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  • Author: Roger Ballentine, Andy Karsner
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: We are still in the early stages of a transformation of the U.S. electricity sector into a cleaner, more flexible, more resilient, and more dynamic system. The early history of investment in and adoption of clean energy technologies and practices has been mixed. The venture capital model has proven to be inadequate for scaling up clean energy, and anticipated policy developments have been slow to be realized. The sector-reshaping impact of unconventional gas, uneven capitalization of clean energy companies, and the mixed signals of government policymakers have slowed the march to a more distributed energy economy rooted in the greater use of renewables, the more efficient use of energy, and the optimization of information technologies in the energy sector.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Industrial Policy, Markets, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Colby Farber
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The 2014 Financial Security Summit examined how policymakers, the financial services industry, advocates, and academics can advance new policies and products to make it easier for households to build financial security and to reinvigorate the American Dream.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Richard P. Adler
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: In 1987, back at the dawn of the Internet age, two studies were published that provided perceptive looks at the evolution of electronic networks and the impact that they would likely have on the way business is conducted in the U.S. and globally. Both studies concluded that rapidly evolving information technologies were helping to break down old hierarchical business structures in favor of new, more decentralized models of economic activity.
  • Topic: Economics, Science and Technology, Communications, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: In many respects, the U.S. health care system is breathtakingly innovative. It produces new technology, medical procedures, and scientific knowledge at a dazzling speed, enabling patients to recover from diseases and injuries once thought incurable or untreatable. As a consequence, the U.S. has one of the highest survival rates for cancers, excels at acute and trauma care, and has produced half of the world's Nobel laureates.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Social Stratification, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Bill White(Chair), Leonard Coburn(Rapporteur)
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Improved technology has led to enhanced oil and gas productivity at lower cost and significant production increases in the United States and Canada, dramatically changing energy perspectives. The shift from energy scarcity toward abundance is requiring new energy policies. The potential for the United States to become a net exporter of oil and gas changes American views of energy dependency. Shifts in global energy demand growth from developed to less developed countries, and especially to the Asia-Pacific region, require understanding of changing global energy trade. American energy will flow to markets where scarcity is the largest. Canada and the United States are reaping the benefits of this new world of oil and gas. Mexico will lag behind unless it addresses its chronic problems. Without reform, Mexico could become a net importer of all its hydrocarbons, a fundamental change from its current status. Responding to these changes will require knowledge, foresight, and strategies that are bold and comprehensive.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Environment, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Canada, Mexico
  • Author: Bill Dickenson (Co-Chair), Phil Sharp (Co-Chair), Dave Grossman (Rapporteur)
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The future of the U.S. electricity sector is hard to foresee – and it is never wise to overpay one's fortune tellers – but there appear to be some key trends and technologies that may reshape future electricity markets and determine the innovativeness, resilience, security, and global competitiveness of the sector. Discussions of the sector's past, present, and future formed the heart of the 2013 Aspen Institute Energy Policy Forum. This report summarizes and organizes some of the key insights from those discussions.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Environment, Markets, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jeremy A. Leonard
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: As the United States struggles to find a politically acceptable and economically sensible solution to its severe fiscal crisis, hidden in plain sight just North of the 49th parallel is an example that ought to be considered more carefully. Quietly, but steadily, under governments of all political stripes, Canada has profoundly re-structured its economy, gotten its fiscal house in order, created a competitive business tax environment, and come into its own as a strong economic player in North America and beyond.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Today America finds a new market force emerging: companies that achieve an intimate connection between profit and purpose. And these businesses are supported by a developing system of investors and other financial actors that seek to place capital in firms that are achieving social impact. A new trail is being blazed for our country – open, far-reaching, transformative, offering an opportunity for renewal and growth. This is the Impact Economy.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Phil Sharp
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The question is never whether the United States has an energy policy. It has dozens. They come with various decision-makers at overlapping levels of authority, ample numbers of stakeholders, and generally lots of confusing and often contradictory signals.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Environment
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The last 18 months have dealt a devastating blow to Americans' sense of financial security. Few have been untouched by the financial crisis. For many, wealth accumulated over years of saving and investing has disappeared almost overnight. For many more, the economic crisis has imperiled their jobs, their ability to provide for their families, and their optimism about the future.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Kurt M. Campbell, Willow Darsie
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: After a protracted period of uncertainty concerning the nature of the foreign policy challenges that are likely to confront the nation over the course of first half of the 21st century, twin challenges are now coming into sharper relief. For the next generation or more, Americans will be confronted by two overriding (and possibly overwhelming) challenges in the conduct of American foreign policy: how to more effectively wage a long, twilight struggle against violent Islamic fundamentalists, and at the same time cope with the almost certain rise to great power status of China.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Asia
  • Author: Suzanne Nora Johnson, Lisa Mensah, C. Eugene Steuerle
