Legislative Influence on the Economy

Legislative Influence on the Economy Throughout history, there have been instances of the government affecting the economy, be it with the B.U.S. or with the Fair Labor Standards Act, the government has played an important role in our economy. The government rescued the United States from the Great Depression by increasing demand and lowering taxes. During the 80’s, the United States was forced into a recession that threatened to destroy the economy. Both instances were due to intervention of the government to the economy. Most of the government intervention is done by subsidy, which is a form of economic aid to assist a private enterprise, but a good deal is also done by legislation. There are many areas in which the government influences the economy through legislation. One area influenced by legislation is business. Calvin Coolidge said, “The business of America is business.” The government has seen to it that it is fair with this. During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, several bills focusing on breaking up the trusts were passed with unanimity. It began with the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. This Act outlawed and restraint on trade or competition, and caused the breakup of the Standard Oil trust into twenty different companies. Another area where legislation has been used to help control the economy was in trade. With the breaking up of large trusts and monopolies with the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, A group had to be able to enforce the new laws, and so in 1914, the Federal Trade Commission Act was passed, months before the Clayton Anti-Trust Act was passed to fill in the gaps left by the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. With all of these new companies sprouting up, an increase in the number of jobs occurred, but it is no surprise that workers were not being paid fair wages, and so in the area of labor, the government passed the Fair Labor Standards Act. This act created the way by which everybody works today. A minimum wage, 40- hour work week, and control of child labor. This legislation itself was invoked by large labor unions such as the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), both of which sought to improve working conditions and wages through negotiations with employers. One overdue act was the Meat Inspection Act, largely influenced by Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. The act was passed in 1960, long overdue considering the circumstances. On the home front, the government also helped see to it that that our children were safe not just from having to work 19 hours a day, but also from hazardous toys. In 1960, the Child Protection Act was passed to ban the sale of dangerous children’s toys, like any ball with a diameter of 1.75 inches (44.4mm) or less. It’s always nice to know that the government is always looking out for the small guy. Especially since in 1974, the government decided to pass the Anti-Trust Procedures and Penalties Act. 84 years after passing the first Anti Trust Act, it finally becomes illegal to disobey the anti-trust acts. Go figure. Along with the Fiscal Policy, subsidizing, and numerous legislation acts, the government has a wide range of control of the economy. Fortunately, no one party is in office long enough to totally push their “new-and-improved-economic- policy-all-ready-beginning-to-balance-the-budget” hype. The regulation of the economy is something that is not to be taken lightly, though, and t is essential that no drastic movements be made, lest we fall from the balance beam known as stable economy.

Category: Social Issues