Cabinet Departments and Year Established

Thomas A. Garrett
Russell M. Rhine
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review, 88(1)
2006

"Another measure of the size of the federal government is the number of cabinet departments. Eight cabinet departments were created from 1788 to 1952. Since 1953, there have been an additional eight cabinet departments established. Table 1 provides a list of all executive cabinet departments and the dates they were each established. One can infer from Table 1 and Figure 1 that the increase in per capita expenditures during the 20th century was due to an increase in the physical size of government as well as an increase in spending by existing government agencies."

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Library Topic: Growth of Government

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Spalding traces the roots of American progressives to German thinkers who believed in the "Administrative State." Here, government is controlled by administrators and "experts," rather than officials elected to represent the people. Spalding also notes that the Founders and the progressives differed in their view of the Constitution. Progressives believed in a "...

"When the income tax system was born in 1913, the New York Times published all of the required forms on one page. At that time there were 3,000 employees at the IRS. Today the tax code is lengthier than the Encyclopedia Britannica and consequently there now are 115,000 IRS employees to interpret and enforce this monstrosity. Incredibly, the IRS now has more employees than the Environmental...

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Sponsors of the bills are engaging...

"If the expansion of intrusive government (a redundancy) gives you the willies — it should; the cost is freedom and prosperity — you may be tempted to direct your anger at Obama and the rest of the Democratic leadership. That would be myopic, however.

Blame the Republicans, beginning with the former president, George W. Bush. (We could go back further, but time and space are limited...

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"President Obama has called Rep. Paul Ryan's budget 'an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country,' but as this week's chart illustrates, if something radical doesn't happen, entitlement spending will nearly double by 2050. The amount of spending on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Obamacare subsidies will soar over the next 38 years, leaving future generations with an alarming...

"Many of us who believe that governments continue to grow relentlessly, at least in the economically advanced countries, have been criticized by analysts who claim that in fact the growth of government has petered out or slowed substantially. The latter group perceives us to be needlessly alarmed and faults us for a failure to acknowledge the decisive turn of events associated with the so-...

"The tea leaves are clear: The Great Recession will not be a second Great Depression. And, as I argue below, President Obama's stimulus package, though imperfect, deserves a great deal of credit for bringing us back to the positive trajectory we're on today. Any reasonable grader of the stimulus's effects on driving recovery and combating joblessness would give the stimulus at least a B+. In...

This timeline traces the growth of the Department of Agriculture from before it was created in 1862 under President Lincoln, to 2008 when "The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act" was "enacted over a presidential veto."

Although the Department of Commerce was not established until 1913, its history and growth can be traced back to the year the Constitution was ratified. This timeline gives a brief description of key events related to the Department of Commerce.

The Department of Defense was officially established in 1947; however, its many components such as the Department of the Navy and the Department of War were early creations in the young United States. This piece chronicles key events in the Department of Defense's evolution.

One of the most well-known government departments, the Department of Education was established by President Carter in 1979. This timeline traces the growth of the department and other events which led to its creation.

In 1977, "At the urging of President Jimmy Carter, Congress create[d] the Department of Energy, which combine[d] the Federal Energy Administration, the Energy Research and Development Administration, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission." This timeline traces events related to the Department of Energy before and after its creation.

This piece gives a timeline of events related to the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

A timeline history of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, from its roots as a federal study in 1892, its offical inception as a Presidential Cabinet post in 1965, and to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009.

This piece contains a timeline detailing the Department of Labor's growth from 1884, when union supporters first "lobb[ied] for a federal department to oversee labor issues," to 2011, when "[t]he Department Labor employ[ed] 17,000 workers and ha[d] a budget of $148 billion."

This piece gives a timeline of events related to the federal Department of the Interior before and after its creation in 1849.

This piece gives a timeline of events related to the federal Department of Transportation.

"One of the benefits of historical knowledge is that it brings perspective. Things that seem obvious look quite different when you realize that they are of recent origin. Things that seem inevitable do not appear so when you look at their past. One of the best examples of this is the size of modern government."

"The White House is aggressively pushing the idea that, contrary to widespread belief, President Barack Obama is tightfisted with taxpayer dollars. To back it up, the administration cites a media report that claims federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since the Eisenhower years."

