As the nation grapples with an increasing national debt in a world where rapid economic growth is no longer guaranteed to help us manage it, the cost of running the federal government is often called into question. Although many politicians have sought to cut spending by eliminating federal agencies and specific programs, few have succeeded in any significant way. This is because many agencies and their programs continue to perform the vital functions for which they were created.
To understand the size and scope of today’s federal government and the responsibilities it has undertaken, it might be best to think about American democracy as a grand, collective do-it-yourself project. The founding fathers had no blueprints for constructing the government we have today, nor was there an idiot’s guide to governance for them to reference. Instead, when they declared independence from England and realized that thirteen colonies acting as one would be more effective than if they acted separately, they drafted the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union to create, in a sense, the operating system of a new nation. The Articles of Confederation, as they were known, named the new nation the United States of America.
Unfortunately, the United States Version 1.0 didn’t work very well. While many of the nation’s founders saw the practicality of uniting to make war in defense of independence and liberty, they were reluctant to give up the autonomy of their states for a strong central government. As a result, the new federal government had little ability to enforce the few limitations it put on the states. And though the nation emerged from the Revolutionary War burdened with substantial debt the states had accumulated in order to fund the war effort, the government lacked the power to tax the states to pay it off.
Shays’ Rebellion in 1786-87 brought these problems to a head and led to the Constitutional Convention that replaced the Articles of Confederation with our current Constitution. The Constitution was the Version 2.0 upgrade that the United States needed to “form a more perfect union” – one that has lasted more than two centuries.
That willingness to adapt and improve our system of governance in the face of a changing social landscape, often in the face of stubborn and sometimes violent opposition, is a persistent and distinguishing feature of American democracy.
In one of the most profound decisions in the nation’s history, one of the first acts of the new Congress in 1789 was to create a Department of the Treasury to manage the nation’s debt and strengthen the economy. This expansion of government authority stabilized the country and paved the way for successive administrations and congresses to address problems and opportunities with maximum financial flexibility. Yet, it was not a decision that was wholeheartedly embraced by all. In fact, it set the political forces of the country on a divided path that still resonates today – those who look to the government for solutions to systemic problems, and those who resist the primacy of federal authority over states’ rights. It is a frequent tension that has defined the country. Nevertheless, more often than not when confronted by the problems of the day, Congress has chosen to act in an ongoing effort to build that more perfect union.
Only a few weeks after creating the Treasury, Congress acted again to upgrade the nation’s system of government, creating the Bill of Rights. The nation’s first 10 amendments to the Constitution were ratified within two years. The United States of America, version 2.10.
The growth of the federal government is largely the story of how, at different times in our history, different systemic problems emerged that could not be fixed by market forces or state and local governments alone. Operating within the framework of the Constitution, the federal government often responded, and particularly in the late 1800s, began to accelerate the establishment of federal agencies to resolve those problems and move the nation forward.
Growth of Government
Department of the TreasuryTreasury grew out of early efforts to ensure proper and efficient handling of the national debt in the face of weak economic and political ties between the colonies. Over time, functions newly taken on by the federal government were often housed in Treasury initially and for long periods of time before being launched as independent organizations.
Department of AgricultureThe US Department of Agriculture started as the Agriculture Division of the US Patent Office in 1839. It was established to address the diminishing productivity of America's farmland. The division researched and eventually produced seeds that were more resilient and easier to grow in harsh conditions.
Interstate Commerce CommissionAs they spread westward in the mid-1800s, railroads often acquired monopolies that led to abusive market practices, including discrimination, collusion, and rate shifting that negatively affected farmers in the west and businessmen in the east. These two groups eventually lobbied the federal government for help. The Interstate Commerce Commission became the first regulatory agency in the US and was a model for those that came later.
Sherman Antitrust ActThe Sherman Antitrust Act was passed to end anti-competitive or monopolistic conduct by individuals or corporations. It was the first in a series of legislation passed over the next 24 years to address anti-competitive practices in business.
