taxes do not adjust with inflation and also tend to discriminate against lower priced brands.11 However, an excise tax on unhealthy food is likely more effective than a sales tax at discouraging the consumption of unhealthy food. Because the excise tax is applied at the distributor level and assuming the burden of the tax is passed onto consumers through higher prices of the good, consumers will face higher prices for junk food. On the contrary, a sales tax on unhealthy food applies the tax at the retailer level, thus only increasing prices of the good once the item is purchased. An important element to highlight is that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) beneficiaries in particular are exempt from food and sales tax.12 If a sales tax is imposed on unhealthy food, which raises the price after the food purchases, SNAP recipients do not pay a higher price because they are exempt from the sales tax.13 However, if an excise tax is implemented on unhealthy food, it raises the prices and SNAP recipients will have to decide whether to pay the higher price junk food or forgo consumption.14 Lower income consumers tend to purchase more unhealthy food,15 16 so this distinction could be quite relevant. To impose a unit excise tax on unhealthy food, it is important to clearly define which food products are deemed unhealthy. Consequently, writing a regulation defining a tax on junk food is difficult 11 McCarten et al., “Excise taxes,” 100-103. 12 Pomeranz, Jennifer L. "Implications of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Tax Exemption on Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes." American journal of public health 105, no. 11 (2015): 2191-2193. 13 Ibid, 2191-2193. 14 Ibid, 2191-2193. 15 D'angelo, Heather, Sonali Suratkar, Hee-Jung Song, Elizabeth Stauffer, and Joel Gittelsohn. "Access to Food Source and Food Source Use Are Associated with Healthy and Unhealthy Food-purchasing Behaviours among Low-income African-American Adults in Baltimore City." Public Health Nutrition 14, no. 09 (2011): 1632-639. 16 Block, Jason P., Richard A. Scribner, and Karen B. DeSalvo. "Fast food, race/ethnicity, and income: a geographic analysis." American journal of preventive medicine 27, no. 3 (2004): 211217.

Spring 2017


A Fat Tax for a Fat Problem because it should be both comprehensive enough to avoid substitutions for other junk food and able to determine the threshold for how much fat or sugar in a product is considered unhealthy. One way the U.S. could define which unhealthy food items fall under the tax is by using nutrient profiling systems. For instance, a United Kingdom study examining the effects of food taxes and subsidies on health, applied a tax on “less healthy” food defined by the United Kingdom’s WXYfm nutrient profiling model which categorizes food based on its nutritional value.17 A French study evaluating the effects of fat taxes on French households uses France’s SAIN/LIM nutrient profiling system to classify food based on their nutritional quality.18 Under this system, most processed meats, cakes, sweets, and cheeses are deemed limited in nutritional value and are ideal candidates for fat taxes. U.S. lawmakers could use the nutrient profiling models from the United Kingdom or France, or develop their own system like WXYfm and SAIN/ LIM to apply a unit tax on the “less healthy” or “unhealthy” food.

drug therapy."19 Indirect benefits include value of gained work and lower insurance premiums for the insured and employers. Direct benefits from eliminating the negative externality of obesity-related costs can range from $40 billion20 to $150 billion.21 The wide range in the direct benefits derive from the debate on whether vast amounts of patient services, lab testing, and drug therapy done in the U.S. fall under obesity-related costs or another health issue. Indirect costs of worker absenteeism and premature mortality from obesity costs between $60-70 billion per year.22 Much of this cost comes from the productivity lost from obese individuals dying earlier. This range is smaller than the direct costs because it is easier to link obesity to premature death than to the multiple array of health services the U.S. provides.

Indirect costs from insurance premiums are more complicated than the other direct and indirect costs, as evidenced by a study using 2006 data on Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys (MEPS) and Of course, to justify such a tax, one must first es- National Health Expenditure Accounts (NHEA). tablish that there are negative externalities pres- This study estimated medical spending associated ent that need to be eliminated. The question then with obesity for three types of services (inpatient becomes to how define such externalities, if it is payers, non-inpatient payers, and prescription even possible. Fortunately, research suggests this drug spending) and for four insurance categories is quite doable. (Medicare, Medicaid, Private, and All payers).23 The results showed obese adults spend $1,429 or 42% Defining the Externality more on per capita medical spending compared The gains from eliminating the negative externality of obesity-related costs are both direct and indirect. Direct benefits include reduction in "obesity outpatient and inpatient health services (including surgery), laboratory and radiological tests, and 17 Nnoaham, Kelechi E., Gary Sacks, Mike Rayner, Oliver Mytton, and Alastair Gray. "Modelling income group differences in the health and economic impacts of targeted food taxes and subsidies." International Journal of Epidemiology (2009): 214. 18 Darmon, Nicole, Anne Lacroix, Laurent Muller, and Bernard Ruffieux. "Food price policies improve diet quality while increasing socioeconomic inequalities in nutrition." International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 11, no. 1 (2014): 1.

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

19 "Economic Costs." Obesity Prevention Source. Accessed May 05, 2016. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-consequences/economic/. 20 Colditz, Graham A. "Economic costs of obesity." The American journal of clinical nutrition 55, no. 2 (1992): 503-507 21 Finkelstein, Eric A., Justin G. Trogdon, Joel W. Cohen, and William Dietz. "Annual medical spending attributable to obesity: payer-and service-specific estimates." Health affairs 28, no. 5 (2009): 822-831. 22 Trogdon, Justin G., E. A. Finkelstein, T. Hylands, P. S. Dellea, and S. J. Kamal‐Bahl. "Indirect costs of obesity: a review of the current literature." Obesity Reviews 9, no. 5 (2008): 489-500. 23 Finkelstein, Eric A., Chen Zhen, James Nonnemaker, and Jessica E. Todd. "Impact of targeted beverage taxes on higher-and lower-income households." Archives of Internal Medicine 170, no. 22 (2010): 2028-2034.

Spring 2017

33


The Heinz Journal to normal weight people across all payers.24 The private-sector bears most of the healthcare costs associated with obesity with private insurance companies spending 12.9% on medical costs attributable to obesity, Medicaid spending 11.8%, and Medicare spending 8.5%.25 In total, obesity accounts for 9.1% increase in annual healthcare costs.26 This amounts to an annual additional medical health insurance costs of $86 billion based on MEPS or $147 billion based on NHEA data.27 Thus, the total deadweight loss from obesity-related costs, both direct and indirect, ranges between $180-370 Billion a year in the U.S. Despite potential double counting issues, obesity-related costs are large, and are projected to increase rapidly throughout the next few decades without intervention.28

tax’s capacity is relatively small and cannot be relied on to fund large spending programs or to close large budget gaps.31 In a relative comparison to sin taxes, the tax capacity for a fat tax can vary depending on the structure; that is, which products the tax targets. An example of a fat tax structured in a rather straightforward and literal way can be found in Denmark: its fat tax was literally a tax on saturated fat. It taxed “meat, dairy products, animal fats that are rendered or are extracted in other ways, edible oils and fats, margarine and spreadable blended spreads” that exceeded saturated fat contents of 2.3 g/100 g.32 Food produced for export and smaller companies were excluded from the tax, which allowed it to function similarly to the Danish VAT. The Danish fat tax was estimated to account for approximately half the revenue provided from their sin taxes, which was still a relatively small $170 million.33 Due to the specificity of the tax’s structure, its revenue producing capacity was minimal compared to Denmark’s total revenue of $180 billion (0.09% of revenue).34

Now that the potential of a fat tax structured as an excise tax to correct for market externalities has been established, the actual details of such a policy should be examined. To do this, the yield, equity, neutrality, collection costs, and transparency all must be considered, as any truly comprehensive tax policy should address these issues.29 Conversely, some proposals call for a tax solely on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) to increase caI. Tax Yield pacity by broadening the “base” of affected items.35 University of Connecticut's Rudd Center created Capacity a tax calculator for states and cities to compute revenues that a penny-per-ounce SSB tax would Fat tax are best comparable to “sin” excise taxes produce. The methodology of the calculator inin terms of yield, which produce a small portion of cludes non-diet “carbonated soft drinks (CSDs), revenue for most states. Sin taxes typically make fruit drinks, sports drinks, ready-to-drink (RTD) up less than 5% of a state’s budget,30 thus a fat tea, enhanced/flavored water, energy drinks, and RTD coffee” as taxable beverages.36 The calculator 24 Ibid, 2028-2034. adjusts for socio-demographic drinking habits by 25 Ibid, 2028-2034. applying a weighted mean to certain characteris26 Ibid, 2028-2034. 27 Ibid, 2028-2034. 28 Wang, Y. Claire, Klim McPherson, Tim Marsh, Steven L. Gortmaker, and Martin Brown. "Health and economic burden of the projected obesity trends in the USA and the UK." The Lancet 378, no. 9793 (2011): 815-825. 29 Mikesell, Fiscal Administration. 30 "The Ten States That Profit Most From Sin." 247wallst. com. Accessed April 17, 2016. http://247wallst.com/investing/2011/05/13/the-ten-states-that-make-the-most-from-sin/2/.

34

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

31 Mikesell, Fiscal Administration. 32 Smed, “Financial Penalties on Foods,” 142-147. 33 Ibid, 142-147. 34 Ibid, 142-147. 35 Brownell et al., “Ounces of prevention,” 1805-1808. 36 “Data and Assumptions.” UCONN Rudd Tax Calculator. Accessed May 05, 2016 http://www.uconnruddcenter.org/resources/upload/docs/what/economics/Rudd Data_Methods_Tax Calculator.pdf.

Spring 2017


A Fat Tax for a Fat Problem tics and adjusts for the price elasticity of SSBs. It also assumes that the tax will be fully passed on to consumers. According to the calculator, a SSB tax in 2014 for Indiana, for example, produces $310 million in revenue, a not insubstantial amount at face value. Taken in context, however, Indiana’s 2014 total revenue was $16.9 billion, so a pennyper-ounce tax on SSBs in Indiana represents 1.8% of the total revenue.

Conversely, if the state expects to participate in a subsidized healthy food or education program funded by the revenues, the junk food-buying preferences of the state’s citizens impacts the states taxing and spending capacities, thus affecting its vertical balance relative to other states.39 Similarly, horizontal balance is a problem for a fat tax. Already established disparities exist between states’ fiscal capacities, as poorer states do not have the same revenue-raising potential as their wealthier counterparts.40 If fat tax revenues are used to fund healthy food subsidies or education programs aimed at fighting obesity, those wealthier states with more revenue will most likely have better (or at least better-funded, regardless of outcomes) programs and services available. Even if fat tax revenues are just collected as part of a general fund, states such as Connecticut and Mississippi have a large revenue capacity disparity and thus a large spending disparity from the revenues.41

Ideally, such an amount would directly correct for the externalities in healthcare and social costs imposed by obesity and general unhealthiness, but this exact number is difficult to pinpoint. Medical ailments like obesity and tooth decay are not caused exclusively through the consumption of junk foods.37 However, little research exists to hone in on what percentage of higher costs is due directly to said consumption. Without this information, creating a tax that raises an amount of money exactly equal to the external costs on society is nearly impossible, and as such any proposed fat tax will not be completely efficient in an eco- Additionally, horizontal balance is affected by the nomic sense. distribution of unhealthy food across communities. There are more fast food restaurants and Fiscal Balance: Vertical and Horizontal corner stores, which sell primarily unhealthy foods, in low-income and minority neighborhoods than In terms of vertical fiscal balance, federal systems middle/high income and white neighborhoods,42 like the U.S. tend to have considerable balance be- which leads to heavier intake of unhealthy foods tween the expenditure responsibilities and reve- by low income and minority neighborhoods.43 nue-raising capacity of central, regional, and local Although more research needs to be done, the governments.38 Ideally, a fat tax would not affect elasticity of unhealthy foods for low income and this balance, but it depends largely on how the minority populations has shown to be lower than revenues from a fat tax are spent. In theory, if fat other groups.44 This is likely due to the higher costs tax revenues are used primarily to supplement a 39 Ibid., state’s general fund, for example, vertical balance 40 American Fact Finder. “2015 Annual Survey of State Govwould remain relatively unchanged. The state ernment Tax Collections Detailed Table.” United States Census simply taxes the junk food, collects the revenue, Bureau. 2016. 41 Ibid., and spends it as it wishes. If a state wants to spend 42 Block et al., “Fast Food, Race/Ethnicity, and Income,” 211-217. more money, it can (to an extent) simply raise the 43 D'Angelo, Heather, Sonali Suratkar, Hee-Jung Song, Elizarate or broaden the base to collect more money. beth Stauffer, and Joel Gittelsohn. "Access to food source and 37 Okrent, Abigail M., and Julian M. Alston. "The effects of farm commodity and retail food policies on obesity and economic welfare in the United States." American Journal of Agricultural Economics 94, no. 3 (2012): 611-646. 38 Mikesell, Fiscal Administration.

