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  • Author: Alan Weil, Shayla Regmi, Carrie Hanlon
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The Affordable Care Act (ACA), signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010, represents the largest transformation of American health policy in more than a generation. The law redefines how health insurance functions, significantly expands health insurance coverage, and accelerates changes already underway in how health care services are organized and delivered to patients. This transformation creates new opportunities for improving the health and well-being of vulnerable children and their parents. Ascend at the Aspen Institute promotes a two-generation approach to creating opportunity for vulnerable families. In Ascend's two-generation framework, health is an element of family and child well-being in its own right and a supportive factor in achieving the educational, economic, and social assets families need to thrive. This paper describes the changes in health care effected by the ACA and explores the unfinished business of developing a health care system that supports two-generation approaches.
  • Topic: Health, Human Welfare, Privatization, Governance
  • Political Geography: America
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Americans have fallen out of the saving habit. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the household saving rate, which fell to low single digits in the run-up to the 2007–08 financial crisis, is just 3.8% today, and over 75% of Americans do not have enough saved to cover six months' expenses, whether the need arises because of job loss or an unexpected life event. Projecting the current rate forward, and adjusting only for the aging of the population, we found that the saving rate will fall to an extremely low 3% in the 2030s.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: America
  • 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
  • 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: Keith O. Lawrence (ed)
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: More than 2.3 million people in america are in jail or prison.sixty percent are african american and Latino.Of all the statistics portraying racial inequity in our country, this is the most alarming: it indicates the failure of so many of our society's institutions; it predicts dire consequences for millions of children and families of color who are already at socioeconomic disadvantage; and it challenges the very definition of our democracy.
  • Topic: Crime, Race, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Jon Gant, Nicol Turner-Lee
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Over the last several decades, local, state and federal government entities in the United States have steadily moved toward more openness and transparency.By definition, openness and transparency allow stakeholders to gather information that may be critical to their interests and offer channels of communication between stakeholders and elected officials. Aided by legislative mandates and public policy decisions, most government entities are now required to make a minimum amount of information available to citizens, operate in the “sunlight” and not behind closed doors, and actively engage citizens in the policy-making process.
  • Topic: Corruption, Education, Government, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Michael Fancher
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The idea of convening a forum to seriously examine the need to save American journalism would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. But in August 2009, the conversation seemed timely and urgent.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: America
  • 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: Richard P. Adler
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: A decade ago the Internet was still a novelty. Only a minority of Americans went online regularly, and the rate of global penetration was even smaller. Today the Internet is so pervasive that we often take its presence for granted, thinking of it as “old news.” It has become part of the daily life of a majority of Americans who rely on it as an almost indispensable tool for both business and personal life: a vital communications link, an important source of news and political information, a convenient channel for distributing digital content of all types (including software, music, photos, and videos), and a robust marketplace for electronic commerce (e-commerce).
  • Topic: Civil Society, Globalization, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: 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: Amy Korzick Garmer
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Fundamental changes are taking place in the advertising marketplace. Audiences are moving away from big media and adopting niche media, with indisputable trends toward fragmentation, disintermediation and greater consumer control affecting the media sector. Consumers have expressed preferences for more personalized, relevant forms of media that speak directly to their needs and interests. Advertisers are experimenting with new ways of communicating with customers and searching for new ways of reaggregating audiences. In this new environment, new media expert Jeff Jarvis has observed, “the economies of scale must compete with the economies of small.”
  • Topic: Civil Society, Communications
  • 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: Kurt M. Campbell
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara was fond of saying that the Middle East was the graveyard of American diplomatic hopes and dreams, and this is a man who knows something about disappointment in global politics (as well as cemeteries). Now, the United States has embarked upon an ambitious mission to remake the Middle East – rebuilding war-ravaged and leader-abused countries in Afghanistan and Iraq, seeking to settle the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, blocking further nuclear proliferation, pushing the region to embrace political moderation and reform, and hopefully improving America's image in the region in the process. There are unintentional though unavoidable echoes of the “best and the brightest” in this campaign as the U.S. embarks upon a global crusade (call it what it is) to help re-direct the course of one of the world's dominant civilizations and the institutions that have served it so poorly. This uniquely American sense of mission and manifest destiny is apparent in a range of endeavors worldwide but it is in the Middle East where U.S. ambitions approach the point of audacity.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Democratization
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: American journalism is in the midst of a transition unlike any other it has experienced in the 225-year history of the republic. Like other societal institutions, news organizations must contend with a variety of forces that are upsetting the status quo and shaping new business and cultural environments. These forces include advances in technology, demographic shifts and the changing interests of consumers, changing government regulations, market consolidation, and globalization, to name a few. The convergence of these market and cultural phenomena and the relentless advance of the information revolution have rocked the comfortably familiar culture of journalism.
  • Topic: Globalization, Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, America