Public Infrastructure

The Largest Biometric Database in the World

September 2, 2011

Today’s New York Times has a nicely-reported piece on India’s gigantic biometric ID project, detailing its potential to spur economic growth and cut down on corruption through enabling electronic delivery of payments via mobiles and smartcards. As Nandan Nilekani, who is directing the initiative, puts it, the project is like building “a road that in some sense connects every individual to the state.”

Broadband Build-Out from a Planner's Perspective: Why Local Communities Should Continue to Manage Local Rights-of-Way

August 22, 2011
Mobile Telecommunications Tower. Photo: flickr/Mike Cattell

If you believe people should have a say about what gets built where in their communities, you should be weighing in on the Federal Communication Commission's recently announced intention to review management of public rights-of-way. Unfortunately, this issue gets bogged down in discussion of some of the driest and most technical topics in governance: land use, zoning, and fee regulation. Yet the implications are anything but esoteric, since right-of-way practices have a very real and lasting impact on local communities.

A Call for Bi-Sectoralism

August 22, 2011

In today's Huffington Post, Bruce Jentleson, a policy wonk, and Jay Pelosky, a seasoned global investor, argue that the public and private sectors in the United States must cooperate if the country is to "revitalize domestically and compete globally."

Yes We Can Create Decent Jobs

  • By Heather Boushey, Senior Economist, Center for American Progress
July 28, 2011

The American economy can produce decent jobs. We know this to be true because it has happened before. Getting back to a decent-jobs economy will require a commitment on the part of policymakers to creating many more middle-skill, middle-wage jobs. While there are important reasons to support the incomes of those at the bottom of the wage distribution, we will not improve the lives of working families without improving and increasing job opportunities in the middle.

A Vision for Economic Renewal

  • By Task Force on Job Creation
July 26, 2011

The economic environment in America today is more dire than most of us have ever known. We are in the midst of an unemployment emergency, in essence a jobless recovery: notwithstanding recent marginal upticks in official U.S. jobs numbers, there will be no fundamental improvement in the unemployment picture unless major new national economic strategy initiatives are taken. Who will step up to drive them forward?

Unconventional Wisdom

Thursday, April 7, 2011 - 8:30am

Gas is above $3 a gallon; we're involved in two military campaigns in the Middle East; a quarter of our bridges are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete; and there is little bipartisan cooperation on controlling greenhouse gases, energy policy, or funding the 2011 transportation bill. Everyone wants to change something about America's energy policy, but it's been largely static for 30 years.

Winning the Prosperity

  • By
  • Sherle R. Schwenninger,
  • New America Foundation
March 15, 2011

In the Fall of 2008 as financial markets were tumbling around the world, legendary investor Warren Buffet equated the bursting of the housing and credit bubble to an economic Pearl Harbor, one that could plunge the economy into a painful and prolonged downturn reminiscent of the 1930s.  Thanks in part to the lessons that were learned from the Great Depression, American and European policymakers won the immediate battle of preventing the economy from sinking into another Depression.  But they have not yet won the war to regain prosperity.  Not only do the U.S.

Costs of the Infrastructure Deficit

  • By
  • Shayne Henry,
  • Samuel Sherraden,
  • New America Foundation
March 2, 2011

Under-investing in infrastructure carries costs for households, businesses, and the government by increasing maintenance, wasting time, and allocating resources inefficiently.  These costs reduce efficiency and impede economic growth.
 
Quantifying Efficiency Loss

A ‘Jobs First’ Growth Strategy

  • By
  • Leo Hindery,
  • New America Foundation
March 1, 2011

The opening theme of the 2011 State of the Union address, and the theme that the President has carried forward since then, was his insistence that the nation has at long last emerged from economic crisis.  He said: “Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back.  Corporate profits are up.  The economy is growing again.  And after two years of job losses, we’ve added private-sector jobs for 12 straight months -- more than 1 million in all.”

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