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

food source use are associated with healthy and unhealthy food-purchasing behaviours among low-income African-American adults in Baltimore City." Public health nutrition 14, no. 09 (2011): 1632-1639. 44 Epstein, Leonard H., Elizabeth A. Handley, Kelly K. Dearing, David D. Cho, James N. Roemmich, Rocco A. Paluch, Samina

Spring 2017

35


The Heinz Journal of and lower access to healthier options low-income and minority groups have. Low-income and minority groups will respond less as a fat tax increases than middle/higher income and white groups. The lower elasticity of unhealthy foods with low-income and minority groups combined with the heavier consumption of unhealthy foods leads to the tax disproportionately affecting these groups. Thus, a fat tax in cities with larger minority and low-income populations potentially can produce more revenue than cities with more white, higher income populations.45

ty of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity found that 10% increase in soft drink prices translated to a 7.8% reduction in consumption,47 while another study published by the National Institute of Health (NIH) determined that the price elasticity of all soft drinks is around -.8 or –1, suggesting that a price increase should reflect an equally approximate decrease in consumption.48 According to another NIH publication, the mean price elasticity of demand of SSB’s is even more elastic at −1.21.49

There is considerable research and debate on the elasticity of certain foods group and whether intervention on these groups will lead to behavior changes. Healthcare advocates, for example, appear to be largely optimistic about the behavior-changing potential. One review by Universi-

The same NIH publication finds the mean price elasticity of demand of fast food is −0.52; fruits, −0.49; and vegetables, −0.48.50 These estimates are averages of multiple price elasticities in each category. For example, the price elasticity of demand for fast-food pizza is -1.15, but other fastfood categories are more inelastic, bringing the average to -0.52. Food taxation or subsidy categories as specific pizza are impractical, so we are more concerned with elasticities on the broader food categories to which taxes and subsidies apply. There is less research on fast-food price elasticity than the other categories, so more research is needed to confirm the accuracy of this elasticity. A study that finds conflicting results for unhealthy food taxes, Empirical Evidence of the Efficiency and Efficacy of Fat Taxes and Thin Subsidies, examines the elasticities through three taxes to examine a number of options: 1) a food group tax, where the same rate applies across a particular food group-dairy, for instance; 2) a nutrient tax, where the food’s content of a specific nutrient like saturated fat or sodium determined its tax rate; and 3) a nutrient index tax, where a weighted average of nutrients present in the food determined the tax rate. The study finds elasticities on specific meat group positive and small or insignificant, finding “price

Raja, Youngju Pak, and Bonnie Spring. "Purchases of food in youth influence of price and income." Psychological Science 17, no. 1 (2006): 82-89. 45 D’angelo et al., “Access to food source and food source use,” 1632-1639. 46 "State Public Health Statistics." America's Health Rankings. Accessed April 27, 2016. http://www.americashealthrankings. org/states.

47 Brownell et al., “Ounces of prevention,” 1805-1808. 48 Powell, Lisa M., Jamie F. Chriqui, Tamkeen Khan, Roy Wada, and Frank J. Chaloupka. "Assessing the potential effectiveness of food and beverage taxes and subsidies for improving public health: a systematic review of prices, demand and body weight outcomes." Obesity reviews 14, no. 2 (2013): 110-128. 49 Ibid, 110-128. 50 Ibid, 110-128.

One way to help correct for these imbalances is to implement a fat tax at the federal level and then redistribute the revenues to states based on need or merit. The federal government already does this for several programs (Medicaid, Head Start, etc.), so a national fat tax could feasibly be implemented in a similar manner. This could help remove the tax-and-spend burden on poorer states with lower capacities while still allowing them to benefit from the externality-correcting aspects of the fat tax. Of course, some states have notably higher obesity rates than others and could use these benefits comparatively more, but as these unhealthier states tend to be poorer,46 federal intervention and redistribution might be necessary if the goal is a healthier nation rather than a healthier handful of states. Elasticity

36

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

Spring 2017


A Fat Tax for a Fat Problem and income fat content elasticity for the meats: beef with an own price elasticity of 0.014, statistically insignificant; pork with an own price elasticity of 0.159, statistically significant; and poultry with an own price elasticity of 0.026, statistically insignificant.”51 Thus, price increases based on meat will not reduce the purchase of meat, but it may even cause a small increase in consumption of meat. They find elasticities on nutrient groups: carbohydrates and fat are -0.225 and -0.372 respectively, which indicates price increases on these nutrient groups induce a small behavior changes. The authors conclude that education and encouraging early-age habits are likely better policy initiatives to pursue if the goal is healthier eating and it is ineffective to use economic coercion to get people to change their food consumption habits.52

viously, there is no clear consensus present in the academic community, but in order to justify creating such a fat tax, we must make the assumption that the uninspiring revenue-generating capacity is at least in part redeemed by some level in externality correction. Through examining elasticity of food, food groups, or nutrient groups, SSBs appear to be significantly more responsive to price across multiple studies. Because large food groups such as meat or large nutrient groups such as carbohydrates and fat are very inelastic, taxation on them is not likely going to generate significant responses. While more research is needed on fast food, fast food appears to be between the elasticity of SSBs and larger food groups or nutrient groups. Thus, if the goal of the tax is to deter unhealthy behavior, people will be the most responsive to a tax on SSBs. Taxes on large food groups or nutrient groups would not significantly alter behavior. More research is needed to determine taxation on groups on junk food and fast food to determine the effectiveness of taxation on these groups, yet initial results lead to conclusions that these groups are elastic enough to respond to a change in price. Emerging research appears to show food groups’ elasticities increase when applied to children.55 This means programs targeting children may have a heightened benefit because children’s diets often translate to adult diets and obese children and much more likely to become obese adults.56

A different study published in Psychological Science reported that children in particular tend to change their consumption choices based largely on the cost of the food item and their available money. In fact, the children in the study were so influenced by the prices that they purchased healthier food when it was cheaper not because they preferred it, but simply because it cost less. The authors go on to say that this evidence could suggest increasing the price of junk foods while providing government subsidies to lower the price of healthy foods could be particularly influential in school cafeterias.53 Different research in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics goes so far as to say that a truly effective tax, if the main goal was fighting obesity, would be a tax on calories Stability instead of junk food, though it argues that both would lead to a reduction in consumption.54 Ob- Generally, the stability of a fat tax mirrors the rel51 Clark, J. Stephen, Ludwig O. Dittrich, and Qin Xu. "Empirical ative instability of excise taxes. Excise taxes’ reveEvidence of the Efficiency and Efficacy of Fat Taxes and Thin nue production is unstable over growing and poor Subsidies." Central European journal of public health 22, no. 3 (2014): 201. 52 Ibid., 53 Epstein, Leonard H., Elizabeth A. Handley, Kelly K. Dearing, David D. Cho, James N. Roemmich, Rocco A. Paluch, Samina Raja, Youngju Pak, and Bonnie Spring. "Purchases of food in youth influence of price and income." Psychological Science 17, no. 1 (2006): 82-89. 54 Okrent, Abigail M., and Julian M. Alston. "The effects of farm commodity and retail food policies on obesity and economic

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

welfare in the United States." American Journal of Agricultural Economics 94, no. 3 (2012): 611-646. 55 Sturm, Roland, and Ashlesha Datar. "Regional price differences and food consumption frequency among elementary school children." Public Health 125, no. 3 (2011): 136-141. 56 "Why Obesity Is a Health Problem." Obesity Health Problem, Healthy Weight Basics, NHLBI, NIH. Accessed May 05, 2016. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/healthyweight-basics/obesity.htm.

Spring 2017

37


The Heinz Journal economic periods. During robust economic periods, excise tax revenues increase, but during economic downturns excise tax revenues decrease.57 This is conceptually based on the idea that people will stop purchasing as many (or purchase cheaper) goods and services during economic downturns because they have less disposable income. At the same time, a fat tax may react differently than excise taxes because the goods it taxes are typically cheaper and more likely purchased by lower income groups. If an economic downturn occurs, people will likely substitute purchasing more expensive food for cheaper food, which often is unhealthier and likely to fall under a fat tax. II. Equity Ability to Pay With a fat tax, there are three factors that go into determining ability to pay: measuring ability, distributional patterns, and identifying the burden.58 Measuring ability to pay for a fat tax is relatively straightforward, as it is an excise tax based on the consumption of non-vital and externality-producing goods. If a person can afford the additional tax, they can buy the good. If they cannot afford the tax, they cannot afford the good, and this is essentially the goal of a fat tax: raising the threshold of affordability to deter people from buying it. Thus, ability to pay is not a significant concern. Distributional patterns of horizontal and vertical equity are very important and are discussed at length below. As for identifying the burden, it is likely that the legal incidence and the economic incidence of a fat tax will not align, but this is intentional. Technically, the tax is borne by the producers—the tax is assessed at the production facility on a per unit basis, where the producer pays it before it leaves.59 57 Gentry, William M., and Helen F. Ladd. "State tax structure and multiple policy objectives." National Tax Journal (1994): 747-772. 58 Mikesell, Fiscal Administration. 59 McCarten et al., “Excise taxes,” 100-103.

38

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

However, we are assuming the tax on unhealthy food will be forward shifting onto consumers who will actually bear the burden of the tax, as businesses will simply raise their prices rather than absorb the tax. Again, this is intentional: the point of a fat tax is to increase the burden on those consuming the targeted goods. Horizontal Inequity A tax on unhealthy food may create horizontal inequity because the tax is applied per tastes and preferences. Households that purchase the taxable unhealthy food items will bear the tax burden while households that do not consume the goods would forgo the tax liability.60 Therefore, a tax on unhealthy food may violate the standard of horizontal equity because equally situated households would not bear the same tax burden on unhealthy foods. However, the goal of the unhealthy food tax is to encourage people to change their behavior by avoiding junk food and decrease the negative externality of high healthcare costs. When trying to correct for a negative externality, the government should not be overly concerned about horizontal inequity because the overall goal may outweigh the fairness problem.61 Vertical Inequity The fat tax’s impact affects consumers differently based on their level of affluence. In general, low-income households tend to spend a larger portion of their income on food compared to higher-income households. Assuming low-income earners are rational buyers and aim to maximize the amount of their income, they will spend more on inexpensive food which tends to be unhealthier such as fast food and junk food. A recent study on French women showed low-income consumers buy less healthy food than median-income consumers.62 In addition, the study indicated that 60 Mikesell, Fiscal Administration. 61 McCarten et al., “Excise taxes,” 100-103. 62 Darmon, Nicole, Anne Lacroix, Laurent Muller, and Bernard Ruffieux. "Food price policies improve diet quality while in-

Spring 2017


A Fat Tax for a Fat Problem low-income French women received fewer financial and nutritional benefits from the food taxes and subsidies compared to the medium-income group revealing the regressive nature of the taxes and subsidies.63 While French women are not American women, this study does provide some credibility for the notion that implementing a tax on unhealthy food and a subsidy on healthy food may improve diet quality.64

products face taxation and which products do not. The lack of a clear definition can cause issues implementing the tax, leading to distortions.67

The fat tax distortions depend on its design and how it taxes products. A tax directed at actual fat, like Denmark’s, has the potential to change the way food manufacturers produce food, which is likely a goal of the tax; however, it may not be a healthy change. Producers may substitute sugar to reduce The evidence shows a tax on unhealthy food would the fat content, which means the fat tax is not taxmost likely be economically regressive, similar to ing all unhealthy food equally and will likely lead how sin taxes on tobacco and alcohol taxes are to distortions through substituting goods.68 regressive. Tobacco and alcohol taxes are justified based on positive health effects from reduced A fat tax that taxes based on added sugar could poconsumption of the goods and a tax on unhealthy tentially cause less distortions than one based on food can also be argued along these same health fat. A tax on added sugar has a more definite base grounds. Because the tax on unhealthy food and than one sifting through healthy and unhealthy a subsidy on healthy food favors high-income in- fats and a healthy level of fat. An added sugar tax dividuals, lawmakers should be aware of the eco- has similar issues to a tax on fat due to incentivnomic inequality imposed by these food policies izing companies to replace added sugar with artiand may need to implement measures to offset ficial flavoring and sweeteners. While there is no any negative effects.65 For example, the govern- definitive answer on the health effects of artificial ment could combat the regressivity issue by pro- flavoring,69 more research should be conducted to viding direct income support to less affluent indi- determine if artificial sweeteners should be potenviduals or bolstering SNAP benefits specifically for tially taxed as well. healthy food. If fat taxes are implemented at a state or local levIII. Economic Neutrality el, there are potential black market issues due to different tax rates between states and localities.70 A fat tax produces potentially major distortions if Black markets from excise taxes typically occur it is poorly designed. Since a fat tax is a selective when there is a particularly large excise tax on a excise tax, it only taxes a specific kind of good.66 good—when New York City doubled its tax rate But unlike most major selective excise taxes, there on cigarettes from $1.50 a pack to $3.00 a pack, it is not a clear definition of the products that a fat saw a significant increase in cigarette smuggling tax should encompass. For alcohol, cigarettes, and 67 Mikesell, Fiscal Administration. motor fuel taxes, we can typically recognize which 68 Malnick, Edward, Jasper Copping, and Matthew Payton. creasing socioeconomic inequalities in nutrition." International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 11, no. 1 (2014): 1. 63 Ibid, 1. 64 Ibid, 1. 65 Niebylski, Mark L., Kimbree A. Redburn, Tara Duhaney, and Norm R. Campbell. "Healthy food subsidies and unhealthy food taxation: A systematic review of the evidence." Nutrition 31, no. 6 (2015): 787-795. 66 McCarten et al., “Excise taxes,” 100-103.