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"A modern government is not a single, simple thing. It consists of many institutions, agencies, and activities and includes many separate actors—legislators, administrators, judges, and various ordinary employees. These actors act somewhat independently, and even, at times, at cross-purposes. Because government is complex, no single measure suffices to capture its true 'size.' Each of the...

"With the exceptions of 2004 and 2005, government consumption and investment have grown more quickly than private expenditures and investment during the last decade – in the last ten years, the private sector has, on average, grown 1.2 percent annually, while the government has, on average, grown 3.5 percent annually.

In three of the past ten years, the private sector contracted. During...

"President Barack Obama swept into office on a mantra of 'Yes, we can.' Even though our economy was nearly two years into the Great Recession and jobs were being lost at a record pace, he projected a sense of optimism that, together, we could fix it. And history tells us that even when economic times are bleak, there are doable steps that a government can take that make a difference to get the...

"Targeted government programs can spur jobs growth. Look no further than the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which contained a wide range of policies that resulted in between 1.4 million and 4 million jobs created or maintained by the summer of 2011, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. ... Not surprisingly, though, these policies varied in their impact and...

"Many conservatives and small-government advocates have made the case that the number of government employees has increased or, at least, that they are in a better situation than private sector employees during this recession. Paul Krugman of the New York Times wants them to admit that it is not true."

"Here's the narrative you hear everywhere: President Obama has presided over a huge expansion of government, but unemployment has remained high. And this proves that government spending can't create jobs.

Here's what you need to know: The whole story is a myth. There never was a big expansion of government spending. In fact, that has been the key problem with economic policy in the...

"Many people on the political right believe that by reducing expenditures on social programs, we can permanently reduce the size and cost of government. On its surface, that argument seems to make sense: spending less will cost us less. But when we look more carefully at what that actually means, it turns out to be false, depending upon the nature of the program in question."

"Ordinary people — not just a small fringe group of zealots — are really afraid today. They see the country they adore being attacked at all levels; they see their freedoms under assault, their life savings genuinely in jeopardy, an endlessly anemic economy, a longer period of sustained unemployment than we've experienced in a half-century and a national financial crisis, born of world-...

"Academics have for some time pondered why the government started growing precisely when it did. The federal government, aside from periods of wartime, consumed about 2 to 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) up until World War I. That was the first war in which government spending didn't go all the way back down to its pre-war levels. Then in the 1920s, non-military federal spending...

"In its first session in 1789, the U.S. Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1789, creating the position of the attorney general, whose job it is 'to prosecute and conduct all suits in the Supreme Court in which the United States shall be concerned, and to give his advice and opinion upon questions of law when required by the President of the United States, or when requested by the heads of...

"A majority of Americans (54%) continue to believe the government is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses, although that is down from the record high of 61% earlier this summer. About four in 10 Americans (39%) say the government should do more to solve the nation's problems."

"In his Wisconsin primary victory speech, presidential aspirant Mitt Romney made some interesting observations about Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and Abraham Lincoln. He seemed to indicate that he admires them, as they were what he termed 'historically great' presidents. He then went on to chide the current president for having the audacity to think of himself in the same league as...

"A financial columnist named Rex Nutting recently triggered a firestorm of controversy by claiming that Barack Obama is not a big spender.

Here's the chart he prepared, which certainly seems to indicate that Obama is a fiscal conservative. Not only that, it shows that Republicans generally are the big spenders, while Democrats are frugal with other people's money."

"Speaking to a celebrity studded fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee in Beverly Hills last night, President Barack Obama humbly proclaimed he 'would put these first four months up against any prior administration since FDR.' Actually, let's do that."

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This misplaced focus said a lot about our political culture, in particular about how disconnected...

"Obama's desperate protests that his anti-business rant was taken out of context are betrayed both by that very context and because they are a part of a piece — just one more component of his war against the American entrepreneurial spirit.

He would have us believe that his words 'you didn’t build that' referred to roads and bridges and not businesses.

Given his accompanying...

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"For all of his talk about jobs and the economy, President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech was not an economic policy blueprint. This was a speech about power — about increasing the scale and scope of government and the power of those who govern over the American people."