Income Tax (16th Amendment)By the late 19th century, the expanding role of the federal government necessitated a new and stable source of revenue. After several attempts, the permanent income tax was instituted with passage of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution.
Department of LaborThe Department of Labor was created in response to the massive amount of economic and political power that large corporations had accumulated by the turn of the 20th century. This period of unchecked corporate wealth and power is known as the Gilded Age. Feeling that this power inherently threatened the rights and representation of workers, the American labor movement had repeatedly called for the voice of organized labor to be represented in the President’s executive Cabinet.
The Federal ReserveRepeated and dramatic economic panics in the preceding decades led to the creation of The Federal Reserve, designed to be a central authority equipped to manage and stabilize the national economy. In particular, the Panic of 1907 caused many to recognize the need for an independent and reliable organization to support greater economic stability.
Federal Trade CommissionDespite passage of the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890, anti-competitive activities persisted, including monopolistic mergers, price-fixing, bid rigging, and false and deceptive advertising. Creation of the FTC culminated a steady demand by the public and business for protection from the anti-competitive practices of a few large companies in several prominent industries.
Food and Drug AdministrationCongress created the Food and Drug Administration to prevent the sale and distribution of consumable products deemed so harmful as to be a public health hazard. These included foods processed in unsanitary conditions and substances sold as medicines or drugs that were either ineffective or actively dangerous.
Securities and Exchange CommissionThe Securities and Exchange Commission was created to protect investors; maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets; and facilitate capital formation. The initial laws granting it authority over publicly held companies helped restore the public's trust in the economy.
Federal Communications CommissionAs radio and telephone technologies spread across the economy, Congress created the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) to manage the complexities of these new communications technologies.
Social Security AdministrationCongress created the Social Security Administration (SSA) to help elderly Americans meet basic living expenses as their earning power declined with age and to provide unemployment insurance to the unemployed.
Centers for Disease Control and PreventionThe CDC was initially created to eliminate malaria in the US. Today, it's mission is to save lives, protect people from health threats, and increase the health security of the nation.
Environmental Protection AgencyThe industrial age brought great advances in standard of living, but also produced downsides that Congress tried to address over decades. Finally, under President Nixon, Congress established the Environmental Protection Agency to consolidate an array of long-standing and new federal environmental responsibilities under one organization in order to more efficiently and effectively coordinate federal activity.
Federal Election CommissionCreation of the Federal Election Commission culminated a history of efforts to limit the influence of money and power on elections.
Consumer Financial Protection BureauThe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was established to protect consumers in the financial markets from unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices and to take action against companies that break the law.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, “About the U.S. Department of Agriculture”, https://www.usda.gov/our-agency/about-usda, accessed June 8, 2019
R.J. Griesbach, “Putting Down Roots at the Patent Office”, uspto.gov, https://www.uspto.gov/learning-and-resources/newsletter/inventors-eye/putting-down-roots-patent-office, accessed June 8, 2019
AllGov.com, “Department of Agriculture”, http://www.allgov.com/departments/department-of-agriculture?detailsDepartmentID=568, accessed June 8, 2019