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

“Low Fat Foods Stuffed with ‘Harmful’ Levels of Sugar.” The Telegraph. March 7, 2014. 69 "Artificial Sweeteners and Cancer." National Cancer Institute. August 5, 2009. Accessed April 17, 2016. http://www.cancer. gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/artificial-sweeteners-fact-sheet. 70 Shelley, Donna, M. Jennifer Cantrell, Joyce Moon-Howard, Destiny Q. Ramjohn, and Nancy VanDevanter. "The $5 man: the underground economic response to a large cigarette tax increase in New York City." American Journal of Public Health 97, no. 8 (2007): 1483-1488.

Spring 2017

39


The Heinz Journal into the city.71 Of course, a component that led to the selling and purchasing of untaxed cigarettes was addiction to cigarettes,72 and although there is evidence of sugar addiction,73 the potency of said addiction is probably not as high as cigarettes and alcohol. There are also other substitutes to unhealthy foods, which means unless a tax covers all unhealthy foods, the likelihood of a black market from a modest tax on unhealthy foods is slim. Yet, if an exceptionally high tax rate is levied on specific food group such as soda, there still is potential for a black market.74 A federal level fat tax may avoid some of these issues, and we will discuss this in greater detail in a later section. IV. Compliance Costs All taxes must be administered and collected somehow, with the costs associated with doing so naturally producing some level of deadweight loss. Of course, as these costs affect the final amount of revenue produced by a tax, the goal is to minimize them as much as possible while still maintaining the desired level of revenue.75 This distinction is crucial; searching for a way to get the lowest possible compliance cost alone may initially seem ideal, but skimping too much on compliance significantly increases the risk of tax avoidance, evasion, and miscalculation, all of which will negatively impact the amount of money produced by the tax. Fortunately, the excise tax model already exists as a relatively reliable and somewhat efficient system of tax collection that could easily incorporate a new fat tax.76

likely be good candidates for such a tax. Instead of requiring the tax to be collected and paid by every retailer in each area (as would be the case under a conventional retail sales tax), an excise tax is most often calculated and collected at either the producer or distributor level which, ideally, dramatically reduces the number of firms subjected to compliance burdens.77 Creating a new tax categorization for junk food or soft drinks would invariably lead to increased compliance costs for both firms and the government. For firms, the costs would be in the form of additional accounting work and reporting requirements, while the government will have to spend time and money creating and implementing the regulation and its enforcement measures.78 The government may even be pressured to provide a high vendor tax discount to compensate for these compliance costs being inflicted on a small number of firms. However, the fact that these costs are only being felt by several hundred firms producing the junk food instead of the many thousands selling it could be considered a comparative savings. Of course, retailers would have to incur some compliance costs necessary to update their barcodes and price tags to reflect the price changes, but for most, this process is electronic and relatively simple.

In addition, thanks to the fact that an excise tax is an indirect tax, the compliance costs for the taxpaying consumer remain comparatively insubstantial.79 Although junk food and soft drink companies will likely raise prices in response to the excise tax As excise taxes typically target a narrow range of and taxpayers will ultimately pay more at checkgoods produced by a limited number of compa- out, the consumer does not incur any additional nies, junk foods and soft drinks in particular would compliance costs or requirements directly associated with paying the tax. Instead, he simply ends 71 Ibid, 1483-1488. 72 Ibid, 1483-1488. up paying more for the product that has already 73 Avena, Nicole M., Pedro Rada, and Bartley G. Hoebel. incorporated the cost of the tax into its price. "Evidence for Sugar Addiction: Behavioral and Neurochemical Effects of Intermittent, Excessive Sugar Intake." Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 32, no. 1 (2008): 20-39. 74 Shelley et al., “The $5 man,” 1483-1488. 75 Mikesell, Fiscal Administration. 76 McCarten et al., “Excise taxes,” 100-103.

40

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

Administrative costs could be somewhat substan77 Ibid, 100-103. 78 Ibid, 100-103. 79 Mikesell, Fiscal Administration.

Spring 2017


A Fat Tax for a Fat Problem tial, as is often the case with taxpayer-passive taxes. As the IMF points out, most excises taxes are typically incurred as the product leaves the factory, allowing revenue officers to be stationed in the facility to calculate tax on the goods as they leave.80 Naturally, the fact that these officers are stationed there and do the bulk of the work is what drives up administration costs, but the potential for inexperience errors may be reduced and the burden on the taxpayer somewhat lessened. As a bonus, though, this model eliminates the need to monitor and collect the tax from every retailer in a jurisdiction, which saves some administrative costs.81 Importantly, the use of an excise tax model for unhealthy food likely reduces the chance of noncompliance. To combat direct evasion and bootlegging, for example, a tax stamp system could be implemented and require that all products bear a certain stamp to be legally sold. This method has already been used extensively with some degree of success by the tobacco industry,82 and could be accomplished by simply adding a stamp to the unhealthy food at the production facilities after the tax is paid. Furthermore, the consumer does not have to keep extensive records of his purchases, the retailer does not have to keep track of the tax remittances it owes the government, and the onsite tax inspectors at the junk food factories do much of the work for the company. As a result, it becomes much more difficult to evade, avoid, and miscalculate tax liabilities.83 All in all, regardless of whether it is levied at the state or federal level, it seems to reason that an excise tax on junk food would come with manageable compliance costs.

the tax is collected at the production stage before retail. The tax is embedded and increases the price of the good.84 Given the controversial nature of fat taxes and the amount of attention similar taxes have attracted in the past, however, in all likelihood transparency in creating the tax would not be a big concern as long as policymakers followed some simple steps. First, the policymakers will need to ensure that the adoption process is open and free from influence by hidden or undisclosed factors. The public should be informed about which rates are being proposed, when they will take effect, and how they might change into the future. Again, the contentious nature of a fat tax almost guarantees that the public and media will be highly interested and involved in the process of creating such a tax, so it is reasonable to assume that many of the details will be disclosed due to popular demand. Additionally, in the case of a federal fat tax it might be a good idea for the Food and Drug Administration—which would likely be heavily involved in the tax's administration given its focus on food items—to require a small section near the nutrition label on food products that gives consumers a brief overview of what in the product is being taxed and the rate applied.

Next, the administration of the tax should be similarly open, with a fair appeals system in place for affected parties to air their grievances and perhaps for producers to contest categorizations of "unhealthy foods." As an excise-style tax would primarily apply to producers and distributors, such a system should be less labor-intensive than that inV. Transparency volving income taxes or sales taxes due to the significant reduction in quantity of primary tax-paying Excise taxes tend to reduce transparency because stakeholders.85 And finally, how the tax works and 80 McCarten et al., “Excise taxes,” 100-103. how to comply with its terms should be as easy 81 Ibid, 100-103. as possible to understand; ideally, each producer 82 Chriqui, Jamie, Hillary DeLong, Camille Gourdet, Frank and distributor should be able to easily calculate Chaloupka, Sarah Matthes Edwards, Xin Xu, and Gabbi Protheir liability without substantial expense. Again, moff. "Use of Tobacco Tax Stamps to Prevent and Reduce Illicit given the nature of the excise tax and the possibilTobacco Trade—United States, 2014." MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report 64, no. 20 (2015): 541. 83 Mikesell, Fiscal Administration.

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

84 Ibid., 85 McCarten et al., “Excise taxes,” 100-103.

Spring 2017

41


The Heinz Journal ity of having revenue agents present at operating then estimated the weight loss from the estimated facilities, this aspect of transparency should also decline in consumption, and then calculated the be feasible. estimated reduction in diabetes and body mass index. Finally, the analysts input the estimated diWith the guiding principles of a meaningful yield, abetes and body mass index figures into the Correasonable equity, minimal distortion, acceptable onary Heart Disease Policy Model to predict the compliance costs, and necessary transparency in effect on cardiovascular disease over the 10 years. mind, the following sections will present several The study performed a sensitivity analysis of three ideas on how to identify and establish rates for different cases. The first case analyzes the baseline an excise tax that tackles the externalities of poor case assuming 40% of the consumption reduction health without attacking literal fat. would be compensation by increased caloric intake of other non-taxed beverages. The second VI. Theory on Penny-per-Ounce Tax on Sug- analysis evaluates the best-case scenario where ar-Sweetened Beverages: Health Savings the impact of the tax resulted in 0% compensation, assuming all of the reduced caloric consumption in A 2012 report by Wang et al. estimates the effects SSB’s is not offset by an increase in other calories. of health and medical care costs of implementing The third method assesses the worst-case scenara penny-per-ounce excise tax on sugar-sweetened io where the impact of the tax produced 100% beverages in all 50 states.86 In particular, the study compensation and all of the reduced calories from examined the effects on adults ages 25-64 for the not consuming SSB’s is consumed through other ten-year period 2010-2020. To analyze the impact beverages, so there was no change in body mass of such a tax, the study first establishes the base- index.88 line consumption of these beverages using the food frequency questionnaire from the National The results of the base case scenario show a penHealth and Nutrition Examination Survey during ny-per-ounce tax on SSB’s reduces consumption 2003-2006. With a baseline consumption pattern by 15% for adults ages 25-64.89 The authors asof SSB’s the study uses the average price of these sume firms will fully pass the tax onto consumers drinks and the price elasticity of demand of -0.8 through higher prices; i.e. a 20-ounce soda will to estimate the reduction in consumption with a increase the price of the product by 20 cents or penny-per-ounce tax. 20-25% and decrease consumption by 6-24% for adults ages 25-64. After assuming 40% is offset The study also assumes that the tax causes people with increased consumption in other beverages, to consume fewer SSB’s and switch to other sub- the study estimates that consumers experience a stitutes. For example, people would buy more wa- net caloric savings of nine calories per day resultter, diet soda, or other caloric beverages such as ing in a 0.9-pound loss. The study estimates that juice and milk that are not subject to the tax. The this slight decline in body mass index of adults authors estimate 40% of the reduced consumption ages 25-64 decreases the number of obese adults is offset by an increase in other beverages, i.e. “a by 1.5% or 867,000 people and the number of new net reduction of 60 calories for every 100 calories cases of type 2 diabetes by 2.6%. These percentof sugar-sweetened beverages not consumed.”87 ages lead to “95,000 fewer instances of coronary In addition, the study assumes a reduction of 10 heart disease, 8,000 fewer strokes, [and] 26,000 calories per day from a person’s diet would result fewer premature deaths” resulting in $17.1 billion in a one pound decrease in weight. The analysts savings in healthcare costs.90 86 Wang et al., "A penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages,” 199-207. 87 Ibid, 199-207.

