New America Policy Papers: 2004

Papers and other formal publications from our policy programs are available below. To jump to another year in the archives, please use the links at right.

Tax Time -- The Right Time

  • By
  • Anne Stuhldreher,
  • New America Foundation
December 21, 2004

Last tax season the IRS sent refund checks averaging $2,057 to 100 million tax filers. These cash infusions are often the best chance people have to save some money in any given year. This is particularly true for lower income families. Over 20 million lower income families—one in six taxpayers—received an average $1,700 boost to their refund from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a refundable tax credit designed to reward work.

The Way We Work

  • By
  • Shelley Waters Boots,
  • New America Foundation
December 15, 2004

In recent years, researchers, the media, and policymakers have struggled to examine the shifting dynamics of work and family and to better understand the implications of these changes for American life. Most experts can agree that American families have changed. We no longer fit the June and Ward Cleaver model. In 1960, 70 percent of American families with children had at least one parent home full-time. By 2000, this trend has been completely reversed. Today, nearly 70 percent of families are headed by either two working parents or a single working parent.

Helping America's Working Parents

  • By Janet Gornick, Marcia Meyers
November 16, 2004

Across the industrialized countries, nearly five decades of steady growth in female employment has radically changed life for many parents and children. One of the most striking changes in Europe, Canada, and the United States has been the increase in employment among mothers with very young children. Nearly 85 percent of American mothers employed before childbearing now return to work before their child's first birthday. Rising women's employment -- among both single and coupled women -- is an encouraging trend from the perspective of women’s economic independence.

A New Solution for Our Struggling Health System

October 15, 2004

THE COST OF HEALTH INSURANCE IS SPIRALING OUT OF REACH

The average health insurance premium for a family of four is almost $10,000, which marks the fourth consecutive year of double-digit premium increases. This is roughly equivalent to the amount that a full-time, minimum wage worker would earn over the course of a year.

Key Questions the Media Should Ask the Presidential Candidates

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
August 26, 2004
CRFB's suggested questions on the deficit, federal debt, allocation of resources, Social Security, Medicare and the overall size of government. For the full list, please see the attached PDF file.

America's Promise in A New Century

  • By
  • Karen Kornbluh,
  • New America Foundation
August 6, 2004


FROM: Karen Kornbluh
SUBJECT: America's Promise in A New Century
DATE: August 6, 2004

Americans are concerned as they have not been since 1992 about the future of their way of life in a global economy. They sense that their kids may be part of the first generation that does worse than its parents and they don't understand how this can be so when they are "working hard and playing by the rules."

America's Fragmented Health Care System

  • By
  • Cindy Zeldin,
  • Laurie Rubiner,
  • New America Foundation
July 31, 2004

The American health system is rapidly approaching crisis. For those fortunate enough to have health insurance, health care costs are escalating — health insurance premiums rose almost 14 percent in 2003, the biggest increase in over a decade. For the 43 million people who went without health insurance last year, the system has already collapsed.

The Economic Case for Dedicated Unlicensed Spectrum Below 3GHz

  • By William Lehr, Associate Director, Research Program on Internet & Telecoms Convergence, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
July 1, 2004

There is general agreement that traditional mechanisms for managing radio frequency (RF) spectrum are inefficient and in need of significant reform. Many, if not most, of the economists who have considered the issue appear to concur with the view that increased reliance on market forces would enhance efficiency, and support assigning spectrum via transferable, flexible licenses, especially when spectrum is perceived to be scarce.

Why Dad Can't 'Have it All'

  • By
  • Karen Kornbluh,
  • Shelley Waters Boots,
  • New America Foundation
June 20, 2004

Father’s Day holds few surprises. A gift from the kids-usually a bad tie-and dinner with the family. Fatherhood itself, however, has undergone dramatic changes over the past few decades as Dads have taken on far more responsibility at home and, in many ways, changed the very definition of Father. The rest of the world has yet to catch up with the new Dad. As a result, even in 2004, too many fathers must still choose between being good breadwinners and good parents -- when they’d like to be both.

It's The Family Budget... And Values, Stupid

  • By
  • Karen Kornbluh,
  • New America Foundation
June 16, 2004

Today, Senator John Kerry announced new after-school and child care tax credit initiatives. His speech is part of a renewed focus on easing the "middle class squeeze." Yesterday, Senator Edward Kennedy and Representative Rosa DeLauro introduced a bill guaranteeing employees paid time off for their own or a family member's illness.

Purchasing Pools in a System of Universal Coverage

  • By Elliot K. Wicks, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Economic and Social Research Institute
June 8, 2004

Having employers join together to purchase health insurance is an idea that continues to have broad appeal. The concept is the foundation of several proposals now before Congress, and several state legislatures have recently passed laws to implement the idea, joining a number of others with laws already on the books. Pooled purchasing arrangements are a major element in a significant proportion of 17 coverage expansion proposals recently prepared for the Covering America project by nationally known health analysts and researchers.