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Savings policy in the United States is at a critical juncture. The U.S. personal saving rate has declined from 10.8 percent in 1984 to zero in 2005.The national saving rate, which includes government and business savings, is the lowest among the G-20 countries and has decreased significantly in recent decades. These low levels of saving generally suggest lower growth rates of income and standards of living in the future.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Elaine L. Edgcomb, Joyce A. Klein
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The notion that a person can turn a dream into a small business by applying healthy doses of ingenuity, elbow grease and grit has resonated with Americans from the earliest days of this nation. Indeed, there is something so intrinsically appealing about that scenario that more than 22 million Americans are small business owners today—including some 20 million who operate "micro"—or very small—enterprises.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Environment, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: John A. Riggs
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: One of the enduring debates about environmental issues is the extent to which progress can be achieved without economic harm, either to a business or to society as a whole. The risk of such harm has frequently been used, often effectively, as a reason to oppose or delay actions to reduce pollution or to otherwise advance environmental protection goals. The apparent political persuasiveness of the argument has led to a counterargument: that there are usually win-win solutions and that environmental and economic goals need not be in conflict.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Neil Shister
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The prevailing view of journalism today draws on strands from a diverse portfolio of political, legal, and commercial theories. Some of the propositions underlying the way we regard the practice of the craft date back to the 18th-century “age of reason;” others are as current as yesterday's Wall Street media deal. “Journalism” is a historical hybrid— more an evolving social construct than a fixed point of reference. As such, it conveys contradictory associations: on one hand a band of swashbuckling iconoclasts daring to “speak truth to power;” on the other hand considerably more temperate, disinterested professionals gathering content to distribute through the “information division” of giant corporations. Each image is exaggerated; neither is wholly wrong
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Capital Plus is a position paper written by the members of the Development Finance Forum (the Forum), a group of practitioners that has met for a week each year since 1997. The Forum members use the term “development finance institutions” (DFIs) to refer to our diverse institutional forms, customer strategies, and products, which include microcredit, loans to small and medium sized businesses, and investments in housing projects and community facilities. The word “practitioner” is the key to our group. While donors, academics, and representatives of multilateral institutions play an important role in building and marketing the development finance field, they have often dominated the way debates and ideas are shaped. We asked ourselves: as practitioners, did we have, or could we develop, a common perspective? Could it shape the debate in a new way? What new ideas could we add?
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Barry Naughton
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The Chinese economy is showing extraordinary dynamism, which partly reflects the early impact of the commitments in China's WTO accession agreement to liberalize the economy. Incoming foreign investment has increased, and trade has grown rapidly. At the same time, China is grappling with serious economic problems that may worsen in the near future. The most difficult problem in crafting China policy is deciding how to respond flexibly to this extraordinary mixture of dynamism and fragility. Rapid growth gives the Chinese economy remarkable resilience; but deep-seated institutional weakness and stubborn problems of poverty and unemployment create dangers of social and economic disruption. An effective U.S. China policy must navigate between the extremes of over-estimating China's current economic strength and under-estimating her potential.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Michael Shifter
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Even within Latin America's generally gloomy economic and political outlook, the countries of the Andean region—Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia—stand out as especially problematic and unsettled. For the United States, this set of countries, with some 120 million citizens, poses enormous policy challenges. Fostering democracy, expanding trade, combating drugs, promoting stability, and advancing social development are just some of the challenges germane to this region which, in the context of globalization, post-September 11, become even more compelling.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Colombia, South America, Latin America, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia
  • Author: Hal Harvey
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Energy is at once the lifeblood and the bane of the modern world. Fossil energy has fueled tremendous economic growth over the past 150 years. The economic history of the United States is largely the history of extracting and using coal and oil. At the same time, the profligate use of these energy sources has created the world's most pressing environmental problems, and led to major national security concerns for the United States. Energy consumption is the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions, smog, acid rain, oil spills, and nuclear waste. American dependence on oil from the Middle East forces our hand on foreign policy and imposes high economic and human costs. It is becoming increasingly clear that America's—and the world's—current diet of fossil energy is not sustainable.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Science and Technology, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East
  • Author: Amy Korzick Garmer, Anthony Corrado, Angela Campbell, Henry Geller, Tracy Westen, Charles Firestone, Robert Corn-Revere, Monroe E. Price, Forrest P. Chisman, Andrew Graham, Steven S. Wildman, D. Karen Frazer, Andrew L. Shapiro
  • Publication Date: 12-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: In January, 1998, the Aspen Institute's Communications and Society Program convened the first in a series of meetings to examine the public interest in the United States' communications system. With funding provided by the John and Mary R. Markle Foundation, the Program hosted the initial session of the Aspen Institute Working Group on Digital Broadcasting and the Public Interest on January 25–27, 1998, at the Institute's Wye River Conference Center. The conference brought together twenty-three legal scholars, lawyers, economists, and policy advocates, representing a variety of experiences and perspectives, to consider two issues: (1) the theoretical and legal bases for the imposition of public interest obligations on those using the electromagnetic spectrum for broadcasting purposes, and (2) other public interest implications of the move to digital broadcasting. It is the hope of the Working Group that the ideas generated at this and subsequent meetings will add to the ongoing public dialogue on broadcasting and the public interest, and will prove useful to the ongoing debate over the public interest responsibilities that should accompany broadcasters' receipt of new digital television licenses.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States