42

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

88 Ibid, 199-207. 89 Ibid, 199-207. 90 Ibid, 199-207.

Spring 2017


A Fat Tax for a Fat Problem proach does nothing to further target the exterThe study also estimates the medical expenditure nalities caused by unhealthy food, it is probably savings for the other two sensitivity analysis cases. not the most effective option. For the best-case scenario where no avoided calories were replaced, the healthcare savings estimate A second method is for the government to use increases to $20.1 billion. For the worst-case sce- the revenue from the tax to fund obesity prevennario where 100% of the avoided calories in sug- tion programs. The programs could be education ar-sweetened beverages are consumed in other courses about effects of unhealthy eating, marketdrinks, the medical cost savings estimate was $6.7 ing about eating nutritiously, and promoting more billion or 40% of the base case. Even though there recess and exercise for school curriculums. Some is no change in body mass index for the worst- research has suggested that these prevention inicase scenario, there is an expectation that the risk tiatives could actually be more effective means of diabetes is still reduce, but only by about half as to reduce the obesity rate and lower the medical much as the base case.91 Decreasing consumption costs associated with obesity than the tax's conof SSB’s and replacing it with other caloric drinks sumption distortion itself.94 Earmarking the revelike juice and milk still decreases the prevalence of nue on a tax on unhealthy food to combat obesity diabetes and cardiovascular disease. is similar to targeting the revenue tobacco and alcohol taxes, as states sometimes earmark the toOverall, the results predict that a national penny- bacco and alcohol tax revenue for prevention and per-ounce tax on SSB’s decreases the healthcare treatment programs. costs associated with obesity. In addition, projected revenue is estimated at $13 billion for 2010 A third approach, and the one this report endorsand $79 billion from 2010-2015.92 Therefore, this es, is to use the revenue from the unhealthy food report shows a tax on sugary drinks can produce tax to subsidize healthy food such as fruits and some revenue and internalize at least some of the vegetables. Research suggests that a subsidy on negative externality of obesity-related medical ex- fruits and vegetables would increase the demand penditure. However, how the tax achieves these on these goods, leading to the increased congoals is largely dependent on how the revenues sumption of healthy food items.95 One 2009 UK are used. study examined four models of targeted taxes on unhealthy food and subsidies on nutritious food. VII. Revenue Alternatives The four models predicted the health effects as a result of 1) a tax on saturated fat; 2) a tax on a “less If consumption distortion is the goal of the fat tax, healthy food” defined by a nutrient profile model; research suggests that the success of this goal is in 3) a tax on “less healthy food” and a 17.5% subsipart related to how the revenue produced by the dy on fruits and vegetables; and 4) a tax on “less tax is used.93 The first (and most simple) option is healthy food” and using all the tax revenue to subfor the collected excise revenues to become part sidize fruits and vegetables.96 The results of this of the federal government's general fund and then study predicted the fourth revenue-neutral methbe used (or redistributed to the states) for general od of taxing less healthy food and using all the government purposes. Essentially, the tax would not be specifically earmarked, but would simply 94 Niebylski et al., “Healthy food subsidies,” 787-795. 95 Ibid, 787-795. end up supporting regular services and programs 96 Nnoaham, Kelechi E., Gary Sacks, Mike Rayner, Oliver Mytat the federal or state level, or both. As this ap- ton, and Alastair Gray. "Modelling income group differences in 91 Ibid, 199-207. 92 Ibid, 199-207. 93 McCarten et al., “Excise taxes,” 100-103.

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

the health and economic impacts of targeted food taxes and subsidies." International Journal of Epidemiology (2009): 13241333.

Spring 2017

43


The Heinz Journal resulting tax revenue to subsidize fruits and vegetables would prevent the most deaths. Another article summarized 78 studies relating to taxing unhealthy food and subsidizing healthy food. The article reached the same conclusion: implementing both a tax on unhealthy food and a subsidy on healthy food together was the most effective at reducing unhealthy food consumption and improving health.97 In particular, the tax and subsidy should be a minimum of 10 to 15% to be beneficial.98 VIII. The Ideal Fat Tax: Some Qualifiers Based on the above evaluation of fat taxes in regards to tax policy standards and principles, a tax on unhealthy food is not necessarily a bad idea for the U.S., if policymakers are in fact serious about reducing consumption. Implementing a fat excise tax would likely not produce a groundbreaking amount of revenue, but if the goal of such a tax is to deter consumption to correct for externalities, this tradeoff is acceptable. In this case, the tax could be applied much more liberally, as distortions in consumer choice are actually the goal. However, the foods targeted by the fat tax should be clarified, as some are much more feasible than others.

of a healthy diet, but an unhealthy level for one person may be perfectly healthy for another.102 In effect, the tax could potentially discourage certain individuals for consuming healthy (for them) foods. Second, food producers could potentially substitute the taxed elements of food with ingredients that have even worse health effects, as discussed in the distortion section.103 Thirdly, the administration and compliance costs will be higher for these kinds of fat taxes. If we try to address some of the distortions caused by these taxes, we will need multiple categories and rates for the tax and exemptions for certain foods and ingredients verses a broader base that other version of the fat tax can obtain. The government becomes burdened with the responsibility of taxing certain food over others, which could suffer corruption by lobbying efforts from food producers. These issues will ultimately lead to heavier compliance costs for businesses due to certain products being taxed at different rates.

Unlike fats and salt, however, there is one ingredient that provides very little actual nutritional value and is a significant contributor to obesity and a host of other health problems: sugar.104 Of course, the naturally-occurring sugars in fruits and dairy products are hardly a major influence on the state of Americans' health, but the added sugars that A fat tax should not, for example, be based on lev- are found in thousands and thousands of other els of fat, salt, or broad labels such as fast food. food for no other purpose but to make it "taste First, debate over healthy levels of these elements better" are much less innocent.105 As discussed in of food is highly contentious and this debate can the distortion section, a tax on added sugar may severely change over time.99 100 101 Some level of be one of the most reasonable iterations of a fat both fat and sodium are necessary components tax. It makes little sense, for instance, to tax cheese (something with actual nutritional value in mod97 Niebylski et al. “Healthy food subsidies,” 787-795. eration) for containing fat, but ignoring Mike and 98 Ibid, 787-795. 99 Lupton, Deborah, and Simon Chapman. "'A Healthy Lifestyle Ikes (a fruity candy with virtually no nutritional value) because they are fat free.106 Thus, taxing added Might Be the Death of You': Discourses on Diet, Cholesterol Control and Heart Disease in the Press and among the Lay Public." Social Health & Illness Sociology of Health and Illness 17, no. 4 (1995): 477-94. 100 Nestle, Marion. Food politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health. Vol. 3. Univ of California Press, 2013. 101 Satin, Morton. "The Salt Debate-Far More Salacious Than Salubrious." Blood purification 39, no. 1-3 (2015): 11-15.

44

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

102 Ibid, 11-15. 103 Malnick et al., “Low Fat Foods.” 104 Added Sugars," American Heart Association, last modified July 20, 2016. Accessed April 2, 2016. http://www.heart. org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Nutrition/Added-Sugars_UCM_305858_Article.jsp#.WB9ra4WcFYc 105 Ibid., 106 "Calories in Mike and Ike Chewy Candy." CalorieKing.com.

Spring 2017


A Fat Tax for a Fat Problem sugars is similar to taxing tobacco: a product that ed to the states to fund educational opportunities no doctor would recommend is the sole target of or events promoting healthy lifestyles for children. the punishing effects of the tax. As the aforementioned research suggests, this three-pronged attack (economic disincentives, While a true, broad sugar tax has not yet found healthy food subsidy, and early education) will popularity in the United States, many states have likely be the most effective means of combating already implemented some type of sin tax on sug- diet-related unhealthiness and obesity. ar in its various forms. Several states do not exempt candy from sales tax, while others have in- Crucially, such a tax should be modeled as a federcreased tax rates for candy and still others have al unit excise tax. This report established the benadditional taxes on soft drinks.107 Obviously, the efits of using a unit excise tax early on, but did idea of taxing added sugar is not exactly new, but not explicitly touch on jurisdiction. Crossing state this report recommends that these existing taxes lines to take advantage of lower tax rates is pracbe dramatically expanded and standardized across tically an American pastime, with certain goods the country. like tobacco even spawning gray markets where cigarettes purchased legally in one state are reIX. The Best Fat Tax is actually a Sugar Tax: Our sold in another state at a price that makes profit Proposal for the seller and is still cheaper than the taxed price for the buyer.109 While sugar is not nearly as With the aforementioned qualifiers in mind, this addictive as nicotine nor as expensive as tires and report recommends any fat tax be implemented at subsequently might not create quite the interstate the national level and focused specifically on add- demand, it is a very real possibility that some sort ed sugars with two distinct rate structures: one for of gray market could exist near state borders with sugar-sweetened beverages like soft drinks and significantly different sugar taxes. Consequently, another for other foods with added sugars. Addi- implementing a single, uniform federal excise tax tionally, the primary intent of such tax should not on sugary products would eliminate any interstate be revenue generation but rather to reduce the differences and remove the temptation for border consumption of added sugars. As such, any sugar hopping to avoid the tax.110 tax revenues should be used to apply a 20% subsidy on fresh fruits and vegetables either directly $0.03 Per Ounce Tax on Sugar Sweetened Beveror distributed through the SNAP program to spe- ages cifically combat regressivity, which could increase consumption of these healthy foods by 10%, as The classification and excise taxation of sugdetermined by Powell et al. in their 2013 study.108 ar-sweetened beverages is relatively straightforThe remaining revenues could then be redistribut- ward and has already been successfully implemented in several states, with West Virginia being Accessed October 30, 2016. https://www.caloriecount.com/ the most direct. As a result, West Virginia's definicalories-wegmans-mike-n-ike-fruit-i200157. tions and rate structure can serve as a reasonable 107 "Extras on Excise: Debate Over Soft Drink Tax Continues starting point for a federal level excise. The state to Fizz in States," Bloomberg BNA, last modified May 14, 2014. Accessed April 20, 2016. http://www.bna.com/extras-excise-de- taxes $0.01 per 16.9 fluid ounces or half liter of bate-b17179890466/. bottled soft drink, $0.80 per gallon of soft drink 108 Powell, Lisa M., Jamie F. Chriqui, Tamkeen Khan, Roy Wada, syrup, and $0.01 per ounce of dry mixture used to and Frank J. Chaloupka. "Assessing the Potential Effectiveness of Food and Beverage Taxes and Subsidies for Improving Public Health: A Systematic Review of Prices, Demand and Body Weight Outcomes." Obesity Reviews 14, no. 2 (February 2013): 110-28.

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

109 Hargreaves, Steve, "The Lucrative Business of Smuggling Cigarettes," CNNMoney, April 16, 2013. http://money.cnn. com/2013/04/16/news/economy/cigarette-smuggling/. 110 Ibid.,

Spring 2017

45


The Heinz Journal make soft drinks, and includes a rather compre- several studies115 116 have suggested would be hensive list of what constitutes a soft drink under somewhat ineffective on its own, but still not necthe tax.111 essarily so high that it would destroy the soft drink market altogether. Notably, diet soft drinks are exHowever, these rates seem primarily designed cluded; while there is no clear consensus on the to produce revenue for the professional medical health effects of artificial sweeteners, they are inschools at the University of West Virginia rather disputably zero-calorie and lack the clear relationthan to correct for externalities caused by soft ship with obesity and tooth decay found with sugdrinks.112 Because this report's tax aims to pri- ar. Assuming that a two-liter (67.6 ounce) bottle marily reduce consumption, West Virginia's actual of name brand soft drink typically sells for around rates may be too low to achieve this goal. As pre- $2.00, with the federal sugar tax applied this price viously discussed in the elasticity section, research would rise to about $4.00, for an effective tax determined that a 10% increase in soft drink prices rate of around 100%. Naturally, smaller containresulted in approximately a 7.8% reduction in con- ers would not have such high effective rates, as sumption, imposing a one penny tax on a half-li- a twelve-ounce can of soda would only have 36 ter of soda is unlikely to produce any meaningful cents of tax applied. consumption response. California toyed with the idea of a $0.01 per ounce tax on sugary beverag- The $23.04 tax per gallon of syrup (which typically es in 2013, but met widespread opposition from sells for around $30,117 creating a roughly 77% efboth sides, including experts saying it would not fective tax rate) seems outlandish at first and is addo enough to affect consumption.113 mittedly much higher than West Virginia's. However, it is much more proportional to the $0.03/ As a result, this report goes a step further and ar- ounce tax for premixed soft drinks. Each gallon of gues for a $0.03 per ounce tax on packaged sug- syrup can be used to make about 64 twelve-ounce ary beverages, a $23.04 tax per gallon of soft drink soft drinks,118 so to tax it at $0.80 like West Virginia syrup, and a $0.50 per ounce tax on dry mixture would be obscenely disproportionate. In that case, used to make soft drinks, using the West Virginia all consumers would have to do to avoid the tax is statute's definition for "soft drink." As mentioned go to the local gas station and buy a fountain drink earlier, store-brands or otherwise cheaper brands rather than its bottled or canned counterpart. Inof soft drinks will be disproportionately impacted stead, this $23.04 equates to an $0.18/ounce tax by these unit excise taxes, but as over 80% of the on the syrup. A twelve-ounce fountain soft drink U.S. soft drink market is controlled by Coca-Cola, typically requires about two ounces of syrup, so it Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper-Snapple, this is a relatively too would have a 36-cent tax. small group.114 The $0.50/ounce tax on powdered soft drink mix The three-cent per ounce tax is triple the amount assumes that an average serving of these drinks post-mixing requires about 0.7 ounces of mix. This 111 Article 19: Soft Drinks Tax, § 11: Taxation, West Virginia Code. tends to vary more widely with brands than con(2015). 112 Ibid., 113 "Extras on Excise: Debate Over Soft Drink Tax Continues to Fizz in States," Bloomberg BNA, last modified on May 14, 2014. Accessed April 21, 2016. http://www.bna.com/extras-excise-debate-b17179890466/. 114 "Soft Drink Market Share United States by Company, 2014 | Statistic." Statista. Accessed April 27, 2016. http://www.statista. com/statistics/225464/market-share-of-leading-soft-drink-companies-in-the-us-since-2004/.