"Those of us who believe that taxation is theft, and that there is nothing 'fair' about the federal government seizing a portion of its citizens' income or confiscating 23 or 30 percent of the value of every new good or service, are often told that we support the current tax system with its 54,000 pages of Internal Revenue Code because we don't jump for joy over any of the abovementioned tax...

"Contrary to popular myth, every Republican president since and including Herbert Hoover has increased the federal government's size, scope, or power--and usually all three. Over the last one hundred years, of the five presidents who presided over the largest domestic spending increases, four were Republicans. Include regulations and foreign policy, as well as budgets approved by a Republican...

This article argues that tax cuts do not stimulate the economy in the Keynesian sense. Instead, a decrease in taxes creates a greater pool from which the private sector invests money. This leads to long-term growth. However, the author warns that tax cuts without budget cuts will not increase the funding pool, and therefore tax cuts will have no real effect. He argues that if government...

"Government seems to grow constantly bigger and ever more intrusive in our lives.

Modern history reads like a tale of interventionism run amuck. ... Before World War II, it was widely believed that government had no business interfering with the private economy in the absence of dire necessity; after the war, Americans generally assumed that government interference was the rule rather...

"The original bureaucracy of the federal government consisted only of employees from three small departments — State, Treasury, and War. The executive branch employs today almost three million people. Not only have the numbers of bureaucrats grown, but also the methods and standards for hiring and promoting people have changed dramatically."

"As we approach the bicentennial of the ratification of the Constitution, Americans face what many regard as a constitutional crisis. A resolution calling for a constitutional convention to limit the spending powers of government has been approved by thirty-one out of a required thirty-four states. Over two hundred other constitutional amendments, many of them dealing with economic issues,...

"Carney made his comments while berating reporters for not realizing that 'the rate of spending — federal spending — increase is lower under President Obama than all of his predecessors since Dwight Eisenhower, including all of his Republican predecessors.' He cited as his source an article by Rex Nutting, of MarketWatch, titled, 'Obama spending binge never happened,' which has been the...

"When looking at Obama's spending, the key issue is what to do about the 2009 fiscal year. Since the federal government's fiscal year begins on Oct. 1, about four months took place in Bush's presidency — and those were dramatic months of fiscal crisis and emergency spending."

"Sometimes things are not what we think they are. The conventional notion is that government has become more important under President Obama, while the private sector has stagnated. Yet in some ways the data tell a different story."

"In late November 1972, Governor Reagan convened a small group at the Century Plaza in Los Angeles. In his opening remarks, he observed that conventional politics, including the recent reelection of a Republican president by a large majority, would probably not be sufficient to slow the growth of government. Several other speakers summarized what little we knew about the reasons for the growth...

"Our nation was founded by men who believed in limited government, especially limited central government. They were not anarchists; nor did they espouse laissez faire. But they did believe that rulers ought to be restrained and accountable to the people they govern. If the founders could see what has happened to the relation between the citizens and the government in the United States during...

"Did you know that annual spending by the federal government now exceeds the 2007 level by about $1 trillion? With a slow economy, revenues are little changed. The result is an unprecedented string of federal budget deficits, $1.4 trillion in 2009, $1.3 trillion in 2010, $1.3 trillion in 2011, and another $1.2 trillion on the way this year. The four-year increase in borrowing amounts to $55,...

"The law creating a U.S. Department of Labor, signed by President William H. Taft on March 4, 1913, was virtually overlooked among the historic events of that day. The city of Washington was bursting with goings on of all kinds. It was Inauguration Day for Woodrow Wilson and there was the usual social whirl that accompanies such an event. In addition, the 62nd Congress was still in session on...

"On August 2, 1988, President Ronald Reagan announced that he had changed his mind about the pro-union plant-closing bill. He had vetoed it three months earlier, but now let it become law without his signature after intense pressure from presidential nominee George Bush and former Treasury Secretary James Baker, now Bush's campaign chairman. Reagan claimed that only this action would enable...

"New Hampshire, scene of the upcoming GOP presidential primary, seems like the perfect illustration of the Republican low-tax philosophy. With no state income tax and one of the lightest tax burdens in the U.S., New Hampshire enjoys an 8.3% poverty rate, the lowest in the country, and an unemployment rate of only 5.2% as of November, far below the national rate.

