Public services are founded on the ethical principles of the common good, and therefore they should focus on serving others and social equity. Ethics are guidelines that focus on improving societal well-being and resolving conflicts of interest. In the article on the state of social equity in American public administration, George H. Frederickson pointed to the irony of social equity and its progression in the last thirty years. Frederickson suggested that even though social equity is the core value of public administration, in the last year, American society has become less equal in all aspects of life (31). In his article, the author suggested that the social equity of public administration has three qualities. The qualities include the obligation to administer the laws, interpret obligations to promote social equity, and moral leadership.
On the other hand, Guy and McCandless found that social equity in the context of America is complicated by its unique characteristics and economic background. The authors suggested that the terms social equity and equality are differentiated, and therefore equity involves both social and administrative aspects (5). Lastly, Guy and McCandless approached social equity as a lens for public administration or navigation that administrations must utilize in their policies.
I agree with Frederickson’s point on social equity in America because I also noticed the irony or confrontation in the understanding of social equity in public administration. Even though democracy or people power is acknowledged as the core value of America, powerful and wealthy people make most of the decisions. I think that the moral leadership quality of social equity in public administration defined by Frederickson is missing in modern America. However, I also find valuable Guy and McCandless’s point on the influence of capitalism in creating barriers on the way to social equity.
Frederickson, George. “The State of Social Equity in American Public Administration.” National Civic Review, 2005, pp. 31-38.
Guy, Mary E. and Sean A. McCandless. “Social Equity: Its Legacy, Its Promise.” Public Administration Review, 2012, pp. 5-14.