46

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

115 Brownell et al., “Ounces of prevention,” 1805-1808. 116 Wang et al., "A penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages,” 199-207. 117 "Bag-n-Box Syrups." Sam's Club. Accessed April 18, 2016. http://www.samsclub.com/sams/bag-n-box-syrups/3410101.cp. 118 "Bag In Box Soda System | Bag In Box System Guide." WebstaurantStore. Accessed April 18, 2016. http://www.webstaurantstore.com/guide/526/number-of-servings-per-5-gallonbag-in-box-syrup.html.

Spring 2017


A Fat Tax for a Fat Problem ventional soft drinks, but 0.7 appears to be a reasonable estimate.119 With this tax, a twelve-ounce serving of Kool-Aid would have about 35 cents in tax applied.

grams of added sugar. A $.01 per gram tax would increase this theoretical price to $1.21, hopefully discouraging some consumers from buying the candy.

This tax would be applied at the production facility or wholesaler stage through a system of tax stamps and on-site inspections, and it is assumed that rather than absorb the tax the soft drink companies will likely shift the burden on to consumers, but this essentially the goal. While the scalability of the previously discussed elasticity figures may not be perfect, from an economics perspective it is incredibly likely that a 100% effective tax rate for soft drinks will negatively impact its consumption to some extent. Research published in Contemporary Economics Policy actually suggested that a 55% effective tax rate could lower state obesity rates by 1% and significantly reduce body-mass indices, so this report’s higher rates may be promising.120

Notably, added sugar can be found in bread, cereal, and other typically healthy foods, but the food’s nutritious qualities often outweigh any detriments caused by small amount of added sugar. To combat this discrepancy, the agency overseeing the tax—likely the Food and Drug Administration— could create some type of exemption system for these foods that have a small percentage of added sugar relative to the whole product. A good place to start might be a regulation requiring food producers to report the grams of sugar present per 100-gram sample of the product. For example, if fewer than 25 grams are present, the product would be exempt from the sugar tax, as we make the bold assumption that any food item with more than 25% of its weight made from added sugar is likely not particularly healthy. This, of course, could lead companies to replace sugar with artificial sweeteners which, as mentioned earlier, have unclear health properties, but it could also lead to companies simply lowering the amount of added sugar.122 There could also be an appeal process through the FDA for firms producing food subject to the added sugar tax. The firms would have to prove that their product offers more nourishing ingredients relative to any unhealthy added sugar to be exempt from the tax.

$0.01 Per Gram Tax on Added Sugar As mentioned previously, lawmakers face a difficult task defining a tax on junk food. Therefore, this report does not suggest taxing junk food as a whole category but rather recommends a penny per gram tax on added sugar. This is not a tax on natural sugar found in fruits and milk, but a tax on added sugar found in cakes, cookies, ice cream, pie, and other desserts. Added sugar has no nutritional value and leads to obesity, so the goal of a penny per gram tax on added sugar would increase the price of the good and deter buyers from consuming the good, lowering obesity-related healthcare costs.121 For instance, at time of writing a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup package at most local Wal-Marts costs around a dollar and contains 21 119 "Powdered Drinks & Mixes." Walmart.com. Accessed April 18, 2016. https://www.walmart.com/browse/food/powdered-drinks-mixes/976759_976782_1001683. 120 Fletcher, Jason M., David Frisvold, and Nathan Tefft. "Can soft drink taxes reduce population weight?." Contemporary Economic Policy 28, no. 1 (2010): 23-35. 121 “Added Sugars,” American Heart Associtation.

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

Final Thoughts & Next Steps We propose a tax on sugar because research indicates that obesity and obesity-related diseases cost Americans a considerable amount of money, added sugar directly contributes to obesity, and Americans consume an excessive level of sugar. However, more research is needed for the precise impact of sugar on the negative externality of obesity and obesity-related diseases. We are not able 122 Malnick et al., “Low Fat Foods.”

Spring 2017

47


The Heinz Journal to accurately predict whether our tax is completely internalizing the negative externality. The proposed rates are based on modest increases from similar proposals, but the methodology behind how those rates were determined is unknown. We implement such a high tax because added sugar, similar to cigarettes, offers very few health benefits for consumers. Thus, we argue that the tax will need to be considerably high for people to internalize the negative externality of obesity and obesity-related diseases from the consumption of added sugar. Acknowledgements A special thanks to Dr. John L. Mikesell, Chancellorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Professor at Indiana University, for his comprehensive standards and guidelines for tax policy, and Dr. Kerry Krutilla, Associate Professor at Indiana University, for his cost-benefit analysis expertise and editing suggestions.

48

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

Spring 2017


Education in Tunisia and Morocco

Education in Tunisia and Morocco: A Comparative Study Challenges and Successes of Previous and Current Reforms Mariem Fekih Zguir, Faculty Advisor: Silvia Borzutsky Introduction: Following the industrial revolution, the world witnessed an influx of innovation and inventions that reshaped the global economy and greatly diminished the barriers between nations and continents.1 Due to this phenomenon, many governments, primarily in Europe and the United States, came to recognize the role of human capital investment in moving forward the wheel of productivity in their respective nations, and attempted to institutionalize scientific knowledge and labor skills. To obtain these objectives, they established public school systems that enabled the transmission of national values, skill sets, and scientific secular knowledge to the public all through formal education. Subsequently, and given the success of these systems in the Western World, access to formal education became an appealing development goal for many developing nations, especially the ones in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Even though each country created its education system after being inspired by a western model, these systems tended to differ greatly from a country to another due to the influence of other unique factors: cultural, historical, economical, and social. This difference makes a regional qualitative comparison between those courtiers almost impossible given that each country had a distinct system of its own.2 Additionally, because of such diversity, and following the quasi-unsuccessful initial implementation of the education systems, each country in MENA had to develop its own plan for an educational reform suitable to its own context. Nevertheless, there exist many shared issues, which all MENA countries are grappling with to introduce radical reforms to their education systems. These issues include, but are not limited to: gender gap, regional and social inequalities in schooling, high illiteracy rates, weak relationships between the sectors of education and economy, poor community involvement, and the limited and often obstructing role of the private sector.3 In the case of Morocco and Tunisia, two countries in Northern Africa, such comparison may be plausible since they both share several cultural and historical commonalities. One area of intersection between these two countries is the presence of similar education systems that existed before the French Colonization and that were reformed in almost the same manner after the end of this colonization. 1 Education. (2016). In Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/topic/education/Global-trends-in-education 2 Akkari, A. (2004). Education in the Middle East and North Africa: The Current Situation and Future Challenges. International Education Journal, Vol 5(No 2), 144-153. Retrieved January 25, 2016. 3 Ibid.,

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

Spring 2017

49


The Heinz Journal In the era that preceded the French colonization, both countries relied mainly on kuttabs (mosque schools) and madrasas as the legitimate institutions that provided Islamic education to local people.4 After their independence in 1956, both countries attempted to lay the foundations for more rigorous and formal education system controlled by the state and inspired mostly by French secular education.5

schools are conducers or inhibitors of creativity, consciousness, and critical thinking among students. This discussion will cover important issues such as the use of outdated pedagogical methods coupled with many children's drop out from schools from an early age, the limited benefits of academic investment and universal access on societies, and the low professional and pedagogical teaching training standards.

Unlike the case of Algeria, the neighboring country, both Tunisia and Morocco had a weaker French colonial legacy, which lasted less than a century. However, this did not halt them from adopting a comprehensive French system that was mostly secular and grounded in a modern scientific system, where the French language was used as the primary language for sciences at the secondary level.6 Even though both states attempted to maintain this strong and initially successful system by introducing several educational reforms and policies, in the past few years several issues such as studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; weak performance, universitiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; international low ranking, and high unemployment rates among graduates in both countries, have raised the alarm about the need to introduce more effective policies in these public systems.

Evolution of Formal Education in Tunisia

This paper aims to outline and analyze the education system both in Tunisia and Morocco before and after the colonization era. The paper will compare these systems based on different premises: accessibility rates, gender gap, economic development, and regional and social inequality. The paper will also attempt to tackle another fundamental topic: the end and purpose of education as envisioned by policy makers in these two countries. The analysis aims to examine whether public 4 Lulat, Y. G. (2005). A history of African higher education from antiquity to the present: A critical synthesis. Westport, CT: Praeger. (p. 167-170). Retrieved January 25, 2016, from https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=L2iQVUhGSoQC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=history of education in Tunisia&ots=4qOTJdpfJ5&sig=7sG6VjP7SNx8AtXjC34O5uQyack#v=onepage&q&f=false. 5 Akkari, "Education in the Middle East and North Africa". 6 Lulat, "A history of African higher education".

50

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

Historical Overview Progress toward formal and modern education in Tunisia is comparable to the progress of other education systems elsewhere in the Arab world. Initially, schooling in Tunisia was a religious act under the Ottoman Empire. After the collapse of the last Islamic State, and after the resuscitation of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own independence from France, schooling in new Tunisia became secular, modern and governed by the state. This section will address the progression of formal education in Tunisia by looking at three different eras: education pre-colonization, changes introduced by the French colonization, and the situation of education after independence. Prior to colonization, schools were informal and mostly based on the teaching knowledge of Quran. Parents used to send their kids to a teacher who would be a local Imam, and he would teach them how to read, write, and recite the Quran. The language that dominated this type of teaching was Arabic. In Tunisia, prior to the French colonization in 1881, most parents in both rural and urban areas enrolled their children in the Kuttabs at an early age. Later a portion of these enrollees, mostly males in urban areas, continued their higher education in Madrasas.7 The vital role of the Kuttabs was to teach young children how to read and write in Arabic, and the first step to accomplish that was by 7 Lulat, "A history of African higher education".

Spring 2017


Education in Tunisia and Morocco memorizing the Quran and poetry in Arabic. Similarly, the focus of Madrasas revolved around religious studies and jurisprudence or what is known in Arabic as Fiqh, where advanced classes allowed students to delve into the interpretation and understanding of various Islamic texts, prophetic hadith, and sacred scripts.8 While in most cases the kuttabs and madrasas were located next to a local mosque or were an extension of that mosque, the state did impose either minimal or no authority at all on these institutions. Furthermore, these informal schools were funded mostly by charitable endowments that were associated with waqf (inalienable religious endowment) or Zakat (almsgiving), which were provided by any regular individuals or entity.9

give the country the possibility of absorbing new technologies and modern sciences that would be compatible with the 19th century.11 Independence, Nationalism, and Education Reform During the 1950s and the 1960s a major attention was extended to reforming and expanding education in developing countries, including the Arab world.12 This shift was materialized through the allocation of substantial investments in education, the democratization of access, and school enrollments. However, even then, it appears that the results of these reforms did not yield their anticipated goals.13

Perhaps the most prestigious Madrasa in Tunisia was al-Zaitouna School. One of the oldest teaching establishments in the Muslim world, this school was founded in 737 as the teaching department of al-Zaitouna Mosque in the capital Tunis. The school was the center of education in Tunisia and offered a variety of classes from theology to algebra and astronomy. The establishment underwent different attempts of reform that sought to modernize the classes and subjects taught especially during the era that preceded the colonization. However, the presence of ulamas (Muslim scholars) and imams (leaders of mosques) who opposed any process of modernization challenged and stalled such reforms.

Following the Tunisian independence, Habib Bourguiba, the new secular leader who headed the modern republic of Tunisia from 1957 to 1987, began modernizing and implementing a formal school system across the country. The vision that Bourguiba had was to launch a school system that would share the same standards and rigor of the French system. Modern sciences and other modern subjects such as management, business, and technology were introduced into the new curricula, and the French language along with Arabic were defined as the two primary languages in schools. The state became the direct monitor of the primary, secondary and higher education. Similarly, education became free and accessible to all individuals. Adding to that, education has become During colonization, French authorities tried to as- compulsory until grade six. similate the al-Zaitouna madrasa to the modern education system, but this wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t achieved until After two years of its independence from the independence in 1956. French intrusion was not French, the Tunisian government made efforts to limited to al-Zaitouna School only; rather, Tuni- launch an educational system that would be resia was mandated to change its education sys- sponsive to the comprehensive national economic tem to conform to the colonial system imposed and social development plans.14 One of Bourguiby France.10 In Tunisia, the polytechnic school of baâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s initial visions, which were later embedded in Bardo was created in 1830 as a local version of the French Ă&#x2030;cole Polytechnique and it aimed to 11 Ibid., 8 Akkari, "Education in the Middle East and North Africa". 9 Lulat, "A history of African higher education". 10 Akkari, "Education in the Middle East and North Africa".

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

12 Allman, J. (1979). Social mobility, education and development in Tunisia (Vol. 28). Page 7. Leiden: Brill. 13 Ibid., 8. 14 Ibid.