But here's a surprise:...

"Richard Weaver's observation that 'ideas have consequences' is especially valid when we study the growth of government in America. If we compare the attitudes of Woodrow Wilson and Calvin Coolidge on the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence we can see how their views on government intervention were a logical outcome of their conceptions of these documents."

"The fates of the American economy and the presidency of Barack Obama are inextricably linked, and both of them hit a bump in April. The economy added 252,000 jobs each month between December and February, but that rate seems to be slowing. Payrolls rose by just 154,000 in March and by only 115,000 in April. Unemployment dropped in April, from 8.2% to 8.1%, but for the wrong reason: an exodus...

"In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, AEI President Arthur Brooks and Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) discuss why America continues to have big government even though Americans consistently tell pollsters that they'd prefer smaller government. The Left answers that Americans suffer from some form of cognitive dissonance, in which they retain nominal loyalty to an outmoded view (from...

"Whether we need more government in this country really depends on the answer to three other questions. First, is there room for improvement in government programs? Have we reached the limits of what government can do in most policy areas, or could expanding these current programs produce significant added benefits for the public? Second, are any of our current social and economic problems...

Chart or Graph

"Table 1 provides a list of all executive cabinet departments and the dates they were each established."

"The 1990s were a decade of rapid private sector expansion and federal government restraint."

"Tax collections of the Federal government have increased at a compound annual rate of 6.4 percent since 1792."

"People's level of confidence in government's problem-solving ability powerfully shapes their view on the proper role of government."

"Figure 5 shows the budget for each regulatory agency per full-time employee as reported by the Office at Management and Budget (OMB)."

This chart breaks down U.S. entitlement spending into three parts: welfare, health care, and pension costs.

"The amount of spending on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Obamacare subsidies will soar over the next 38 years, leaving future generations with an alarming debt burden."

"Figure 5 reports executive branch employment for the years 1936 through 2001."

"By 1940 the number of federal aid programs had increased to 30, and aid spending had soared to 9.2 percent of the federal budget."

"Figure 3, which tracks real federal expenditures from 1913 through 2001, shows the sharp increase in federal expenditures during the two world wars...."

"Figure 6 illustrates how pages in the Federal Register have increased during national wars."

"Though imperfect, the measures illustrated in the table reflect the size of government."

"This chart illustrates the year-over-year percentage change in government expenditures (red), with those in the private sector (blue)."

"The top (blue) line shows that private nonresidential investment has rebounded smartly since early 2009, when President Obama took office. Residential investment first dropped, and then mostly came back."

"While the full opportunity costs of conscription are not readily accounted for, these costs are at least somewhat visible."

"Our survey findings reveal considerable differentiation in Americans' views of how individual programs and agencies perform."

This chart traces the changing confidence in government to solve the problems in the United States.

"A majority of Americans (54%) continue to believe the government is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses, although that is down from the record high of 61% earlier this summer. About four in 10 Americans (39%) say the government should do more to solve the nation's problems."

"Figure 2 shows the number of aid programs for the states beginning with the education program of 1879."

"Figure 5 shows that, while the number of federal workers has been roughly constant for decades, the number of state and local workers has soared."

"The history of real (2000 dollars) federal government expenditures per capita from 1792 to 2004 is shown in Figure 1."

"Figure 1 shows real per capita federal expenditures from 1800 to 1990, and illustrates the difference between government growth in the 20th century and the 19th."

"In addition to the increase in federal government expenditures, state and local government expenditures per capita have also increased since World War II, as seen in Figure 5."

"Today, 39 percent of adults say that 'government should do more to solve problems,' while a 57 percent majority feels 'government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.'"

"Figure 3 shows the real dollar increase in social and economic regulatory spending by presidential term between 1960 and 2009."

"Figure 1 illustrates the interlocking parts of the federal aid system."

"In this survey we ask people whether they would like to see the federal government become more or less involved (or not change its involvement) in five different domestic arenas."