North Carolina State University, “Smith-Lever Act”, https://www.lib.ncsu.edu/specialcollections/greenngrowing/essay_smith_lever.html, accessed June 8, 2019
Encyclopedia Britannica, “Interstate Commerce Commission”, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Interstate-Commerce-Commission, accessed July 31, 2019
Investopedia, “Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC)”, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/interstate-commerce-commission.asp, accessed July 31, 2019
Encyclopedia Britannica, “Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Movement”, https://www.britannica.com/place/United-States/Theodore-Roosevelt-and-the-Progressive-movement, accessed Nov 2, 2019
Surface Transportation Board, “Overview of the STB”, https://www.stb.gov/stb/about/overview.html, accessed July 30, 2019
Encyclopedia Britannica, “Sherman Antitrust Act”, https://www.britannica.com/event/Sherman-Antitrust-Act, accessed April 30, 2019
Investopedia, “Sherman Antitrust Act”, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/sherman-antiturst-act.asp, accessed April 30, 2019
Our Documents, “Sherman Antitrust Act”, https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=false&doc=51, accessed April 30, 2019
Our Documents, “16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution”, https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=57, accessed July 31, 2019
USConstitution.net, “Ratification of Constitutional Amendments”, https://www.usconstitution.net/constamrat.html#Am16, accessed July 31, 2019
Constitution Center, “16th Amendment: Income Tax”, https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/amendment/amendment-xvi, accessed July 31, 2019
Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute, “Income Tax”, https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/income_tax, accessed July 31, 2019
Internal Revenue Service, “IRS History Timeline”, https://www.irs.gov/irs-history-timeline, accessed July 31, 2019
The Week Staff, “The IRS’s long history of scandal”, The Week, June 8, 2013, https://theweek.com/articles/463448/irss-long-history-scandal, accessed July 31, 2019
Investopedia, “Income Tax, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/incometax.asp, accessed July 31, 2019
Investopedia, “Revenue Act Of 1862”, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/revenue-tax-act-1862.asp, accessed July 31, 2019
Lesley Kennedy, “Building the Transcontinental Railroad: How 20,000 Chinese Immigrants Made It Happen”, History.com, https://www.history.com/news/transcontinental-railroad-chinese-immigrants, accessed October 29, 2019
History.com, “Transcontinental Railroad”, Sep 11, 2019, https://www.history.com/topics/inventions/transcontinental-railroad, accessed October 29, 2019
Patrick J. Kiger, “10 Ways the Transcontinental Railroad Changed America,” History,com, https://www.history.com/news/transcontinental-railroad-changed-america, accessed October 30, 2019
Union Pacific Railroad, “A Nation Transformed: The impact of the Transcontinental Railroad.” https://www.uprr.com/aboutup/history/lincoln/nation_trans/index.shtml, accessed October 29, 2019
University of Houston Digital History, “Closing the American Frontier“, http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtid=2&psid=3154, accessed October 29, 2019
American-Rails.com, “1950s Railroads, The Industry In Decline”, https://www.american-rails.com/1950s.html, accessed October 30, 2019
American-Rails.com, “Railroad History”, https://www.american-rails.com/history.html, accessed October 30, 2019
Robert Puentes, Adie Tomer, and Joseph W. Kane, “A New Alignment: Strengthening America’s Commitment to Passenger Rail” Brookings.edu, March 1, 2013, https://www.brookings.edu/research/a-new-alignment-strengthening-americas-commitment-to-passenger-rail/, accessed October 31, 2019
Encyclopedia Britannica, “Pacific Railway Acts”, https://www.britannica.com/event/Pacific-Railway-Acts, accessed October 29, 2019
Kansas Historical Society, “Railroad Land Grants” https://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/railroad-land-grants/16718, accessed October 28, 2019
George Draffan, “Chronology of the Northern Pacific & Related Land Grant Railroads”, July 24, 2001, LandGrants.org, http://www.landgrant.org/history.html, accessed October 29, 2019
National Railroad Hall of Fame, “Stephen A. Douglas”, https://www.nrrhof.org/stephen-a-douglas, accessed October 29, 2019
