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Public Infrastructure

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.”

The Legal Landscape for Emergency Management in the United States

  • By William C. Banks, Syracuse University
February 25, 2011

With enactment of the Stafford Act in 1974 and the creation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 1979, the federal government developed an apparatus to plan for and respond to natural disasters.

Failing to Fill the Holes in State Budgets: Why the Recovery Act Spending on Infrastructure Fell Short

  • By
  • Samuel Sherraden,
  • New America Foundation
February 17, 2011

…We are remaking the American landscape with the largest new investment in our nation's infrastructure since Eisenhower built an Interstate Highway System in the 1950s. Because of this investment, nearly 400,000 men and women will go to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, repairing our faulty dams and levees, bringing critical broadband connections to businesses and homes in nearly every community in America, upgrading mass transit, building high-speed rail lines that will improve travel and commerce throughout our nation.

The Centrality of Manufacturing to America's Future Prosperity

  • By Bruce Stokes, Senior Transatlantic Fellow for Economics, German Marshall Fund
February 14, 2011

In his State of the Union address January 25, 2011, President Barack Obama mentioned the word “manufacturing” just once. This was the only time in his three such speeches to Congress that he has uttered the “M” word. The president’s failure to acknowledge, even in passing, a sector of the economy that accounts for 11 percent of America’s GDP is a metaphor for his administration’s disdain for manufacturing as an important contributor to the nation’s future wellbeing.

What Is Right and Wrong With the President’s Innovation Agenda

  • By Robert Atkinson, President of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
February 14, 2011

In his State of the Union Address President Obama warned of a “Sputnik moment” in terms of the need for a wake-up call for the nation to confront our international competitiveness and innovation challenge.  The President stated, “We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time.

The Pillars of Economic Transformation

  • By James K. Galbraith, University of Texas at Austin
February 1, 2011

In his 2011 State of the Union, President Obama outlined a sweeping program for economic transformation, resting on innovation, education, infrastructure, deficit reduction, and governmental reform. The New America Foundation asks whether these are the right “pillars” of a national agenda.  

Obama-GOP Deal Threatens America's Infrastructure

  • By
  • Michael Lind,
  • New America Foundation
December 14, 2010 |

One of the little-noticed elements of the deal on taxes agreed upon by the Obama administration and the Republican congressional leadership is the decision of the White House and the GOP not to renew an obscure program known as Build America Bonds. This decision threatens to hurt American economic growth for decades to come, by eliminating one of the most successful methods of modernizing the vital infrastructure on which American businesses and workers depend.

Let There Be Light

  • By
  • Charles Kenny,
  • New America Foundation
December 14, 2010 |

We in the developed world are preoccupied with the consumer technologies of the 21st century -- ubiquitous high-speed Internet, the iPad, and the Wii Fit. We forget that vast swaths of the developing world have yet to be transformed by a technological upheaval we experienced more than a century ago: the advent of electric lighting. But the latest illumination innovation could change that, bringing not just greater efficiency to the well-wired West but also better quality of life to everyone else.

Full Spectrum Community Media

  • By
  • Joshua Breitbart,
  • Tom Glaisyer,
  • Bincy Ninan-Moses,
  • James Losey,
  • New America Foundation
February 9, 2011

This paper, developed by the Open Technology Initiative of the New America Foundation at the request of the Alliance for Community Media (ACM), offers a policy framework that responds to the situation ACM finds itself thrust into and recommends actions to secure the future of community media.

Comments on Addressing Policy and Logistical Challenges to Smart Grid Implementation

November 1, 2010

The New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative (“NAF”) respectfully submits these comments in response to the United States Department of Energy’s (“DOE”) Request for Information (RFI) entitled “Addressing Policy and Logistical Challenges to Smart Grid Implementation.” NAF will address the following sections in the RFI:

• Definition and Scope

• Interactions With and Implications for Consumers

• Assessing and Allocating Costs and Benefits

• Utilities, Device Manufacturers and Energy Management Firms

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