Purchasing Pools in a System of Universal Coverage

  • By Elliot K. Wicks, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Economic and Social Research Institute
June 8, 2004

Having employers join together to purchase health
insurance is an idea that continues to have broad
appeal. The concept is the foundation of several
proposals now before Congress, and several state
legislatures have recently passed laws to implement
the idea, joining a number of others with laws already
on the books. Pooled purchasing arrangements are a
major element in a significant proportion of 17
coverage expansion proposals recently prepared for
the Covering America project by nationally known

NAF Plan to Speed the DTV Transition

  • By
  • J.H. Snider,
  • Michael Calabrese,
  • New America Foundation
May 12, 2004

There is a general consensus that accelerating the digital TV transition -- thereby freeing up the 108 MHz of “beachfront” spectrum corresponding to TV channels 52- to-69 -- is clearly in the public interest. Because transmissions at this frequency range pass easily through walls and trees, the 700 MHz band could jumpstart the deployment of more affordable wireless broadband connections, particularly in rural areas.

Universal Community Access from Thin Air?

  • By
  • Matt Barranca,
  • Michael Calabrese,
  • New America Foundation
May 1, 2004

For the complete document, please see the attached PDF version below.

Workplace Flexibility: A Policy Problem

  • By
  • Karen Kornbluh,
  • Katelin Isaacs,
  • Shelley Waters Boots,
  • New America Foundation
May 1, 2004

The American family changed dramatically over
the last decades of the twentieth century. In
1960, 70 percent of families had a parent home
full-time. Today, this is reversed. Fully 70
percent of families with children are now headed
by two working parents or by an unmarried
working parent. The breadwinner and homemaker have been replaced by “juggler parents” with responsibility for both making
ends meet and caring for the family. And this
family can now include elderly relatives. More
than 21 percent of households have at least one

The Cartoon Guide to Federal Spectrum Policy

  • By
  • J.H. Snider,
  • New America Foundation
April 20, 2004

Thanks to the computer revolution, radios are evolving from being dumb to smart devices, which allows wireless networking and communication based on dynamic sharing of frequency bands. This radio revolution calls for radically different government regulation of public access to the radio spectrum, popularly known as the "public airwaves." Increasingly, access to spectrum should be regulated based on free speech ("unlicensed") rather than exclusive speech ("licensed") regulatory principles.

Working Families' Catch 22

April 20, 2004
Please see the attached PDF version of this fact sheet.
Programs:

Unlicensed Wireless Broadband Profiles

  • By
  • Matt Barranca,
  • New America Foundation
April 16, 2004

In recent years, the license-exempt bands have been the font of astounding economic growth in the telecom sector and expanded opportunities for broadband Internet access for hundreds of thousands of Americans. In 2003 alone, an estimated 22.7 million wireless access points and networking cards using unlicensed spectrum were shipped, generating over $2.5 billion in revenues. The wide-scale adoption of WiFi technology (short for “Wireless Fidelity,” but referring to the 802.11 engineering standard for wireless local area networking) largely explains the success of the unlicensed bands.

The Decline of Broadcasters' Public Interest Obligations

  • By
  • J.H. Snider,
  • New America Foundation
March 26, 2004

The Communications Act of 1934 and its predecessor, the Radio Act of 1927, mandates that the Federal Communications Commission regulate broadcasting in the “public interest, convenience, or necessity.” This continues to be the mandate of the FCC, and the “public interest” part of the phrase appears 40 times in the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Net Worth at Birth

  • By
  • Reid Cramer,
  • New America Foundation
March 16, 2004

Many Americans have no assets to their name; they are disadvantaged from the start of their lives. One promising idea to expand opportunity and broaden asset ownership is to endow every newborn child with an American Stakeholder Account (ASA). This paper intends to serve as a vehicle to review and consider the policy design choices that would give this proposal its ultimate shape and direction. It builds on previous analytical work and offers new insights in examining the challenges, benefits, and justification for creating a national system of children’s accounts.

Programs:

The Way Women Work

March 4, 2004

Women are the primary caregivers in a family . . .

  • 70 percent of women in dual-earner couples report taking greater responsibility for routine child care than their male partners in 2002. 70 percent of women also report responsibility for taking time off work because of children.s needs, in comparison with 30 percent of men (Families and Work Institute).
  • More than 20 percent of households are responsible for some or all of the care of elderly relatives (US Department of Labor).

Women & Health Insurance

March 4, 2004

Women have more contact with the health system than men do . . .

  • Because of women's decision-making role in their families' health care, their caregiving responsibilities, and their own health needs, women have more contact with the health system and, on average, use the health system more than men.
  • Women have ongoing reproductive health needs that men don't have. About half of women have a regular obstetrician or gynecologist in addition to a general primary care provider (Kaiser Family Foundation).