Library of Congress, “Railroad Maps, 1828 to 1900”, https://www.loc.gov/collections/railroad-maps-1828-to-1900/about-this-collection/, accessed October 28, 2019
FTCVideos, “A Brief History of the Birth of the Federal Trade Commission”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NssfPApe5iQ, watched May 31, 2019
Federal Trade Commission, “What We Do”, https://www.ftc.gov/about-ftc/what-we-do, accessed May 31, 2019
Marc Davis, “A Short History of the US Federal Trade Commission”, Investopedia.com, Jun 25, 2019, https://www.investopedia.com/articles/financial-theory/10/the-us-federal-trade-commission.asp, accessed May 31, 2019
UpCounsel, “FTC E Commerce Guide: Everything You Need To Know”, https://www.upcounsel.com/ftc-e-commerce-guide, accessed May 31, 2019
D. Lloyd, “The Story of a Great Monopoly”, The Atlantic, March 1881, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1881/03/the-story-of-a-great-monopoly/306019/, accessed May 31, 2019
History.com, “U.S. postal system established”, https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/u-s-postal-system-established, accessed September 17, 2019
Mary Bellis, “History of the United States Postal Service”, ThoughtCo.com, August 20, 2016, https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-the-united-states-postal-service-4076789, accessed September 20, 2019
United States Postal Service, “The history of the United States Postal Service”, https://about.usps.com/publications/pub100/pub100_001.htm#ep998290, accessed September 17, 2019
United States Postal Service, “Significant Dates”, https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-history/significant-dates.htm, accessed September 21, 2019
Wendover Productions, “How the Post Office Made America”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu2WOxXxsHw, watched September 20, 2019
U.S. Department of Labor, “About OWCP”, https://www.dol.gov/owcp/owcpabot.htm, accessed May 30, 2019
National Labor Relations Board, “National Labor Relations Act”, https://www.nlrb.gov/how-we-work/national-labor-relations-act, accessed May 30, 2019
USHistory.com, “Frances Perkins”, https://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1603.html, accessed August 1, 2019
Judson MacLaury, “The Job Safety Law of 1970: Its Passage Was Perilous”, USDOL, https://www.dol.gov/general/aboutdol/history/osha, accessed August 1, 2019
Judson MacLaury, “A Brief History: The U.S. Department of Labor”, USDOL, https://www.dol.gov/general/aboutdol/history/dolhistoxford, accessed August 1, 2019
U.S. Department of Labor, “About Us”, https://www.dol.gov/general/aboutdol, accessed May 30, 2019
U.S. Federal Reserve, “About the Fed”, https://www.federalreserve.gov/aboutthefed.htm, accessed August 4, 2019
Encyclopedia.com, “Federal Reserve System”, https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences-and-law/economics-business-and-labor/money-banking-and-investment/federal-reserve-system, accessed August 4, 2019
FederalReserveEducation.org, “History of the Federal Reserve”, https://www.federalreserveeducation.org/about-the-fed/history, accessed August 4, 2019
Business Casual, “How The Federal Reserve Works (And Who Really Owns It)”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y0I-vVLBVQ, watched August 6, 2019
The Economist, “The history of central banks”, https://www.economist.com/briefing/2017/04/27/the-history-of-central-banks, accessed August 4, 2019
Robert F. Smith, “Bank of North America”, The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia, https://philadelphiaencyclopedia.org/archive/bank-of-north-america/, accessed August 2, 2019
Andrew T. Hill, “The First Bank of the United States”, Federal Reserve History, https://www.federalreservehistory.org/essays/first_bank_of_the_us, accessed August 4, 2019
Investopedia, “Monetary Accord of 1951, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/monetary-accord-1951.asp, accessed August 6, 2019
Kenneth J. Robinson, “Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980”, Federal Reserve History March 1980, https://www.federalreservehistory.org/essays/monetary_control_act_of_1980?WT.si_n=Search&WT.si_x=3#lasting, accessed August 2, 2019
Encyclopedia.com, “Food And Drug Administration”, https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences-and-law/political-science-and-government/us-government/food-and-drug-administration, accessed May 4, 2019