"Federal spending has also increased relative to gross domestic product (GDP) throughout much of this country's history, as seen in Figure 3. Expanded government during World War II is clearly evident in Figure 3, as is the slowdown in government growth during the 1980s and 1990s. Figure 1 shows that the federal government has historically spent more per person each year, but Figure 3 suggests...

Since 2000, U.S. federal spending has increased from $1.8 trillion to $3.8 trillion.

This chart traces the growth of U.S. defense spending from fiscal year 1900 to fiscal year 2012.

This chart demonstrates the growth in government education expenditures since 1900.

This chart demonstrates the growth of government spending on health care since 1900.

U.S. spending on pensions dramatically skyrocketed beginning in the mid-1950s.

This chart demonstrates the growth of U.S. transportation expenditures in the last century. The transportation spending budget has gradually grown to nearly $300 billion.

This chart shows the growth of government spending on welfare from 1900 to 2012. Welfare spending especially accelerated after 2005.

Analysis Report White Paper

The federal government has grown substantially in the 20th century. In 1913, just prior to World War I, federal government expenditures were 2.5 percent of gross national product and by 1990 they had risen to 22.5 percent of GNP. The relatively small size of the federal government before World War I shows that it exhibited minimal growth in the 19th century, in stark contrast with its tremendous growth in the 20th century.

As the title suggests, this piece provides a quick overview of the Department of Education's development and evolution through the years. Some of the key elements of this piece are the descriptions of the various education secretaries and the main accomplishments of their tenure.

"Early Progressives co-opted Abraham Lincoln's legacy to justify their program of expansive government powers over American life. In so doing, they obscured how their philosophy of government broke with Lincoln and the Founding to which he was heir.

"Why has government grown in so many countries during the 20th century? We present a simple model of political competition and show how different sources of the growth of government have different effects on the amount and structure of taxes, spending, and regulatory programs undertaken by the government. Those sources include: demographic shifts, more efficient taxes, more efficient spending...

Americans want a federal government that is better, not smaller. CAP's new research shows people would rather improve government performance than reduce its size. And they are extremely receptive to reform efforts that would eliminate inefficient government programs, implement performance-based policy decisions, and adopt modern management methods and information technologies.

"This paper examines the growth of government during this century as a result of giving women the right to vote. Using cross-sectional time-series data for 1870–1940, we examine state government expenditures and revenue as well as voting by U.S. House and Senate state delegations and the passage of a wide range of different state laws. Suffrage coincided with...

Economists, public choice analysts, political scientists, and other scholars, especially during the past 10 to 15 years, have made many studies of the growth of government. As the literature has grown, a number of conventions have become established with respect to concepts, measures, assumptions and modes of analysis.

"The theory behind aid to the states is that federal policymakers can design and operate programs in the national interest to efficiently solve local problems. In practice, most federal politicians are not inclined to pursue broad, national goals; they are consumed by the competitive scramble to secure subsidies for their states. At the same time, federal aid...

Several monetary institutions appeared in the United States prior to the formation of the Federal Reserve System, or Fed. These were, in order: the constitutional gold (and bimetallic) standard, the First and Second Banks of the United States, the Independent Treasury, the National Banking System, clearinghouse associations, and the National Reserve Association. The Fed was the last such institution founded.

It is conventional wisdom in America today that high levels of taxes and government spending diminish America's prosperity. The claim strikes a deep intuitive chord, not only among those on the Right, but also among many on today's Left. It has become so obvious to so many over the last thirty years, it hardly seems to require demonstration any longer.

"America was founded on the basis of an explicit philosophy of individual rights. The Founding Fathers held the view that government, while deriving from the consent of the governed, must be limited by the rights of the individual. The purpose of government was to maintain a framework within which individuals can pursue their own self-interest, controlled by the competitive marketplace. Until...

The literature on the relationship between the size of government and economic growth is full of seemingly contradictory findings. This conflict is largely explained by variations in definitions and the countries studied.

This paper asks whether increases in government spending stimulate private activity. The first part of the paper studies private spending. Using a variety of identification methods and samples, I find that in most cases private spending falls significantly in response to an increase in government spending.

Everyone knows that the government of the United States has grown enormously during the past century, but no one knows exactly how much. Government has many aspects, some of which defy precise measurement. ... Unfortunately the most readily quantified are not necessarily the most important.