Spring 2017

51


The Heinz Journal the reformed and modernized school system, involved the creation of a national identity and the unification of the people around the new government. As he envisioned, the role of schools was to develop respect for the new government and to praise the predominant role of Bourguiba as the father of the new nation.15 Being inspired by the wave of Arab Nationalism spreading across multiple parts of the Arab world, Bourguiba attempted to instill these ideals in the public-school sphere. Like Egypt’s Nasser, Bourguiba tried to Arabize the school system and classes, which were taught in French during the colonization era. The change started by making Arabic as the medium of instruction in the elementary level. At the secondary level, classes in sciences and math were conducted in French. At the tertiary level, humanities and social sciences classes such as philosophy and art were taught in Arabic.16 Since Arabic is a classic language that is not spoken by most Tunisians at home, children entering schools were faced with the dualism of the Arabic language. The difference between the colloquial and classical Arabic became deeper in subsequent years and presented a problem in the developmental process of the learners.17 The adaptation of Arabic as the official language of the state and of the educational system Tunisia presented another dilemma. This initiative was based on multiple research studies stating that “the use of foreign language (in this case French) for instruction leads to alienation of one’s own language, culture, values and society, which makes students suffer from low self-image and unsatisfactory performance compounded by low expectation of learning capacity on the part of the students, parents, teachers and administrators.”18 While the initiative received initial positive acceptance from the nation, at a later stage the pro15 Ibid., 60. 16 Massialas, B. G., & Jarrar, S. A. (1991). Arab education in transition: A source book (Vol. 14). Page 94. New York: Garland Pub. 17 Ibid. 18 Ibid., 100.

52

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

ponents of the use of foreign language in higher education claimed that Arabization would lead to closing the student’s mind and would isolate them from modern trends and innovations. Thus, the teaching of scientific subjects was kept in French.19 Similarly, qualification levels among teachers and teaching quality in Arabic were insufficient. This poor quality of teaching could be explained mostly by the un-readiness of teachers to shift to Arabic after they have been used to teaching in French. With the rapid growth in enrollment among students after the democratization of education and school system, teachers as well as the new ministry of education became overwhelmed. Besides, the objectives of teaching Arabic were not very clear, the syllabi were limited, and teachers were not properly trained. Subsequently, this lack of preparation from the side of teachers and ministry of education had affected the performance of students mainly in their command of Arabic.20 Based on a study conducted in Tunisia, it was clear that when Arabic textbooks in Tunisia for the elementary grades were analyzed to determine the linguistic acquisition for children in the Arabic language in the early 1970s, textbooks were found to be providing students with very poor quality of Arabic language.21 Education, Early Reforms, and Authoritarianism, Tunisia and the Arab world Like other emerging Arab states, Tunisia embarked on the mission of nation-building following independence. This mission included “the elimination of all forms of colonialism, the assertion of socio-economic and political independence in the world system, the search for Arab unity, and the industrialization and the construction of strong security forces.”22 The discovery of oil in the GCC countries created 19 Ibid., 106. 20 Ibid. 21 Ibid., 102. 22 Ibid., 5.

Spring 2017


Education in Tunisia and Morocco a sharp gap between the newly rich countries and the poorer ones like Tunisia. This has led to a dramatic increase in inter-Arab migration of human power from the less rich countries to the richer ones. Consequently, this phenomenon of brain drain had altered developmental plans for some countries like Tunisia, which chose to liberalize its economy instead and opened it for trade mainly with the Western World.23 On the political level, and although Arab populations were longing for more liberalization, autonomy, and sense of belonging to their newly independent societies, the dominant political structure in the Arab world was mostly characterized by authoritarianism and oppression. Unsurprisingly, this was reflected in the education system. Like other governmental institutions, schools reinforced and perpetuated authoritarian values, especially the glorification of the leaders amongst students, halting possibilities for innovation and shrinking paradigm of critical thinking in the newly emerging nations.24 Additionally, education reforms that were employed in almost all the countries in MENA, including Tunisia, did not consider the nature and differences between rural and urban areas. In Tunisia, schools in the remotest areas where the prevalent occupations and industries are based on farming and agriculture had to follow the curriculum and syllabus issued by the central government and the ministry of education. They were also obliged to use textbooks published by an agency of the ministry of education. This enforcement widened the gap of school attendance and completion rates in rural areas versus urban ones given that educational programs were mostly suitable to and usually designed for the urban areas.25 Subsequently, even when students from rural regions completed secondary school, unemployment remained a problem that affected primarily the rural citizens who had to move to urban areas for work. 23 Ibid., 4. 24 Ibid., 5. 25 Ibid., 14.

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

Under colonial rule, the Tunisian education system was modeled after the French educational system and replicated the 5-4-3 school organizational pattern. The structure and organization of schools used to be characterized by rigidity especially that scientific subjects were difficult to pass. The system was then altered to a 6-4-3 plan, leading to the baccalaureate.26 Much like the French system, there was an absence of elective courses in the school curriculum and the emphasis was put largely on scientific subjects such math, science, physics and chemistry. Languages, religion studies, and social sciences also had a dominant place in the curriculum, but to a lesser extent.27 The rigidity of this system, wherein students had to pass examinations at the national level in order to qualify for entry into the next cycle of schooling, obstructed the advancement of schooling opportunities for all; students who did not pass these exams could run into the risk of withdrawing from school permanently and prematurely.28 Students who were not doing well in schools could elect to enroll in vocational school rather than dropping out entirely. Vocational education is normally taught in parallel schools and follows a non-academic syllabus based on apprenticeship training. However, the state did not make a significant investment in vocational schools the same way it did for regular public schools. As a result, vocational education was either excluded from the offerings of mainstream school or, when offered, received relatively little instructional time and attention.29 Additionally, unfavorable public perception of this type of schooling discouraged unsuccessful students from proceeding vocational training, hence putting an end to their academic path. Instead of enrolling in schools, those who dropped out prematurely either chose to look for jobs, open their own businesses, or ultimately migrate either legally or illegally to other developed countries mostly in Western Europe. 26 Ibid., 17. 27 Ibid., 23. 28 Ibid., 32. 29 Ibid., 32.

Spring 2017

53


The Heinz Journal Education in Tunisia and Gender Equality

ing textile and tourism industries created more demand for female employment. This in turn created To set a model for gender equity and equality in more opportunities to provide proper vocational the modern nation, the Tunisian government in- and technical training for women. troduced a variety of policies to promote gender equality in education and employment. In By 2010, Tunisia was a pioneer Arab country that fact, “Tunisia is among the countries in the Arab succeeded in reducing the gender gap in school world that created the social basis for the libera- enrollment and completion, far more successfully tion and emancipation of women since the early than its counterparts in South Asia or sub-Saharan part of the 20th century.”30 In the early wakes of Africa. Evidently, it achieved gender equity in literindependence in 1956, this country has achieved acy, with a literacy rate of 70 percent.35 great advances in gender inequality by adopting a pioneering set of policies, which are considered Education and Social Mobility in Tunisia among the most progressive policies in the Arab world. The first round of gender reforms was in- Unemployment Patterns troduced in the 1960s through the Tunisian Code of Personal Status (CPS), which aimed to modern- Unemployment is a plague that has been affectize the country in different areas including wom- ing the Tunisian society even before its indepenen status and gender equality. The CPS addressed dence. In the 1950s, unemployment was estimatpolygamy, minimum age of marriage for girls, di- ed to be around thirty percent.36 Prior to Tunisian vorce and custody, wage equality, and free educa- independence in 1956, several projects, designed tion for both boys and girls.31 The second wave of and planned with the help of the French, were gender reforms followed the flourishing of several launched to reduce unemployment. Among these women activists and organizations in the 1990s.32 attempts was the creation of what was known as The new reforms called for protection against do- “Les chantiers de lutte contre le sousdeveloppemestic violence, and for more safety-net policies ment”, which are like the Civil Conservative Corps to support low-income women.33 that were launched in the U.S. These projects aimed primarily at reducing unemployment rates among However, despite these efforts, girls’ education and rural workers. Per some statistics, these initiatives occupational aspirations remained limited, most- helped employ around 180,000 workers in 1960.37 ly in the inner and southern areas of the country. This limitation was primarily due to cultural factors In addition to these projects, many cooperative and beliefs that were widespread in these rather farms tried to tackle the underemployment issue conservative areas, which tended to value boys’ by hiring and recruiting three or more times the education over girls’. Typically, more educated number of workers they needed. However, such fathers were prone to ensuring the education of attempts had counterproductive impacts on untheir daughters.34 Subsequently, the country’s new employment thereby leading many co-ops into economic conditions engendered a push toward bankruptcy by the end of the 1960s.38 Data shows female employment outside the family. The grow- that by 1980, the labor force was segmented as follows: 67% unskilled workers, 8% skilled workers, 30 Ibid., 124. 31 Dahlerup, Drude, and Elin Danielsson. "Directorate General 15-16% office workers, 6% executives and profesfor Internal policies Women's Rights" European Parliament. October 2012. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/ note/join/2012/462502/IPOL-FEMM_NT(2012)462502_EN.pdf. 32 Ibid. 33 Ibid. 34 Massialas and Jarrar, "Arab education in transition", 94.

54

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

35 Akkari, "Education in the Middle East and North Africa". 36 Allman, " Social mobility, education and development in Tunisia",54.. 37 Ibid. 38 Ibid.

Spring 2017


Education in Tunisia and Morocco sionals, and 1% high-level administrators.39 Un- rigor, and directed a focus on national exams and employment by the end of the 1980s was around tests. However, this educational system consistent12%.40 ly produced more educated youth unable to secure jobs that meet their expectations and career What’s more, the concentration of wealth in the aspirations. Thus, many of them ended up being hands of the minority coupled with the inability of unemployed. In addition, the grade inflation policy recent graduates to find decent jobs led to an exo- introduced by Ben Ali’s regime in 1990 served to dus from Tunisia. Many chose to leave the country increase the number of university graduates, but and emigrated to Western European countries in its consequences were disastrous in terms of helpsearch of decent jobs. By the end of 1973, it was ing them secure jobs post-graduation.43 estimated that about 160,000 male Tunisians were working abroad, accompanied by 60,000 women Despite reforms under the Ben Ali government and children.41 Most of them resided in Libya, and to reduce unemployment, unemployment rate western European countries such as France and It- remained high, and the number of unemployed aly. graduate youth kept mounting. A glaring reason for the failure to eliminate unemployment is the Toward the end of Bourguiba’s administration, spread of corruption and nepotism within the govnewly independent Tunisia faced economic hard- ernment, the nation’s elite, and business owners. ship due to excessive debt that forced the gov- Youth unemployment was the main factor that led ernment to double the prices of important food to the eruption of the 2011 revolution in Tunisia. and commodities including staples like bread. This decision was met with several protests, making Education and Social Mobility transition of power a looming obligation. Due in part to the deteriorating health of the old leader Since independence, Tunisian leaders have beat that time, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was appointed lieved that education is a preeminent instrument prime minister. Later, on November 7th 1987, Ben to fight poverty, and to promote development and Ali became the president, and thus the new leader social change.44 Bourguiba made improvement of of the country.42 The new president reassured the the educational system a national priority. In adTunisian people that he would work to enhance dition to modernizing it, he made it compulsory economic conditions, abolish the ‘presidency for for parents in rural and urban areas to send their life’ concept, bring about more liberations and children to school, and granted them free educafreedom of press, and allow more political activ- tion. Even universities were mostly public and free. ism especially from the opposition. These promis- But a major systematic flaw involved how students es did not last for long, however, and the country were matched with programs of study at the tersunk again into a new era of repression and au- tiary level. Students’ final grades in high school thoritarianism. were the unique determinant of university acceptance. More broadly, medical and engineering deThe Ministry of Education under Ben Ali tried to partments received the supposedly ‘brightest stuprotect the legacy and reforms introduced by dents,’ measured by the highest grades, while the Bourguiba. It maintained the same educational arts and letters faculties welcomed those who did 39 Ibid., 55. 40 Ibid. 41 Ibid., 57. 42 Longtime Tunisian Leader Deposed by Prime Minister. (1987). Retrieved April 29, 2016, from http://articles.latimes. com/1987-11-07/news/mn-4869_1_ben-ali-prime-minister.

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

43 Younes, N. (2015, November 23). TUNISIA’S EDUCATION SYSTEM STILL STRUGGLING WITH BEN ALI ERA CHANGES - See more at: Http://www.tunisia-live.net/2015/11/23/education-draft/#sthash.3IMuykb7.dpuf. Retrieved April 29, 2016, from http://www.tunisia-live.net/2015/11/23/education-draft/. 44 Allman, " Social mobility, education and development in Tunisia", 59.