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “What We Do”, https://www.fda.gov/about-fda/what-we-do#mission, accessed May 4, 2019
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “A History of the FDA and Drug Regulation in the
United States”, https://www.fda.gov/media/73549/download, downloaded May 4, 2019
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “Part II: 1938, Food, Drug, Cosmetic Act”, https://www.fda.gov/about-fda/fdas-evolving-regulatory-powers/part-ii-1938-food-drug-cosmetic-act, accessed May 4, 2019
History.com, “Homestead Act”, August 15, 2019 https://www.history.com/topics/american-civil-war/homestead-act, accessed September 30, 2019
The National Parks Service, “About the Homestead Act”, https://www.nps.gov/home/learn/historyculture/abouthomesteadactlaw.htm, accessed September 30, 2019
OurDocuments.org, “Homestead Act (1862)”, https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=false&doc=31, accessed September 30, 2019
Khan Academy, “The Homestead Act and the exodusters”, https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/us-history/the-gilded-age/american-west/a/the-homestead-act-and-the-exodusters, accessed October 1, 2019
Encyclopedia.com, “Taylor Grazing Act”, https://www.encyclopedia.com/economics/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/taylor-grazing-act, accessed September 30, 2019
Ballotpedia.com, “Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976”, https://ballotpedia.org/Federal_Land_Policy_and_Management_Act_of_1976, accessed September 30, 2019
The National Parks Service, “The Last Homesteader”, https://www.nps.gov/home/learn/historyculture/lasthomesteader.htm, accessed September 30, 2019
Jeffrey Mervis, “Data check: U.S. government share of basic research funding falls below 50%”, Science Magazine, Mar. 9, 2017, https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/03/data-check-us-government-share-basic-research-funding-falls-below-50, accessed, October 10, 2019
Michael Aaron Dennis, “Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency”, Encyclopedia Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Defense-Advanced-Research-Projects-Agency, accessed October 10, 2019
DARPA, “About DARPA”, https://www.darpa.mil/about-us/about-darpa, accessed October 10, 2019
DARPA, “A Selected History of DARPA Innovation”, https://www.darpa.mil/Timeline/index.html, accessed October 10, 2019
Ted Greenwald, “Secrets of Darpa’s Innovation Machine”, Forbes, Feb 15, 2013, https://www.forbes.com/sites/tedgreenwald/2013/02/15/secrets-of-darpas-innovation-machine/#29cf7ed9aed8, accessed October 10, 2019
Jacob Weindling, “America Doesn’t Prioritize Scientific Research Unless It’s for the Military”, Paste Magazine, June 8, 2017, https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/05/america-doesnt-prioritize-scientific-research-unle.html, accessed October 10, 2019
Frank Comstock, “I-95 is almost complete – 60 years late”, Hemmings, Jan 30, 2018, https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2018/01/30/i-95-is-almost-complete-60-years-late/, accessed October 23, 2019
OurDocuments.org, “National Interstate and Defense Highways Act (1956)”, https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=false&doc=88, accessed October 23, 2019
History.com, “The Interstate Highway System”, https://www.history.com/topics/us-states/interstate-highway-system, accessed October 23, 2019
U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, “Map of National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, 1958”, https://www.visitthecapitol.gov/exhibitions/artifact/map-national-system-interstate-and-defense-highways-1958, accessed October 23, 2019
U.S. Department of Transportation, “Interstate Frequently Asked Questions”, https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/interstate/faq.cfm#question1, accessed October 23, 2019
BetterExplained.com, “The Math Inside the US Highway System”, https://betterexplained.com/articles/highway-math/, accessed October 23, 2019
EPA, “Laws and Executive Orders”, https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/laws-and-executive-orders, accessed June 1, 2019
EPA, “Our Mission and What We Do”, https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/our-mission-and-what-we-do, accessed June 1, 2019
EPA, “EPA History”, https://www.epa.gov/history#timeline, accessed June 1, 2019
