Economic and social factors of New Jersey
Social and economic factors are elements of people’s lives, which are dependent on the people’s general environment. The environment may in this case be natural or artificial and includes moral values, cultural orientations, and political systems (Regional, 2011). Some of the elements of social and economic factors are poverty, infrastructure, security, social systems, and population distribution (Gwynedd, n.d).
One of the major social factors in New Jersey is its multiracial content of population. Though the population can be classified into three major races, there are a number of inter racial classes. White people form a majority of the population with almost seventy percent while blacks form about thirteen percent of the state’s population.
Other identified races include Indians, Asians, and natives. While children and youths, between six and eighteen years, are the majority age group, classification by gender indicates slight disparity with women as the majority.
Almost 35% of adults are well educated with university degrees while only nine percent of the state’s population lives in poverty (Census, 2012). “Education, unemployment, poverty, crime, and violence” are the major social and economic problems facing New Jersey (Njbic, n.d.). The state’s government should therefore formulate policies for improvements, especially among the black people (Njbic, n.d.).
Governmental structure of New Jersey
New Jersey, being a constituent state of the United States is subjected to three governing systems, the federal government, state government, and local government. The systems have rules that interact to ensure smooth governance (Lank and Sobeck, 2004).
The state government of New Jersey is composed of “the legislature, the executive, and the judicial” (Njleg, 2012, p. 1). While the legislature makes laws, the executive implements legislations, and policies with the judicial interpreting laws, arbitrating and enforcing punishments on lawbreakers (Njleg, 2012).
The local government of New Jersey is organized into “the county, the municipality, the school district, and the special district” which are all established under state laws of New Jersey (Lee, 2009, p. 99). The county government’s major functions include policy implementation and agency to the state government and its structure and responsibilities are outlined by the state’s legislations (Lee, 2009).
Municipal governments on the other hand provide direct utility services to the public. A variety of municipal government systems exists based on their jurisdictions and establishing legislations. Municipal government officials consist of both elected and appointed members. School district governments deal with provision of education services (Lee, 2009).
Transparency, accountability, participation and the rule of law
Transparency, accountability, participation, and adherence to the rule of law are core pillars to good governance. Participation in governance entails citizens’ involvement in democratic forums and processes. Accountability, on the other hand, refers to application of legally acceptable procedures in conducting official duties while the rule of law defines the use of public authority with regard to democratic and publicly recognized laws (Johnston, n.d).
The state of New Jersey has been recognized for good governance in the United States. It has enhanced citizens’ participation in governance through availing its records for scrutiny and response, a move that has promoted participation, accountability and transparency (State, 2011). Further, Ferguson identifies New Jersey as “one of the better run and most policy active states” (2006, p. 340). The state therefore has good governance. (Ferguson, 2006)
Census. (2012). State & county quickfacts. Retrieved from: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/34000.html.
Ferguson, M. (2006). The executive branch of state government: people, process, and politics. California, CA: ABC-CLIO
Gwynedd. (n.d). Social and economic factors which influence health. Retrieved from: http://www.gwynedd.gov.uk/upload/public/attachments/928/5_Social_and_economic.pdf.
Jonston, M. (n.d.). Good governance: rule of law, transparency, and accountability. Retrieved from: http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/un/unpan010193.pdf.
Lank, E. and Sobeck, J. (2004). Essentials of New Jersey Real Estate. Chicago, IL: Dearborn Real Estate
Lee, S. (2009). Tax competition among governments and the effects on government performance: Empirical evidence from local governments in New Jersey. Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest
Njbic. (n.d.). New Jersey black convention. Retrieved from: http://njbic.org/pdfs/njbic-2011-survey-summary.pdf.
Njleg. (2012). Our legislature. Retrieved from: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/legislativepub/our.asp.
Regional. (2011). How can you use social and economic factors in funding proposals? Retrieved from: http://www.regionalnrm.qld.gov.au/research_sips/social_economic/knowledge/understanding/funding_proposals.html.
State. (2011). YourMoney.NJ, Gov. Christie’s transparency centre, honored for innovation in open government. Retrieved from: http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/news/2011/p110822a.pdf.