Status of Asset Building Worldwide

  • By
  • Ray Boshara,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Michael Sherraden, Director, Center for Social Development
March 1, 2004

Asset building has the potential to influence and reshape a wide range of social and economic policy debates around the world—but presently there is little trans-Atlantic or global dialogue on the issue. In Europe, for example, debates about social insurance, fiscal policy, pension reform, social exclusion, poverty reduction, and expanding Europe’s middle class are largely devoid of the assets perspective.

Federal Assets Policy Report and Outlook 2004

  • By
  • Ray Boshara,
  • Reid Cramer,
  • New America Foundation
February 25, 2004

The purpose of this annual report is to summarize and assess federal assets policy efforts from last year, in the President’s new Budget, and for the coming session of Congress. While not intended to be exhaustive, this report identifies almost $320 billion in resources related to asset building included in the Bush Administration’s 2005 Budget. The overwhelming majority of these resources, $302 billion, are catalogued as tax expenditures, while almost $17 billion of discretionary spending is proposed.

Survey Finds that Many Americans Are Open to the Idea of Mandatory Health Insurance Coverage for Adults

February 23, 2004

For the New America Foundation, Lake Snell Perry & Associates (LSPA) conducted a national telephone survey of 1,002 adults on January 8-11, 2004 to explore public attitudes toward health insurance coverage. As part of this study, LSPA reviewed other public opinion data on this topic. The goal was to understand public attitudes toward universal health coverage -- that is, health coverage for all Americans -- and the policy solutions to cover the approximately 40 million uninsured adults and children in the U.S.

Opportunity Missed

  • By
  • Michael Lind,
  • New America Foundation
February 1, 2004

FROM THE MOMENT the Berlin Wall came down, a succession of U.S. presidents used American economic, military, and cultural primacy as leverage to build a new global system incorporating both the former communist countries and the developing nations of the global South. Over the course of the next decade, America's leaders phased out the Pax Americana alliance system in Europe and East Asia -- a Temporary Cold War measure -- and replaced it with a global great-power concert.

Beyond Dominance

  • By
  • Sherle R. Schwenninger,
  • New America Foundation
February 1, 2004

The central idea underlying American grand strategy since the end of the Cold War has been dominance -- the notion that the United States is so powerful and virtuous that it can pretty much remake the world on its own terms. For most of its two terms in office, the Clinton administration pursued a form of soft dominance, in that it sought to legitimize its policies through America's traditional alliances and through the use of international bodies like the International Monetary Fund.

Democracy in the Islamic World

  • By
  • Noah Feldman,
  • New America Foundation
February 1, 2004

IN A REMARKABLE SPEECH at the National Endowment for Democracy in November 2003, President Bush acknowledged 60 years of American error and announced a policy of encouraging democracy, not dictatorship, in the Muslim world. Whether this long overdue message is followed by an actual policy change or simply results from the short-term need to explain the Iraq war in the absence of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) remains to be seen.

The Population Implosion

  • By
  • Phillip Longman,
  • New America Foundation
February 1, 2004

A NEW CHALLENGE FACES THE WORLD. It is not a problem that can be photographed, reduced to a sound bite, or rendered into the conventional formulations of Left and Right. It has everything to do with sex, death, money, and power, yet is rarely the subject of a headline.

Building Assets Through Post-Secondary Education

  • By
  • Leslie Parrish,
  • New America Foundation
January 29, 2004

A college education is not only increasingly a necessity to secure a good job, but also often the first step to acquiring assets and creating greater opportunities. Each additional year of educational attainment yields increased earnings and makes the ownership of assets such as investments, retirement savings, a home, and other sources of wealth more likely. With the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act underway in 2004, an opportunity now exists to make a college education available to every qualified person.

Policy Options to Encourage Savings and Asset Building by Low-Income Americans

  • By
  • Ray Boshara,
  • Reid Cramer,
  • New America Foundation
January 28, 2004

This menu of policy options was written with federal policymakers in mind. It reflects the latest and best thinking, and draws heavily on the work of many experts focusing on various facets of savings and asset-building policy. As there are many policy routes to broadening savings and asset ownership, there is necessarily some overlap among the ideas presented below.

Newly Released CBO Baseline

  • By
  • Maya MacGuineas,
  • New America Foundation
January 26, 2004
Please see the attached PDF version of this document, which outlines the key numbers and long-term implications of the latest Congressional Budget Office baseline estimates.

Attachments

Universal Coverage, Universal Responsibility

  • By
  • Laurie Rubiner,
  • Michael Calabrese,
  • New America Foundation
January 9, 2004
Please see the attached PDF version of this working paper, or the related executive summary.
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