1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1996th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 996th year of the 2nd millennium, the 96th year of the 20th century, and the 7th year of the 1990s decade.
ScreamMovie | 1996
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 is the first major overhaul of telecommunications law in almost 62 years. The goal of this new law is to let anyone enter any communications business -- to let any communications business compete in any market against any other. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 has the potential to change the way we work, live and learn. It will affect telephone service -- local and long distance, cable programming and other video services, broadcast services and services provided to schools. The Federal Communications Commission has a tremendous role to play in creating fair rules for this new era of competition. At this Internet site, we will provide information about the FCC's role in implementing this new law, how you can get involved and how these changes might impact you. This page will include information listing the proceedings the FCC will complete to open up local phone markets, increase competition in long distance and other steps. You will find copies of news releases summarizing action, announcements of meetings where these items will be discussed, and charts describing the work ahead of us and where (within the FCC) and when it will be completed. Please note: some of the links on this page lead to resources outside the FCC. The presence of these links should not be taken as an endorsement by the FCC of these sites or their content. For more information about the referenced documents, contact the person listed on the document. Please let us know what topics most interest you or where you have questions about this new law. We will soon begin to post a series of Questions & Answers with Commission officials designed to answer your questions.
The FCC maintains ASCII Text and Adobe Acrobat Version (128 pages) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as well as Word Perfect Version and Adobe Acrobat Version (335 pages) of the completely updated Communications Act of 1934, as amended by the 1996 Act. The official citation for the new Act is: Telecommunications Act of 1996, Pub. LA. No. 104-104, 110 Stat. 56 (1996). The official printed slip law is available from the Government Printing Office.
The communications revolution empowers individuals, enhances health care, opens up opportunity for rural areas, and strengthens families and institutions. A Dole-led Congress passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to promote the full and open competition and freedom of choice in the telecommunications marketplace. In contrast, the Clinton-Gore Administration repeatedly defended big-government regulation. This micromanagement of the Information Age is an impediment to the development of America's information superhighway.
Our country's merchandise trade deficit exploded to $175 billion in 1995 and will likely set an all-time record in 1996, siphoning American wealth into the hands of foreigners. Trade deficits with all our major trading partners were worse in 1995 than in 1992. With China alone, the deficit more than doubled to $35 billion in the last three and a half years. With Japan, Bill Clinton announced a series of hollow agreements that have done little to improve market access. With Russia, he approved a $1 billion Export-Import Bank loan to foster competition with the American aircraft industry. With Canada, he tolerates discrimination against the United States beverage industry and focused on our lumber crisis too late to help closed logging mills. With Mexico, he ignored injury to American agriculture from massive surges in imports.
"We are discovering as a nation that many of our deepest social problems are problems of character and belief. We will never solve those problems until the hearts of parents are turned toward their children; until respect is restored for life and property; until a commitment is renewed to love and serve our neighbor. The common good requires that goodness be common." Bob Dole, May 23, 1996 in Philadelphia
"Women in America know better than anyone about the randomness and ruthlessness of crime. It is a shameful, national disgrace that nightfall has become synonymous with fear for so many of America's women." Bob Dole, May 28, 1996 in Aurora, Colorado
"The alternative to cold bureaucracy is not indifference. It is the warmth of families and neighborhoods, charities, churches, synagogues and communities. These value-shaping institutions have the tools to reclaim lives - individual responsibility, tough love, and spiritual renewal. They do more than care for the body; they restore the spirit." Bob Dole, May 23, 1996, in Philadelphia
"At the center of all that afflicts our schools is a denial of free choice. Our public schools are in trouble because they are no longer run by the public. Instead, they're controlled by narrow special interest groups who regard public education not as a public trust, but as political territory to be guarded at all costs." Bob Dole, July 17, 1996, in Minneapolis
On the federal level, we endorse legislation - like the Watts-Talent Low-Income Educational Opportunity Act, which is part of the Community Renewal Act of 1996, and the Coats-Kasich Educational Choice and Equity Act - to set up model programs for empowering the families who need good schooling the most.
"Thirty years ago, the `Great Society' was liberalism's greatest hope, its greatest boast. Today, it stands as its greatest shame, a grand failure that has crushed the spirit, destroyed the families, and decimated the culture of those who have become enmeshed in its web." Bob Dole, May 21, 1996, in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
In 1996, the nation's choice is clear: either we return responsible leadership to the White House , or Bill Clinton's lack of international purpose results in catastrophe. We must keep our country strong and sovereign, and assert the interests and values of the United States in the international arena.
"Let us begin by reaffirming that Europe's security is indispensable to the security of the United States, and that American leadership is absolutely indispensable to the security of Europe." - Bob Dole, June 25, 1996
The Republican Party is committed to the protection of all Americans - including our two million citizens in Alaska and Hawaii - against missile attack. We are determined to deploy land-based and sea-based theater missile defenses as soon as possible, and a national system thereafter. We will not permit the mistakes of past diplomacy, based on the immoral concept of Mutual Assured Destruction, to imperil the safety of our nation, our Armed Forces abroad, and our allies. Arms control will be a means to enhance American national security, not an end in itself. We therefore endorse the Defend America Act of 1996, introduced by Senator Bob Dole which calls for a national missile defense system for all fifty States by the year 2003.
