New America Policy Papers: 2003

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.

Reforming Telecom Policy for the Big Broadband Era

  • By Reed Hundt, Former Chairman, Federal Communications Commission
December 19, 2003

All new media, taught Marshall McLuhan, are destined to subsume and extend all old media, and to use the old media as their content, much like large fish filling their stomachs with small fish. The fish metaphor belongs to me, not McLuhan, since he was rarely so dull in his imagery.

The big fish of today is Big Broadband – access to the Web at 10 to 100 megabits per second for homes and 1 to 10 gigabits per second for businesses. The small fish are broadcast, DSL, cable modem, and voice.

Radio Revolution

  • By Kevin Werbach, Founder, The Supernova Group
December 15, 2003

We stand at the threshold of a wireless paradigm shift. New technologies promise to replace scarcity with abundance, dumb terminals with smart radios able to adapt to their surroundings, and government defined licenses with flexible sharing of the airwaves. Early examples suggest that such novel approaches can provide affordable broadband connections to a wide range of users.

Covering America

  • By
  • Michael Calabrese,
  • New America Foundation
December 1, 2003

Michael Calabrese has proposed a tax-credit based plan with the following key features:

Multicast Must-Carry for Broadcasters

  • By
  • J.H. Snider,
  • New America Foundation
December 1, 2003

The Federal Communications Commission will soon decide whether to grant local TV broadcasters enhanced “must-carry” rights on cable TV systems. Specifically, broadcasters seek to expand their current one-program must-carry right to a multi-program must-carry right, which they call “multicast” must-carry.

Financing Strategies for Learning and Asset Development

  • By
  • Ray Boshara,
  • Reid Cramer,
  • New America Foundation
October 1, 2003

Based on the assumption that lifelong learning is a form of asset accumulation, this paper discusses a range of financing strategies. The paper includes a summary of what has been learned about assets, both from research and demonstrations largely centered in the U.S. While the evidence strongly suggests that assets are worth accumulating for both economic and social reasons, this begs the question, how can the poor possibly accumulate assets? To answer this question, we closely examine the U.S.

The American Family

October 1, 2003
Please see the attached PDF version of this document.

The Misleading Way We Count the Poor

  • By
  • Reid Cramer,
  • New America Foundation
September 15, 2003

Each September the Census Bureau releases its official calculation of the national poverty rate, intended to reflect the extent of economic hardship in the United States. Despite advances in available data and methodological techniques, the mechanics of the official poverty measure have not been significantly altered for four decades. The once useful metric has, unfortunately, not worn well. Today the official poverty measure provides an incomplete and inaccurate representation of the poor.

The Airwaves Explained

  • By Neil Carlson
August 1, 2003

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

Interlicense Competition

  • By Michael Rothkopf, Professor, Rutgers Business School; Coleman Bazelon, Vice President, Analysis Group, Inc.
August 1, 2003

The right to use US radio frequency spectrum is extremely valuable. Unlike most property rights, licenses to use radio spectrum are granted for limited terms and carry significant restrictions on how the radio spectrum is used. Economic efficiency suggests that existing license rights should be expanded to give users the flexibility to redeploy spectrum to its most valuable use and to trade licenses or unused capacity on secondary markets. Distributing these expanded rights to use radio spectrum raises questions of both efficiency and equity.

Citizen's Guide To The Airwaves

  • By
  • J.H. Snider,
  • New America Foundation
July 2, 2003

The Citizen's Guide to the Airwaves is the New America Foundation's attempt to educate the public about the tremendous value, government mismanagement, and impending giveaway of the nation's airwaves -- the most valuable natural resource of the information economy. The publications frame the spectrum debate in a language new to the policy world, using clear, graphic illustrations to depict the economic, social and political facets of spectrum policy.

Reclaiming the 'Vast Wasteland'

  • By
  • J.H. Snider,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Max Vilimpoc
July 1, 2003
Abstract

Spectrum Series Issue Brief #12 argues that the grossly underutilized spectrum allocated for television broadcasting should be opened for license-exempt sharing with broadband wireless devices. More than 80% of the 400 MHz allocated to television broadcasting is unassigned "white space," which could be efficiently shared by emerging smart technologies, for wireless broadband and other new services, without harmful interference to broadcasters.

