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Economic Growth

The British Seeds of American Decline

  • By
  • Michael Lind,
  • New America Foundation
July 31, 2012 |

When American and foreign observers speculate about American decline, as they often do, they tend to draw parallels between the United States and the Roman Empire. But parallels between a modern, industrial, urban, nearly-monolingual nation-state and a loose collection of tribes with an agrarian economy are worthless.

A more apt comparison is between the America of the early 2000s and the Britain of the early 1900s. Is the United States repeating the United Kingdom's decline, but on a larger scale?

The Age of Scarcity

  • By
  • Charles Kenny,
  • New America Foundation
July 26, 2012 |

This has been a brutal summer. Record drought across the Midwest has forced the U.S. Department of Agriculture to slash its forecast for 2012 corn production by 12 percent. Corn prices are already 90 percent higher than in July 2010. They’ve gone above 2007-08 levels, when soaring food prices sparked riots in more than 30 countries. On July 25 the U.S. government reported that corn prices may push the cost of meat 4 percent to 5 percent higher next year.

The Sidebar: Media's Relationship with Tragedy and Our No-Vacation Nation.

July 27, 2012
Gabriel Sherman discusses the way media covers and hypes tragedy in the age of the 24-hour news cycle and David Gray explains why America is the only advanced nation without a vacation policy. Elizabeth Weingarten hosts. 

Despite Economic Anxieties, Urban Developments Rise

July 23, 2012
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In downtown Washington D.C., the scaffolds of a $950 million development, the CityCenter DC, are rising. In the place of D.C.’s old convention-center-turned-parking-lot, the new three-block development will include residential units, commercial space, and public parks and plazas. It will be pedestrian-oriented, LEED certified, and gardens will line the rooftops.

The Sidebar: America's Startup Slowdown and Inferior Internet

July 20, 2012
Lina Khan illuminates the reasons behind the precipitous decline of American startups over the past few decades, and Danielle Kehl explains why high-speed Internet in many major American cities is slower and costlier than offerings in comparable municipalities around the world. Elizabeth Weingarten hosts.

Why Hasn’t the LIBOR Scandal Blown Up? No Victims

  • By
  • Noam Scheiber,
  • New America Foundation
July 11, 2012 |

A number of commentators have wondered why the rigging of LIBOR—the most widely used interest-rate in the world—hasn’t caused the uproar in this country that it’s provoked in Britain. The easy answer is that no U.S. bank has fessed up or been outed over its role in manipulating LIBOR, unlike in Britain, where Barclays has agreed to pay nearly half a billion dollars in fines and fired its top three executives.

Government Needs a Trip to Startup Land

  • By
  • Marvin Ammori,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Stephanie Nguyen
July 19, 2012 |

On a Friday night in early June, eight strangers came up with an idea to help poor Americans on government assistance gain access to healthier food. They designed a website and business model to help overcome a problem referred to as urban “food deserts –– that many low-income Americans in big cities live miles from the nearest grocery store. After three days, the eight strangers, which included the two authors of this piece, pitched the company and won a little prize –– the invitation to present the solution at an international summit organized by the World Bank and the White House.

America’s Emerging Growth Story

  • By
  • Sherle R. Schwenninger,
  • Samuel Sherraden,
  • New America Foundation
July 19, 2012


I.  Overview
II.  The Story Begins with Oil & Gas
III.  Job Creation and Investment
IV.  The Catalyst for a Manufacturing Revival
V.  The Rise of New Industries
VI.  Shoring up America’s Fiscal Position
VII.  Infrastructure Investment is the Missing Piece of the Story
VIII.  Serious Obstacles Remain

The Hole in the Bucket

  • By
  • Phillip Longman,
  • New America Foundation
July 11, 2012 |

Never before in history has the great American middle class obsessed so much over financial planning as during the last forty years or so. In the 1970s, this obsession fueled the growth of hot new magazines like Money and TV shows like Louis Rukeyser’s Wall $street Week. By the 1980s, it had led to the creation of personal finance sections in almost every newspaper, and to myriad radio talk shows counseling Americans on what mutual funds to buy, how much they should put into new savings vehicles like Individual Retirement Accounts or Keoghs, and how to manage their new 401(k) plans.

Introduction: Jobs Are Not Enough

  • By
  • Paul Glastris,
  • Phillip Longman,
  • New America Foundation
July 11, 2012 |

More than any election in living memory, the 2012 race is shaping up to be about one thing: jobs. Pundits are convinced that the rate of job growth between now and November is the magic number that will determine the outcome. The main policies the candidates are debating—whether to cut taxes or raise them on the rich; whether to shrink government or increase investments in infrastructure or research—are all pitched as ways to “grow” jobs. The presumption is that if we can get the economy to create jobs like it used to, America will be back on the right track.

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