EPA, “The Origins of EPA”, https://www.epa.gov/history/origins-epa, accessed June 1, 2019
Investopedia, “Externality”, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/externality.asp, accessed June 1, 2019
FEC, “Mission and history”, https://www.fec.gov/about/mission-and-history/, accessed June 2, 2019
Issue One, “REVITALIZING AMERICA’S ELECTION WATCHDOG”, https://www.issueone.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/fec-one-pager-final.pdf, downloaded June 2, 2019
Encyclopedia Britannica, “Bank War”, https://www.britannica.com/event/Bank-War, accessed June 2, 2019
Thomas Fleming, “The Long, Stormy Marriage Of Money And Politics”, American Heritage, November 1998, https://www.americanheritage.com/long-stormy-marriage-money-and-politics, accessed June 2, 2019
OurDocuments.gov, “Pendleton Act (1883)”, https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=false&doc=48, accessed June 2, 2019
Michael Bitzer, “Tillman Act of 1907 (1907)”, MTSU.edu, https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/1051/tillman-act-of-1907, accessed June 2, 201
Lindsay Renick Mayer, “Fundraising Wasn’t for the Forefathers”, OpenSecrets, Feb 22, 2007, https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2007/02/fundraising-wasnt-for-the-fore/, accessed Aug 5, 2020
Daniel Feller, “Andrew Jackson: Domestic Affairs”, University of Virginia | The Miller Center, https://millercenter.org/president/jackson/domestic-affairs, accessed Aug 5, 2020
Burt Neuborne, “Campaign Finance Reform & the Constitution: A Critical Look at Buckley v. Valeo”, Brennan Center for Justice, Jan 1, 1998, https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/campaign-finance-reform-constitution-critical-look-buckley-v-valeo, accessed Aug 5, 2020
Tim Lau, “Citizens United Explained”, Brennan Center for Justice, Dec 12, 2019, https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/citizens-united-explained, accessed Aug 5, 2020
John Dunbar, “A Modern History of Campaign Finance: From Watergate to ‘Citizens United’”, The Center for Public Integrity, Jan 22, 2018, https://publicintegrity.org/politics/a-modern-history-of-campaign-finance-from-watergate-to-citizens-united/, accessed Aug 5, 2020
The Center for Public Integrity, “Important Dates: Federal Campaign Finance Legislation”, March 25, 2004, https://publicintegrity.org/2004/03/25/5852/important-dates-federal-campaign-finance-legislation, accessed June 2, 2019
Ballotpedia, “Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act”, https://ballotpedia.org/Bipartisan_Campaign_Reform_Act, accessed June 2, 2019
Investopedia, “Soft Money Definition”, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/softmoney.asp, accessed June 2, 2019
Oyez, “Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission”, https://www.oyez.org/cases/2008/08-205, accessed June 2, 2019
Oyez, “McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission”, https://www.oyez.org/cases/2013/12-536, accessed June 2, 2019
Investopedia, “Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)”, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/fair-credit-reporting-act-fcra.asp, accessed May 27, 2019
Investopedia, “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act”, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/dodd-frank-financial-regulatory-reform-bill.asp, accessed May 27, 2019
Erik Sherman, “Scaling back Dodd-Frank is just the beginning of Trump’s run on deregulation”, NBC News, May 24, 2018, https://www.nbcnews.com/business/economy/scaling-back-dodd-frank-just-beginning-trump-s-run-deregulation-n877031, accessed May 27, 2019
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, “About Us”, https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/the-bureau/, accessed May 27, 2019
Lexington Law, “A History of Consumer Rights and Improvements”, https://www.lexingtonlaw.com/blog/credit-repair/history-consumer-rights-improvements.html, accessed May 27, 2019
ZACHARY WARMBRODT, “Trump signs bill blocking consumer bureau auto-lending measure”, Politico, May 21, 2018, https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/21/trump-signs-bill-blocking-cfpb-auto-lending-measure-558281, accessed May 27, 2019
SEC, “What We Do”, https://www.sec.gov/Article/whatwedo.html, accessed May 29, 2019
SEC, “Quick Answers”, https://www.sec.gov/answers/about-lawsshtml.html, accessed May 29, 2019