Republicans will not subordinate United States sovereignty to any international authority. We oppose the commitment of American troops to U.N. "peacekeeping" operations under foreign commanders and will never compel American servicemen to wear foreign uniforms or insignia. We will insist on an end to waste, mismanagement, and fraud at the United Nations. We will ensure American interests are pursued and defended at the United Nations, will not tolerate any international taxation by the organization, nor will we permit any international court to seize, try, or punish American citizens. Before his departure from the Senate, Bob Dole introduced legislation prohibiting U.S. payments to the United Nations and any of its agencies if they attempt to implement global taxes. We support the passage of the Prohibition on United Nations Taxation Act of 1996 to preserve America's sovereignty and the American taxpayer's right to taxation with representation.
In order to keep the Millennial generation analytically meaningful, and to begin looking at what might be unique about the next cohort, Pew Research Center decided a year ago to use 1996 as the last birth year for Millennials for our future work. Anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 23 to 38 in 2019) is considered a Millennial, and anyone born from 1997 onward is part of a new generation.
In this progression, what is unique for Generation Z is that all of the above have been part of their lives from the start. The iPhone launched in 2007, when the oldest Gen Zers were 10. By the time they were in their teens, the primary means by which young Americans connected with the web was through mobile devices, WiFi and high-bandwidth cellular service. Social media, constant connectivity and on-demand entertainment and communication are innovations Millennials adapted to as they came of age. For those born after 1996, these are largely assumed.
The Challenge of Central Banking in a Democratic SocietyGood evening ladies and gentlemen. I am especially pleased to accept AEI's Francis Boyer Award for 1996 and be listed with so many of my friends and former associates. In my lecture this evening I want to give some personal perspectives on central banking and, consequently, I shall be speaking only for myself.William Jennings Bryan reportedly mesmerized the Democratic Convention of 1896 with his memorable ". . . you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold." His utterances underscored the profoundly divisive role of money in his time--a divisiveness that remains apparent today. Bryan was arguing for monetizing silver at an above-market price in order to expand the money supply. The presumed consequences would have been an increase in product prices and an accompanying shift in the value of net claims on future wealth from the "monied interests" of the East to the indebted farmers of the West who would arguably be able to pay off their obligations with cheaper money.The debates, before and since, over the issue of our money standard have mirrored the deliberations on the manner in which we have chosen to govern ourselves, and, perhaps more fundamentally, debates on the basic values that should govern our society.For, at root, money--serving as a store of value and medium of exchange--is the lubricant that enables a society to organize itself to achieve economic progress. The ability to store the fruits of one's labor for future consumption is necessary for the accumulation of capital, the spread of technological advances and, as a consequence, rising standards of living.Clearly in this context, the general price level, that is, the average exchange rate for money against all goods and services, and how it changes over time, plays a profoundly important role in any society, because it influences the nature and scope of our economic and social relationships over time.It is, thus, no wonder that we at the Federal Reserve, the nation's central bank, and ultimate guardian of the purchasing power of our money, are subject to unending scrutiny. Indeed, it would be folly were it otherwise.A central bank in a democratic society is a magnet for many of the tensions that such a society confronts. Any institution that can affect the purchasing power of the currency is perceived as potentially affecting the level and distribution of wealth among the participants of that society, hardly an inconsequential issue.Not surprisingly, the evolution of central banking in this nation has been driven by such concerns. The experiences with paper money during the Revolutionary War were decidedly inauspicious. "Not worth a Continental" was scarcely the epithet one would wish on a medium of exchange. This moved Alexander Hamilton, with some controversy, to press for legislation that established the soundness of the credit of the United States by assuming, and ultimately repaying, the war debts not only of the fledgling federal government, but of the states as well. Equally controversial was the chartering of the First Bank of the United States, which, although it had few functions of a modern central bank, was nonetheless believed to be a significant threat to states rights and the Constitution itself.Although majority controlled by private interests, the Bank engaged in actions perceived to shift power to the federal government. Such a shift was thought of by many as a fundamental threat to the new democracy, and an essential element of what was feared to be a Hamilton plan to re-establish a powerful aristocracy. The First Bank--and especially its successor Second Bank of the United States--endeavored to restrict state bank credit expansion when it appeared inordinate, by gathering bank notes and tendering them for specie. This reduced the reserve base and the ability of the fledgling American banking system to expand credit. The issue of states' rights and concern about the power of the central government reflected the free wheeling individualism of that time. The Second Bank was a major issue of the election of 1832. Earlier in that year, President Andrew Jackson had vetoed the bill to extend its charter, and the election became a referendum on his veto. The outcome was a resounding victory for Jackson and the death knell for the Bank.It has not been easy, however, to separate often seemingly conflicting threads in the debate between advocates of state