Through a comparison of the economic conditions of the 1890s and the 1930s, the authors argue that post-1930 government growth in the United States is not the direct result of the Great Depression, but rather is a result of institutional, legal, and societal changes that began in the late 1800s.

Crisis and Leviathan is indeed the theme of this essay. Inspired by the scale of post-9/11 actions taken by government and the fact that this national crisis is the first to emerge since Higgs' book, we seek to do three things. First, we will describe the mood change that affected public opinion about government.

"The size of the U.S. federal government, as well as state and local governments, increased dramatically during the 20th century. This paper reviews several theories of government size and growth that are dominant in the public choice and political science literature. The theories are divided into two categories: citizen-over-state theories and state-over-citizen theories. The relationship...

Theories of the size of government focus on either the demand for government or the supply of tax revenues. Demand side theories such as those of Peltzman, Meltzer and Richard, Husted and Kenny, and Lott and Kenny are essentially political theories. They emphasize the role of voters or interest groups in expanding government.

"Like previous years, the budget requested by the president in his FY 2009 Budget of the United States to run federal regulatory agencies and its staff increased significantly. Tracking the expenditures of federal regulatory agencies and the trends in regulatory spending over time helps analysts monitor one aspect of the cost of regulations: the direct cost to regulate the economy and...

"I maintain that in the economically advanced countries, government continues to grow, as it has grown for more than a century, although the growth now takes a somewhat different mix of forms than it did in earlier times. Some leading analysts, in contrast, have concluded that the growth of government has slowed or even stopped in the past twenty years. In this paper, I first show how those...

"The growth of government has politicized life and weakened the nation' moral fabric. Government intervention—in the economy, in the community, and in society—has increased the payoff from political action and reduced the scope of private action. People have become more dependent on the State and have sacrificed freedom for a false sense of security.

...

If we consider only Wilson's political speeches, his abrupt change from advocating laissez-faire positions to endorsing progressive reforms in 1908 seems inexplicable except as an opportunistic political maneuver.

"Today the Federal government is very large and very powerful. Its annual budget exceeds the national income of the United Kingdom. The number of Federal employees is about the same as the entire population of Kansas. A host of government legislation, programs, and regulations affects Americans' lives. There are separate Federal departments to oversee agriculture,...

"The triumph of the administrative state has been made possible by the emasculation of the legislative power. Washington’s problem is not merely federal spending and debt; it is the arrogance of centralized power. The time is therefore ripe for a major national discussion not only about the size of government, but also about the processes of government. Americans have a choice: to be governed...

Democratic government continues in relatively few countries, and mainly in the market economies of the world. Yet even in the United States, with a long history of coexistence between market freedom and political freedom, state intervention in the market has grown, and the size of government has grown. Growth of government is not a simple transfer of power from one group to another.

Video/Podcast/Media

A ten part lecture series by Robert Higgs about the growth of government throughout American history. Including why government grows the way it does.

Here are the remaining installments of the lecture series: two, three,...

Mark Thornton discusses the Civil War and the Growth of Government. He especially discusses how the economy dealt with the issues it faced due to government intervention.

"Agriculture is easily the most distorted sector, with high tariffs and, in developed countries at least, large amounts of government subsidies through price supports and direct payments. On the other hand, developing countries, who have a comparative advantage in these products, cannot afford to subsidize their agriculture sector and face prohibitive tariffs for their products abroad. The...

"Based on a theory known as Keynesianism, politicians are resuscitating the notion that more government spending can stimulate an economy. This mini-documentary produced by the Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation examines both theory and evidence and finds that allowing politicians to spend more money is not a recipe for better economic performance."

In this video Congressman Dan Burton makes a speech on the House floor about government's growing reach in areas such as health care and banking.

"Traces the expanding influence of government versus several other societal groups in meeting people's needs from 1850 to present. Illustrates the impact of Roosevelt's New Deal, Johnson's Great Society and War on Poverty, and the Bush/Obama nationalization of GM, Chrysler, AIG, etc."

"This Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation video analyzes how excessive government spending undermines economic performance. While acknowledging that a very modest level of government spending on things such as 'public goods' can facilitate growth, the video outlines eight different ways that that big government hinders prosperity. This video focuses on theory and will be augmented by...

