Big Government

When the Republican Party rails about "big government", many people buy it, until they realize the protections that these programs provide. Conservatives have attacked consumer protection laws and social reform for decades. They viciously attacked our most celebrated women activists and reformers, with red-scare tactics and called them communists. Jane Addams, Florence Kelly, Lillian Wald, Alice Hamilton, Mary Elizabeth Drier, and others, who were convinced that the federal government had a responsibility to confront basic and urgent social social needs. They crusaded for safety and health standards, consumer labels, National Child Labor Laws, Minimum Wage Laws for women, and care for mothers and infants with the Sheppard-Towner act.

When a child labor amendment to the constitution was passed in 1924 it was blocked with cries of socialism by the states, raising the old states rights cry, protesting government intrusion into the "freedom" of family life. In addition to the industrialists--who preferred their economic traditions: Why hire a man for a dollar, or a woman for fifty cents, when you can hire a kid for a dime--various church groups were opponents of the amendment.

All of these accomplishments were initiated by the Democrats - most of them over strenuous opposition from Republicans.

8-hour Workday

Social Security

Minimum Wage Law

G.I. Bill of Rights

Marshall Plan


Peace Corps



Operation Head Start

Civil Rights Act of 1964

Voting Rights Act of 1965

Water Quality Act

Clean Air Act

Women's Suffrage Amendment

Workers Compensation Act

Unemployment Compensation Act

Rural Electrification Act

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Federal Home Loan Program

Securities & Exchange Act

Guaranteed Student Loan Program

Family and Medical Leave Act

School Lunch Program

Motor Voter Act

100,000 new police on U.S. streets