David Moss, Cole Bolton and Eugene Kintgen, “The Pecora Hearings”, Harvard Business School, 2009, https://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/item.aspx?num=32063, accessed May 29, 2019
Investopedia, “Security Definition”, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/security.asp, accessed May 29, 2019
Wikipedia, “Sarbanes–Oxley Act”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarbanes%E2%80%93Oxley_Act, accessed May 29, 2019
Social Security Administration, “Social Security History”, https://www.ssa.gov/history/orghist.html, accessed June 6, 2019
History.com, “Social Security Act”, https://www.history.com/topics/great-depression/social-security-act#section_5, accessed June 6, 2019
Kathleen L. Gorman, “Civil War Pensions”, Essential Civil War Curriculum, https://www.essentialcivilwarcurriculum.com/civil-war-pensions.html, accessed June 6, 2019
USPTO, “The U.S. Patent System Celebrates 212 Years”, https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/news-updates/us-patent-system-celebrates-212-years, accessed September 26, 2019
All Gov, “United States Patent and Trademark Office”, http://www.allgov.com/departments/department-of-commerce/united-states-patent-and-trademark-office?agencyid=7143, accessed September 26, 2019
USPTO, “U.S. Patent Statistics Chart Calendar Years 1963 – 2015”, https://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/us_stat.htm, accessed September 26, 2019
Jani Ihalainen, “The Origin of IP – Historical Protection of Intellectual Property”, IP Iustitia, 08 December, 2015, https://www.ipiustitia.com/2015/12/the-origin-of-ip-historical-protection.html, accessed September 26, 2019
Marshall Phelps, “Do Patents Really Promote Innovation? A Response To The Economist”, Forbes, Sep 16, 2015, https://www.forbes.com/sites/marshallphelps/2015/09/16/do-patents-really-promote-innovation-a-response-to-the-economist/#769d90661921, accessed September 26, 2019
U.S. Postal Service, “Parcel Post”, https://about.usps.com/publications/pub100/pub100_024.htm, accessed September 17, 2019
LEE MATHEWS, “U.S. Postal Service selects drone as potential new delivery vehicle”, Geek, 04.21.2015, https://www.geek.com/news/u-s-postal-service-selects-drone-as-potential-new-delivery-vehicle-1620904/, accessed September 26, 2019
U.S. Congress, “An Act to Establish the Post-Office and Post Roads within the United States”, http://njpostalhistory.org/media/pdf/postact1792.pdf, accessed September 26, 2019
FCC, “What We Do”, https://www.fcc.gov/about-fcc/what-we-do, accessed May 6, 2019
Mitel, “THE HISTORY OF THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (FCC)”, https://www.mitel.com/articles/history-federal-communications-commission-fcc, accessed May 6, 2019
ACLU, “WHAT IS NET NEUTRALITY?”, https://www.aclu.org/issues/free-speech/internet-speech/what-net-neutrality, accessed May 6, 2019
Roosevelt Institute, “Communications Act of 1934”, https://rooseveltinstitute.org/communications-act-1934/, accessed May 6, 2019
US Senate, “Subcommittee on Senate Resolutions 84 and 234 (The Pecora Committee)”, Jun 16, 1934, https://www.senate.gov/about/powers-procedures/investigations/pecora.htm, accessed Aug 3, 2020
Jim Zarolli, “Fact Check: Did Glass-Steagall Cause The 2008 Financial Crisis?”, NPR, Oct 14, 2015, https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/14/448685233/fact-check-did-glass-steagall-cause-the-2008-financial-crisis, accessed Aug 3, 2020
Andrew Beattie, “The SEC: A Brief History Of Regulation”, Jun 25, 2019, https://www.investopedia.com/articles/07/secbeginning.asp, accessed Aug 3, 2020
CDC, “Mission, Role and Pledge”, https://www.cdc.gov/about/organization/mission.htm, accessed Aug 4, 2020
Dylan Matthews, “Everything you need to know about the Fairness Doctrine in one post”, Washington Post, Aug 23, 2011, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-fairness-doctrine-in-one-post/2011/08/23/gIQAN8CXZJ_blog.html, accessed Aug 3, 2020
Audrey Perry (original), John R. Vile (update 2017), “Fairness Doctrine”, The First Amendment Encyclopedia, May 2017, https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/955/fairness-doctrine, accessed Aug 3, 2020
Related Problems: Climate Change, National Debt
Contributors: George Linzer, Forrest Stewart
Published: November 5, 2019
Updates: July 31, 2020; December 17, 2021