Spring 2017

55


The Heinz Journal less well in the final exams. Education was designed to directly align graduates with the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strategies for socio-economic development. This means that with the credentials graduates acquired, they were meant to contribute to shaping economic development in the country. However, this was usually confronted with a stagnant economy plagued by regional inequality between urban and rural areas. Compared to older generations, however, younger students benefited from the opportunities that the educational reforms opened to them. Underprivileged and poor students whose parents had limited opportunities due to lack of education suddenly had more social mobility available to them. Education and high literacy in the country allowed qualified graduates, regardless of their background, to occupy decent positions. This was mostly noticeable following the colonial era, when high-level positions became vacant after the return of European workers to their countries of origin.45 Even though it seems clear that education was playing an increasingly important role in determining upward mobility in the society, structural features of the economy limited mobility opportunities. Evidently, it is much easier for Tunisia to expand its educational system and to increase enrollment than to stimulate economic development.46 Corruption and nepotism have always represented a great hurdle to economic and social mobility, and only those close to the elite, regardless of educational attainment, had the opportunity to be employed in high positions. Thus, the majority of highly educated Tunisians were unable to secure jobs that matched their skill sets.

mary school alone.47 It is important to note that a primary school diploma earned before the educational reform in 1958 was equivalent to a high school diploma in 1980. Under Ben Ali, the level of education among students worsened. It is alleged that the reforms that were introduced under his regime led to an increase in the number of low skilled and incompetent graduates, since it involved major grade inflation. This in turn led to increased unemployment among university graduates. In 2010, Tunisia ranked 32nd on the Global Competitiveness Report evaluation of educational systems among 144 countries. In 2014, this rank fell to 87th.48 Investing in Education and Attendance Rate The education sector has always been a priority for the Tunisian government since independence. Due to high investment in education post-colonization, there has been a sharp increase in literacy rates, and enormous positive social outcomes in Tunisian society. The infant mortality rate was halved, and life expectancy increased by more than twenty years by 1998 per the Institut National d'Etudes Statistiques (The National Institute for Statistical Studies).49 Tunisia had records for best school attendance in the Arab world by the time of its independence from France. However, due to mismanagement in the sector of education as well as increase in population, dropout rates increased in recent years. In Tunisia, about a third of those who entered first grade dropped out before completing the seven-year basic cycle in the early 1990s.50 With the decrease in spending and change in focus from quality to quantity, dropout rates soared, and education began to face more challenges. Additionally, educational research is particularly limited in the region and remains non-integrated within international research networks. This makes

In the 21st century under Ben Ali, and unlike in the era of Bourguiba, it was no longer consid- 47 Ibid., 153. ered a major accomplishment to complete pri- 48 Younes, N. (2015, November 23). Tunisiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s education system 45 Ibid. 46 Allman, " Social mobility, education and development in Tunisia", 151.

56

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

still struggling with Ben Ali era changes. Retrieved from http:// www.tunisia-live.net/2015/11/23/education-draft/. 49 Akkari, "Education in the Middle East and North Africa". 50 Massialas and Jarrar, "Arab education in transition", 94.

Spring 2017


Education in Tunisia and Morocco most educational reforms limited and ineffective.

the country with two of these incidents being severe. Accordingly, protests and strikes by the TuOther issues inflicting the education system in Tu- nisian teachers’ union mostly demand protection nisia are the perception of students and teachers from escalated violence towards teachers, as well about education and the role of the latter in shap- as a request for increase in remuneration. ing the minds and consciousness of the former. Because of poor teaching, training, and profes- Education spending is another concern. Spending sional development, student-teacher relationships was 6% of the gross national product (GNP) in 1990. in public schools are based on coercion and sub- This corresponds with shares of total educational mission rather than collaboration and discussion. expenditure of 13.5 % in the same year.54 HowAs Paulo Freire, a renowned thinker and educator, ever, the rate of educational investment from the puts it: “education should serve primarily in ex- government budget decreased dramatically from panding critical thinking and unleashing creativity 6% to less than 5.5% between 2000 and 2004. In and innovation for the student and the educator the subsequent years, even though the spending as well”.51 He substantiated this view by stress- increased again progressively, resources were still ing the role of the teacher-student relationship in mismanaged and improperly allocated.55 Despite setting a successful first milestone for education a very liberal economic policy supported by the to serve that main goal. As he mentioned, “the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, teacher is no longer merely the-one-who-teach- private provision and financing of formal educaes, but one who is himself taught in dialogue with tion remained very limited under Ben Ali. Besides, the students, who in turn, while being taught, also the private sector represents only 0.6 per cent of teaches. They become jointly responsible for a enrollment in primary education and 10 percent process in which all grow.”52 In Tunisia, this is not for secondary education, where it is considered a the case. Teachers are given the authority to grade stopgap system for dropout students. The private and educate the students in a systematic way ac- sector share is about 3% of enrolment in higher cording to the national standards and curriculum, education (Gharbi, 1998).56 Recently, more private neglecting the preference and the consciousness schools and universities started to propagate in of these learners. the country, making the effect of private education on students’ performance more questionable. Corporal punishment is another manifestation of this coercive relationship. Although this kind of Section Summary punishment was abolished in the country, many teachers are still following this unmonitored prac- Tunisia seems to be doing relatively well in terms tice. The effects of corporal punishments on stu- of education spending and enabling access to its dents are quite devastating and traumatizing, as public education system. Additionally, gender inthey lead students without parental support to equality does not seem to be problematic for a quit school at an early stage. In response to corpo- country that emphasizes women’s rights and ral punishment, violence towards teachers became emancipation. The Tunisian educational system more and more noticeable.53 In 2015, more than has the reputation of being a rigorous and mod200 attacks against teachers were recorded across ern one. Formal education thrived especially under 51 Freire P. "Chapter 2." Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Bloomsbury Academic. Kindle. April, 2016. 52 Ibid., Loc 1122. 53 Corporal punishment of children in Tunisia. (2015). Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, 1-5. Retrieved from http://www.endcorporalpunishment.org/assets/ pdfs/states-reports/Tunisia.pdf

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

54 Akkari, A. (2008). Education in the Maghreb: From the Construction to the Consolidation of Educational Systems. Analytical Reports in International Education ARIE, 2(1), 89-106. Retrieved January 25, 2016. 55 Massialas and Jarrar, "Arab education in transition", 24. 56 Akkari, "Education in the Middle East and North Africa".

Spring 2017

57


The Heinz Journal the presidency of Bourguiba, who helped modern- during the subsequent centuries after the arrival ize the education system through several radical of Islam.57 reforms. Following the Muslim conquest in North Africa, However, in recent years, this system started to Morocco served as an educational hub, teaching deteriorate, and many students had to endure the and educating many local and non-local students consequences of such decline. Recently, Tunisian who came all the way from the rest of the Arab schools and universities have become either un- World to learn and seek knowledge. Morocco is able to produce highly competitive and skilled the country where the first degree-awarding eduindividuals, or stimulate the economy by fitting cational institution in the world, Al-Qarawyiin, was these graduates into positions that are compati- founded.58 This institution was founded in 859 C.E. ble with their educational attainment. Many recent by a young, well-educated princess named Fatigraduates are misplaced in the public and private ma Al-Fihri. It served first as a mosque with the sectors either by being rejected or by taking part mission of teaching Islamic sciences, then evolved in inefficient job positions in the country. This fate into a place for religious instruction and political has pushed a large portion of the educated youth discussion.59 This center gradually extended its to leave the country either legally or illegally. education to all subjects, particularly the natural sciences as well as courses on grammar, rhetoric, The negative and coercive teacher-student rela- logic, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, chemtionship contributes to dropout rates. Even though istry, history, geography and music.60 Following it was abolished in Tunisia in 2002 following a pol- the Spanish and French colonization, the country icy issued by the Ministry of Education, corporal also embarked on modernizing and institutionalpunishment continues, especially in the inner and izing its education and schools. Unlike the case of southern regions of the country. Violence against Tunisia, foreign languages, especially French, did teachers is also on the rise, and is leading to fur- not flourish the same way. French was considther destabilization of the teacher-student rela- ered the language of the elites and Europeans in tionship. The teachersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; union has protested the the country, so its teaching was limited in primamistreatments of its members. However, instead ry and secondary school to be a language class. of enhancing the relationship between teachers Moroccan universities still rely mostly on French, and students, these actions have further worsened especially those offering scientific degrees, which the position of teachers due to the absence of ef- creates several loopholes and miscommunication fective policies of redress. between universities and public schools. Evolution of Formal Education in Morocco Historical Overview Education and literacy were first disseminated in the country with the spread of Islam in North Africa. Like the case of Tunisia, mosques played a central role in spreading this new religion as well as teaching locals Scripts and texts in Arabic. Even though Morocco was not part of the Ottoman Empire, the state and the population preserved Arabic as the primary official language of the country

58

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

Given the dual ethnicities of the Moroccan population, Morocco has two dialects that are spoken: Moroccan dialect spoken by Moroccan Arabs, and Berber dialect (or Tamazight) spoken by Moroccan 57 Alalou, A. (2006). Language and Ideology in the Maghreb: Francophonie and Other Languages. American Association of Teachers of French. 80(2): 408-421. 58 UNESCO. Medina of Fez. Retrieved April 03, 2016, from http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/170. 59 Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque and University. (n.d.). Retrieved May 1, 2016, from http://www.muslimheritage.com/article/al-qarawiyyin-mosque-and-university. 60 Ibid.

Spring 2017


Education in Tunisia and Morocco Berbers.61 With the Arabization project of the education system, Morocco had to face tougher problems in terms of Arabic proficiency and education quality more than those in Tunisia because of the heterogeneity of its population. Pre-independence Era The French language and education system were first introduced to Morocco through the opening of several French-Moroccan schools across the country during the protectorate era. The first school opened in Tangiers in 1898. This school served as a model for others, which opened in Tetouan, Larache and other cities.62 In 1912, General Marechal Lyautey created the modern public school system in Morocco where French was used as the language of modern sciences and the primary language in schools.63 Arabic was also used as a medium of instruction but was not as popular as French in the modern public schools. Its use was limited to the Koranic schools where students learned Arabic language and Islamic theology. The new public school system, in addition to its role in alleviating illiteracy in different parts of Morocco, witnessed some controversy. According to different Moroccan academics, since different schools served specific ethnicities in the society; such as Berbers, Jews, and the children of elites, this system divided Moroccans into different sects and groups. It mostly served the interest of the Europeans and Moroccan elites who lived in the cities.64 Furthermore, favoring French language was viewed as a method to create unhealthy learning environments that led to the disruption of the transmission of knowledge and perpetuated illiteracy.65

roccan intellects welcomed the attempts to reform and Arabize the educational system. These intellects perceived it as a symbol to reject oppression and restore the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own identity and glorious Islamic and Arabic legacy. They also believed that multilingualism in the country was a threat to its own development.66 Nevertheless, with poor implementation of the new vision and project of Arabization, the quality of the educational system did not get any better after the independence of the country; it continues to face many of these challenges in the twenty-first century. Independence, Arabization, and Education Reform Morocco underwent a course of history similar to Tunisia by being exposed first to the Arab-Islamic culture, then to the European one by being a French and Spanish protectorate. Modern educational systems, including higher education, were first introduced to the country through the opening of several French schools in the country wherein the teaching of French language and sciences was dominant. After independence and throughout their quest for a Moroccan cultural heritage and identity, Moroccan rulers attempted to restore Arabic as the official language.

As part of the reform process, Moroccan rulers targeted primary and secondary education and assigned Arabic as the language of sciences, philosophy and art. French was limited to being a language class, but French remained widely used in other sectors primarily in media and banking systems. While many praise these reforms as essential moves in preserving the cultural identity of the Toward the end of the protectorate era, many Mo- country, opponents believe that such exclusion 61 A. E. (1993). A changing literacy â&#x20AC;¨in Morocco: A contextual could limit outside exposure and communication. and pedagogical overview. International Reader Associator, Wiley, 142-145. 62 Alalou, "Language and Ideology in the Maghreb". 63 Ibid. 64 Ibid. 65 Ibid.

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

As a former French and Spanish protectorate, access to Moroccanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s schools was limited to the elites of the country and to the French and Span66 Ibid.

Spring 2017

59


The Heinz Journal ish. Additionally, French language was used as the administrative language in the country and was also considered the language of science.67 Following Morocco's independence, the new rulers embarked on nationalizing the country by focusing on Arabizing the public-school system. Leadership “introduced a policy dictating that for all the courses previously taught in French Arabic language would be used instead. The first attempt at Arabization dates to 1957 by the first Prime Minister, Mohamed El Fassi.68 This model was met with limited success and was soon followed by another reform.69 The new reform objectives set forth by El Fassi’s successor, Abdelkrim Benjelloun, were to unify the traditional and the modern system, to Arabize all of the subjects, to expand literacy, and to train nationals to replace foreign teachers. 70 The direct consequence of replacing French with Arabic was that French became less used than it was in the earlier years during the French and Spanish colonization. However, given its wide use in media and banking, as well as by many members of the society, the language is still playing a role as a vital instrument for the country's openness towards the West.71 This round of reforms did not ease the challenges facing the education system, and the system remained unable to mitigate barriers to education access, gender gaps in school enrollment, and education quality. These plans also failed to work either due to a lack of thorough planning by policy makers or because they were ideologically driven under populist slogans such as Nationalism and Arabism.72 Regional Inequality and Illiteracy With a larger geography and population than Tu67 Ibid. 68 Ibid. 69 Ibid. 70 Ibid. 71 Ibid. 72 Ibid.