Federal Policy and Asset Building

  • By
  • Ray Boshara,
  • New America Foundation
June 1, 2003

Michael Sherraden’s (1991) groundbreaking idea of building assets for low-income persons has made remarkable progress at the federal level in the United States (U.S.) over the last decade, for three reasons. First, policymakers have easily grasped both the distinction between income and assets, and the importance of assets. Second, the idea debuted and progressed as the nation and policymakers were highly receptive to new ideas for ending welfare and poverty.

Unlicensed Sharing of Broadcast Spectrum

  • By
  • J.H. Snider,
  • Max Vilimpoc,
  • New America Foundation
June 1, 2003

Each day, between the hours of waking, working, and sleeping, we unconsciously interact with an incredible variety of unlicensed devices. From controlling the garage door and monitoring the baby, to microwaving breakfast and speaking on a cordless phone, to keyless entry to a workplace and turning off the television via remote control, our interactions with unlicensed devices have become second nature. And each day, whether most of us realize it or not, we go to bed not having to pay a cent to anyone for the right to do these things.

Breaking the Chains

  • By
  • J.H. Snider,
  • New America Foundation
  • and James Johnston
June 1, 2003

Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains. -- Jean Jacques Rousseau

American Stakeholder Accounts

  • By
  • Ray Boshara,
  • New America Foundation
June 1, 2003

To greatly expand opportunity, to broaden asset ownership, and to fortify the American economy for the long-haul, an American Stakeholder Account (ASA) should be established for every child born in America and made available to all other persons age 18 and under. Over time, this “Homestead Act of the 21st Century” will evolve into a universal system through which all Americans can meet their asset needs throughout life— securing post-secondary education and life-long learning, purchasing a first home, making investments, starting a small business, and building up a nest-egg for retirement.

Programs:

Reply Comments on Opening Broadcast Spectrum for Unlicensed Sharing

  • By
  • J.H. Snider,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Harold Feld, Media Access Project; Andrew Jay Schwartzman, Media Access Project
May 16, 2003

New America Foundation, et al. (NAF, et al.) argued in their Comment that new information technologies are making it economical to allocate large amounts of previously unused spectrum for unlicensed devices without creating harmful interference to incumbent license holders. Incumbent license holders in their comments, however, argue that this technological revolution has not taken place; therefore, the status quo must be preserved in order to prevent harmful interference.

Does Media Ownership Affect Media Stands?

  • By
  • J.H. Snider,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Benjamin I. Page
May 15, 2003

We are posting J.H. Snider and Benjamin I. Page's 1997 study on the media ownership debate because it has become relevant. At a hearing on media ownership on May 13, 2003, Senate Commerce Committee Chair John McCain waved the study at a media mogul on the panel and said: "Do you think this is an anomaly?" McCain's comment and the study to which it referred were subsequently featured on the front page of the business section in The Washington Post (Frank Ahrens, "FCC Sees Local Gain to Age of Max Media," May 16, 2003, p. E1).

American Strategy Project -- Grand Strategy No.2

  • By
  • Michael Lind,
  • New America Foundation
May 1, 2003

Dear Colleagues:

Yesterday, Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed a ground-breaking idea for the reform of Iraq put forth by my colleague Steve Clemons, Executive Vice President of the New America Foundation and Co-Director of the American Strategy Project.

American Strategy Project -- Grand Strategy No.1

  • By
  • Michael Lind,
  • New America Foundation
March 13, 2003

The United States is now more isolated from its major allies and more internally divided over foreign policy than at any time since 1945. The strategy of the Bush administration -- and not merely its style -- is to blame.

Financial Markets Do Impact the Environment

  • By John D. Shilling, Senior Advisor and Trustee, The Millennium Institute
March 1, 2003

The relation of financial flows and the environment has received much less attention than the impacts of trade, energy programs, sprawl, or pollution creating projects. Perhaps that is not surprising since activities in each of those areas are known to have direct and usually detrimental impacts on environment through changes in land use, soil degradation, pollution emissions, and contributions to global warming, etc.

Sustainable Enterprise

  • By Richard Andrews, Professor, Department of Public Policy, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, and Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
February 28, 2003

The fundamental challenge for human institutions in the 21st century is to create and maintain a sustainable combination of economic, social, and natural environmental conditions in an increasingly global and commercial civilization.

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