powers over money and those seeking a national role. When Andrew Jackson vetoed the charter renewal of the Second Bank of the United States, for example, he argued for the severing of the grip on the economy of easterners and especially foreigners, who owned a significant stock interest in the bank. Ironically, by helping to create what was perceived to be an unstable currency, he set the stage for the later development of a full-fledged gold standard, the institution that Bryan railed against in 1896 from much the same populist philosophical base as Jackson.After the Civil War, redemption of the paper greenbacks issued during the war brought an era of agold-standard-induced deflation, which, while it may not have thwarted the impressive advance of industrialization, was seen by many as suppressing credit availability for the rural interests of the nation, which were still a majority. The general price level declined for more than two decades, which meant borrowers were paying off their loans in more expensive dollars than those they borrowed.Not surprisingly, mounting pressures developed for reform, with Bryan bearing the standard for subsidized silver coinage, that is, free silver. Though Bryan lost to McKinley in 1896 (and again in 1900), the rural-based pressures for a more elastic currency did not diminish and ultimately were reflected, in part, in the creation of the Federal Reserve.Nonetheless, many of the proponents of banking reform in the 1890s, and in the aftermath of the Panic of 1907, were suspicious of creating a central bank. In very large measure, those concerns underlay the various threads of reform that were joined together in the design and creation of the Federal Reserve System in 1913. Its founding followed a prolonged debate on the balance of power between the interests of the New York money center banks and the rest of the nation, still largely rural. The compromise that resulted from that debate created twelve regional Reserve Banks with a Washington presence vested with a Federal Reserve Board. Its purpose was to "furnish an elastic currency, . . . to establish a more effective supervision of banking in the United States, and for other purposes." Monetary policy as we know it today, was not among the "other purposes." That evolved largely by accident in the 1920s.Return to topEven with a central bank, the gold standard was still the dominant constraint on the issuance of paper currency and the expansion of bank deposits. Accordingly, the Federal Reserve was to play a minor role in affecting the purchasing power of the currency for many years to come.The world changed markedly with the advent of the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the evisceration of the gold standard. The upheaval, and still festering fear of New York "monied interests," engendered the Banking Acts of 1933 and more importantly of 1935, which vested more of the Federal Reserve's authority with the Board of Governors in Washington. During World War II, and through 1951, however, monetary policy was effectively subservient to the interests of the Treasury, which sought access to low-cost credit. With the so-called Federal Reserve-Treasury Accord of 1951, the Federal Reserve began to develop its current degree of independence.Although in the 1950s and early 1960s there were short-lived bouts of inflation that caused momentary concern about sustained increases in the price level, these events did little to shake the conviction of most that America's economic and financial structure would indefinitely and effectively contain any inflationary forces. This prescription certainly seems to have been reflected in the low inflation premium then embedded in long-term bonds.That this view was profoundly wrong soon became apparent. The 1970s saw inflation and unemployment simultaneously at relatively elevated levels for some time. The notion that this could occur was nowhere to be found in the conventional wisdom of the economic policy philosophy that developed out of the Keynesian revolution of the 1930s and its subsequent empirical applications. Moreover, these models embodied the view that aggregate demand expansion, from almost any level, would permanently create new jobs. When that expansion carried the economy beyond "full employment" there would be a cost in terms of higher inflation--but only a one-time increase in inflation, so that there existed a permanent trade off between sustainable levels of inflation and employment.The stagflation of the 1970s required a thorough conceptual overhaul of economic thinking and policymaking. Monetarism, and new insights into the effects of anticipatory expectations on economic activity and price setting, competed strongly against the traditional Keynesianism. Gradually the power of state intervention to achieve particular economic outcomes came to be seen as much more limited. A consensus gradually emerged in the late 1970s that inflation destroyed jobs, or at least could not create them.This view has become particularly evident in the communiques that have emanated from the high-level international gatherings of the past quarter century. That inflation could reduce employment was a highly controversial subject in the mid-1970s when introduced into communique language drafts. At the meetings I attended as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, the notion invariably induced extended debates. Today in similar communiques such language is accepted boiler plate and rarely the focus of discussion. This shift in attitudes and understanding provided political support in 1980 and thereafter for the type of monetary policy required to rebalance the economy.Despite waxing and waning over the decades, a deep-seated tension still exists over government's role as an economic policymaker. This tension is evident in Congressional debates, campaign rhetoric, and our ubiquitous talk shows.Return to topIt should not be a surprise that the very same ambiguities and conflicts that characterize the rest of our political life have their reflection in the nation's current view of its central bank, the Federal Reserve. With regard to monetary policy, the view--or at least the suspicion--still persists in some quarters that an activist, expansionary policy could yield dividends in terms of permanently higher output and employment.Nonetheless, there is a