60

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

nisia, Morocco faces more challenges in literacy rates and gender disparity. Despite the various efforts made toward universal access to education, the country has not succeeded in lowering illiteracy rates. Morocco has a higher illiteracy rate than Tunisia and Algeria73 and experiences a high level of regional inequalities in education. Cities further from the coast tend to have weaker educational indicators.74 Similar to countries like Yemen and Egypt, Morocco also struggled to achieve universal public education mainly due to a demographic explosion and a large rural population.75 About 13.4 million Moroccans live in geographically isolated areas such as the mountain regions, where access to schools become significantly harder.76 In addition to this geographical isolation, many eligible students remain unable to enroll in schools because of constant cancellations in school buildings and in different educational projects due to these conditions. “In Morocco, the construction of 511 classrooms every month in the 1980's would have made it possible to meet the needs, but for the years 1980 to 85, despite rising expenditure, only 271 classrooms were completed.”77 Intensive efforts by successive governments improved literacy rates dramatically from 1960 to 1995.78 Since the early 1960s, total primary school enrollments have increased from about 1 million children to about 2.1 million in the mid-1980s.79 However, literacy increases more rapidly in urban areas than in rural ones, for countries with very significant rural populations such as Morocco, adult 73 Ibid. 74 Akkari, "Education in the Maghreb". 75 Ibid. 76 "Rural Population (% Of Total Population) In Morocco." Trading Economics. Accessed October 23, 2016. http://www. tradingeconomics.com/morocco/rural-population-percent-of-total-population-wb-data.html. 77 Akkari, "Education in the Maghreb". 78 Alalou, "Language and Ideology in the Maghreb". 79 J. E. (1992). Women and Literacy in Morocco. American Academy of Political and Social Science, 520, 121-132.

Spring 2017


Education in Tunisia and Morocco illiteracy rates were at or above 50%.80 Females in predominantly rural countries, such as Morocco, are at a distinct disadvantage since only one in ten rural women can read and write in Morocco according to World Bank statistics in 1999.81 Education in Morocco and Gender Gap Following its independence, Morocco has made clear progress in increasing literacy rates and attempts to shrink the literacy gap in rural areas. In the decades following independence, girls in urban areas had almost the same rate as boys in primary school enrollment, representing 46% of all urban primary enrollments in 1988.82 In rural areas, boys outnumber girls in school at a very high rate: boysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; enrollment rate is at 71%, while girlsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is at 29%.83 Even though educational attainment is also on the rise, the gap between men and women persists.84 According to World Bank estimates, in 1985 only 22% of the adult female population was reported to be literate contrasting to about 44% percent of males, which represents no reduction in the gender gap.85 The gap remains very high in rural and mountainous areas. In recent years, different local and international non-profit organizations for development and education dedicate more outreach to inner regions. However, many among them face enduring challenges given the poor infrastructure of certain rural regions. Education and Social Mobility in Morocco

ing education and the economy in Morocco can be synthesized into three areas: the low quality of the Moroccan universities, constant clashes between students and security forces, the lack of real impact on the economy by educated graduates, and increased unemployment.86 There is a discrepancy in Morocco between the skillsets taught to graduates at universities and those needed in the job market. While several Moroccan intellects and policymakers contend that universities in Morocco should focus primarily on job training for business and industry, others think that universities should exist to serve the aspirations of students, even if they choose fields with more limited employment prospects.87 While this debate is ongoing, the primary objective of education, which is to reduce poverty and increase employment, has not been attained in the country.88 Clashes between students and security forces represent another major issue. These clashes, conspicuously centered on dissatisfaction of government and political corruption, aim to tackle emerging issues in the education arena including privatization of education, transportation costs, and the banning of student union activity on campuses.89 In response, the government restricted campus demonstrations, and authorized police to enter university facilities, which augmented these clashes and never presented a radical solution to the existing tensions.

There is also dissatisfaction among students about Like other Arab and non-Arab countries in the the quality of universities. According to the GlobMiddle East, education in Morocco is viewed as a al Competitiveness Report, which measures 144 needed instrument that is supposed to bring pros- countries in different competitiveness areas, Moperity and development in the country. Many is- 86 Morocco still aiming to boost education quality and acsues are plaguing this system and obstructing it cess. (2015). Retrieved May 2, 2016, from http://monitor.icef. from servicing the economy. The main issues fac- com/2015/02/morocco-still-aiming-boost-education-quality-access/. 87 J.E. "Women and Literacy in Morocco". 88 Morocco still aiming to boost education quality and access. (2015). Retrieved May 2, 2016, from http://monitor.icef. com/2015/02/morocco-still-aiming-boost-education-quality-access/. 89 Ibid.

80 Ibid. 81 Ibid. 82 Ibid. 83 Ibid. 84 Ibid. 85 Ibid.

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

Spring 2017

61


The Heinz Journal rocco ranks 102nd for the quality of its education creation in the private sector. The inadequate supsystem, 104th for higher education and training, ply of skills by the education system is also a major and 105th for both tertiary education enrolment hindrance to youth accessing the labor market.”94 and technological readiness.90 Section Summary Moroccan unemployment has worsened due to low-skilled expatriates returning from economi- Education in Morocco appears to be confronting cally fragile Europe. With waves of African immi- more problems than Tunisia. What makes these grants escaping warzones in Western Africa who issues even more significant is the composition of flew to Morocco as refugees, employment rates the population itself: Morocco has a larger popudecreased dramatically. It is estimated that more lation living in rural areas than Tunisia. By the year than 400,000 graduates with tertiary or graduate 2010, the rural population percentage of the total degrees employ their knowledge and expertise population was around 43% in Morocco95 versus elsewhere, according to the Global Innovation In- 32.7% in Tunisia.96 dex. These issues, have further complicated the Moroccan government’s education reform plans.91 The first obstacle that challenged a complete and According to the International Monetary Fund fig- effective implementation of various reforms to ures, the percentage of youth (defined as ages 15 take place post-independence era is bilingualism. to 24) in total unemployment was about 19.3% in Many proved the important role of bilingualism 2003.92 not only in making the education system robust and inclusive, but also in being open to the rest Morocco’s government, which operates under of the world. Opponents to this initiative believed a complex power sharing agreement with King that Arabization was essential to restore the counMohammed VI, announced that one of its core try’s own identity and rejected anything that has a agendas is to tackle education problems. These relationship with the era of oppression and coloproblems include low adult literacy, high youth nization symbolized by the French language. Conunemployment, and a lack of skilled workers, in- sidering poor implementation of Arabization and cluding teachers.93 Despite announcing several lack of synergy between secondary and tertiary programs to address these issues, the government education and the job market, education quality is still unable to implement tangible changes. has deteriorated over the years. The increase of protests by students also sheds the light on the Abdeslam Seddiki, the minister of labor and social deep fracture between policy makers, the school affairs in Morocco, declared that “joblessness is a administration, and the learners; this compares structural problem with several factors driving it. in some ways to the typical student-teacher relaPopulation is rising beyond the economy's capac- tionship in Tunisia. Finally, the poor learning outity to create jobs. There is insufficient decent-job comes of the students are linked to the lack of highly skilled individuals who can contribute to the 90 Ibid. 91 Ibid. 92 Young, H. (2014, August 20). 'In Morocco youth unemployment is driving up inequality' Retrieved May 1, 2016, from http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2014/aug/20/youth-unemployment-interactive-abdeslam-seddiki-morocco. 93 Morocco still aiming to boost education quality and access. (2015). Retrieved May 2, 2016, from http://monitor.icef. com/2015/02/morocco-still-aiming-boost-education-quality-access/.

62

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

94 Young, 'In Morocco youth unemployment is driving up inequality'. 95 "Rural Population (% Of Total Population) In Morocco." Trading Economics. Accessed October 23, 2016. http://www. tradingeconomics.com/morocco/rural-population-percent-of-total-population-wb-data.html. 96 "Rural Population (% Of Total Population) In Tunisia." Trading Economics. Accessed October 23, 2016. http://www.tradingeconomics.com/tunisia/rural-population-percent-of-total-population-wb-data.html.

Spring 2017


Education in Tunisia and Morocco economy. Successful students seek to work else- than the Tunisian one; the Tunisia GDP is $47 bilwhere, which makes the employment situation in lion while the Morocco GDP is $107 billion. A comthe country even worse. parative analysis of the economic development in these countries shows that the Moroccan econoComparison between Tunisia and Morocco my has been performing relatively better than the Tunisian economy. In both cases, there is a potenThe previous two sections provided a detailed tial for education systems to enhance the econooutline on the transformation processes that tar- my in these countries even further. geted education in Tunisia and Morocco. The examined timeline spread from the dissemination of Recommendations literacy through Islam and Arabs to the foundation of modern schools and systems after the influence Based on the main findings in this paper, Tunisia of Europe, mainly France. In terms of competitive- and Morocco leaders and policymakers need to ness, Tunisia and Morocco have an average quali- reform the education systems in their respective ty educational system as per the World Economic countries based on a unified vision that serves stuforum Competiveness Report for the years 2014 dents, parents, teachers, administrators, and sociand 2015.97 ety at large. The following three recommendations could lead to various positive outcomes if impleWhen compared individually, there appear to be mented in a non-authoritarian manner:98 many overlaps between the two educational systems. These comparisons include controversy over 1) Restructure higher education by grouping elite bilingualism, especially in relation to Tunisian and universities together into hubs and promoting Moroccan dialects spoken as the mother tongues cross-disciplinary dialogue between universities of the respective populations, illiteracy in inner and high schools.99 To increase universitiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; visibiland rural regions, French-inspired programs being ity across the region and the continent, universipoorly implemented, inadequate teacher training, ties should collaborate and promote merged disand weak educational outcomes for students. ciplines and majors to produce more competitive individuals able to engage in constructive criticism. There are also many distinctions that are unique to each system. Gender gap is not a serious or urgent 2) Promote scientific research at the university levproblem in Tunisia as much as it is in Morocco. Tu- el. This is important to stimulate the economy and nisia, given its smaller area and population, could help youth create more options and employment attain higher literacy rates both in urban and rural positions in their societies through various discovareas of the country. Morocco, by contrast, is still eries and inventions. Additionally, policymakers struggling to expand school access and provide in- should seek to combine general education with frastructure to students who live in geographically vocational training by establishing a vocational isolated areas. Tunisia successfully implemented track in secondary school, and moving towards the bilingual system by keeping the science class- expanded vocational training.100 es in French, which is congruent with the language used in the universities. 3) Increase mastery of the Arabic language and The Moroccan economy is more vital and mobile 97 WEF_Global Competitiveness Report 2014-15. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GlobalCompetitivenessReport_2014-15.pdfhttp://www3.weforum.org/docs/ WEF_GlobalCompetitivenessReport_2014-15.pdf.

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

98 Morocco still aiming to boost education quality and access. (2015). Retrieved May 2, 2016, from http://monitor.icef. com/2015/02/morocco-still-aiming-boost-education-quality-access/. 99 Ibid. 100 Ibid.

Spring 2017

63


The Heinz Journal instill a working knowledge of foreign languages. Arabic is an important language and should remain the main language in primary and secondary education. However, bilingualism should be implemented at an early stage of the learning process so it helps the students grow both cognitively and intellectually. Another area of exploration is introducing English as an essential language for sciences related to technology. Given that English has become a Lengua Franca and given the need to increase exposure to more countries outside the European Union, both Morocco and Tunisia could benefit from extending educational relationships with the United States. This has become crucial given that many students are studying and living in the United States. Conclusion Education in the twenty-first century is becoming more important in building knowledge-based

societies and vitalizing economies. Despite this role, many countriesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; education systems are facing challenges, and poorly designed reforms limit their potential to positively affect student outcomes. The cases of Tunisia and Morocco show how these challenges impact modernization goals in general. Both countries need to introduce new policies in their educational systems to solve pertinent economic issues. Additionally, there should be more dialogue between higher education institutions and existing enterprises. This could be effectuated by involving more college students in vocational trainings and through internships with real-life clients. Finally, keeping Arabic as the first language in schools and switching the language used in sciences from French to English has become a necessity. These policy changes will allow the respective educational systems to be more responsive to urgent social and economic needs.

Policy. Research. Practice

64

journal.heinz.cmu.edu

Spring 2017

The Heinz Journal Volume 14, Issue 1  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you