This video contains an audio message from Franklin Roosevelt concerning his proposal to "pack" the Supreme Court with his own judicial appointees, an apparent attempt to increase the power of the executive branch.

"Lots of books examine the military history of World War II. In this new book, Burt Folsom and Anita Folsom, authors of New Deal or Raw Deal?, look at some of the domestic aspects of the war. Taxes and spending soared — along with government propaganda for taxes — laying the groundwork for a permanently larger government. History books tell us the war ended the Depression. But the...

"This Economics 101 video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity explains that excessive government spending undermines prosperity by diverting resources from the productive sector of the economy. Moreover, the two main ways of financing government -- taxes and borrowing -- cause additional economic damage."

Friedman addresses concern over the ever-growing number of lobbyists in politics. He discusses how this is a result of growth in government and what it means to the individual.

Krugman discusses the fiscal problems in the United States. He suggests that the government needs to spend money in order to create jobs.

Paul Krugman talks with Ed Shultz about government spending and job creation. Krugman says that difficult economic times require the government to grow its employment force, not slash it.

Joseph Stiglitz keynotes the beginning of the Roosevelt Institute's "Rediscovering Government," a project which seeks to "create a national conversation about the role of government, and promote 'active government' in the public discourse."

This video features a debate about U.S. debt, inflation, and monetary policy between Congressman Ron Paul and Professor Paul Krugman.

"Paying taxes can be tough -- it's complex, time consuming and often frustrating.

Watch as Randall Holcombe, Professor of Economics, explains how we can simplify the tax code by eliminating loopholes for special interests and lowering tax rates and how this helps improve economic growth.

It might not make paying taxes any sweeter, though."

"A new study by the Institute for Market Economics (IME) in Sofia, Bulgaria, using the latest OECD data, finds that the government sectors in developed countries are too large relative to their private sectors to maximize economic growth.

The IME study finds the government sector should be no larger than 25% (and perhaps considerably smaller) to maximize GDP growth.

The average...

"The last century has seen the rise of bigger and bigger governments, with very little discussion or debate on merits or the implications. Discover the truth about Big Government. It is not a practical/efficient machine, working successfully for the good of the people. The bigger government gets, the less representative, accountable and efficient it is." Part two of the video can be found...

"Professor Sowell comments on how the Founder's vision of limited government transmogrified into its present state."

"Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute for Individual Rights sees a troubling pattern of expanding government that causes great injury to individual rights and the ability of our economy to produce products and services that people want. In addition, the damage done by the Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley regulatory schemes has caused immeasurable damage to America and its markets. Companies are...

Primary Document

The full text version of the original legislation which was signed into law August 14, 1935 by FDR.

"The organic act establishing the Department of Labor was signed on March 4, 1913, by a reluctant President William Howard Taft, the defeated and departing incumbent, just hours before Woodrow Wilson took office. A Federal Department of Labor was the direct product of a half-century campaign by organized labor for a 'Voice in the Cabinet,' and an indirect product of the Progressive Movement....

"Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby proclaim and make known to all whom it may concern that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended throughout the United States in the several cases before mentioned, and that this suspension will continue throughout the duration of the said rebellion or until this proclamation shall, by a subsequent...

"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there shall be a Department of Treasury, in which shall be the following officers, namely: a Secretary of the Treasury, to be deemed head of the department; a Comptroller, an Auditor, a Treasurer, a Register, and an Assistant to the Secretary of the...

The Act established the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, which regulated the following commodities: wheat, cotton, field corn, hogs, rice, tobacco, and milk.

Making supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009....

"Be It Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there is hereby established at the seat of government of the United States a Department of Agriculture, the general designs and duties of which shall be to acquire and to diffuse among the people of the United States useful information on subjects connected with...

"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there shall be, and is hereby, established an executive department of the government of the United States, to be called the Department of Justice, of which the Attorney-General shall be the head. His duties, salary, and tenure of office shall remain as now fixed by law...

"You know, it was here where we came together to reclaim the basic bargain that built the largest middle class and the most prosperous nation on Earth. We believe that in America success shouldn't be determined by the circumstances of your birth. If you're willing to work hard, you should be able to find a good job. (Applause.) If you're willing to meet your responsibilities, you should be...

"Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Last month, I went to Andrews Air Force Base and welcomed home some of our last troops to serve in Iraq. Together, we offered a final, proud salute to the colors under which more than a million of our fellow citizens fought -- and several thousand gave their lives.

We gather tonight...

"The main issue in present-day social and political conflicts is whether or not man should give away freedom, private initiative, and individual responsibility and surrender to the guardianship of a gigantic apparatus of compulsion and coercion, the socialist state. Should authoritarian totalitarianism be substituted for individualism and democracy? Should the citizen be transformed into a...

"No American coming to Philadelphia on this anniversary could escape being thrilled at the thought of what this commemoration means. It brings to mind events, which in the course of the century and a half that has passed since the day we are celebrating, have changed the course of human history. Then was formed the ideal of the American nation. Two years later this was put into practical...

Updated in May of 2010, this document contains the full text of the health care law popularly known as Obamacare and signed into law on March 23, 2010 by President Barack Obama.

Predominantly written by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence formally and eloquently justified the independence of the United States from British monarch King George III.

Tocqueville's famous analysis of the American economic and political system, as he observed during his travels of the country in the 1830s.

This piece provides a copy of the original act which established the federal Department of Education. The opening pages of the document describe the reasons why the Education Department was established, some of which include "strengthen[ing] the Federal commitment to ensuring...

"An act to establish a Department of Energy in the executive branch by the reorganization of energy functions within the Federal Government in order to secure effective management to assure a coordinated national energy policy, and for other purposes."

"Though formally established as an executive department by the First Session of Congress in 1789, many functions of the Department of the Treasury were being carried out even before the signing of the Declaration of Independence thirteen years earlier. Over the decades, the functions of the Department have expanded and grown more sophisticated to meet the needs of a developing nation."

"This Act became law on October 15, 1966 (Public Law 89-670), 49 U.S.C. 303 (formerly 49 U.S.C. 1651(b)(2) and 49 U.S.C. 1653f). Public Law 90-495 (August 23, 1968) amended section 4(f) to its most commonly known form which is presented here. Public Law 97-449 (January 12, 1983) re-codified the Act from 49 U.S.C. 1651 to 49 U.S.C. 303. Congress has amended this Act three other times. The...

"Now it is true that I believe this country is following a dangerous trend when it permits too great a degree of centralization of governmental functions. I oppose this--in some instances the fight is a rather desperate one. But to attain any success it is quite clear that the Federal government cannot avoid or escape responsibilities which the mass of the people firmly believe should...

"The Education Department Budget History Table shows President's budget requests and enacted appropriations for major Education Department programs. This table breaks out Department budget totals by discretionary and mandatory spending. Spending for discretionary programs is decided in the annual appropriations process. In contrast, spending for mandatory programs is usually a function of the...

"This Order establishes the initial organization of the Environmental Protection Agency."

"An Act To provide for the establishment of Federal reserve banks, to furnish an elastic currency, to afford means of rediscounting commercial paper, to establish a more effective supervision of banking in the United States, and for other purposes."

The most current version of the Act is available at the Federal Reserve's...

"The present federal income tax dates from the act signed by President Wilson on October 3, 1913. That act was made possible by the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution adopted on February 3, 1913. Earlier federal income tax laws had been repealed or held unconstitutional. The income tax first became a significant source of revenue during World War I.

Four tax...

In this paper, which would later be assembled in The Federalist Papers, Madison explains to the Constitutional Opponents that the "General Welfare Clause" does not provide an unrestrained, vast reservoir of power for Congress. He shows that in that case there would be no need for a commerce clause or interstate...

Writing under the pseudonym "Publius" James Madison discusses the relationship between the federal and state governments, concluding that "the powers proposed to be lodged in the federal government are as little formidable to those reserved to the individual States, as they are indispensably necessary to accomplish the purposes...

In his first inaugural address, President Roosevelt (FDR) gives a speech that borders on messianic with references to the money changers in the temple and the need to move away from a society based on profit. He then outlines various steps towards restoring the economy...

The bill entitled 'An act making a grant of public lands to the several States for the benefit of indigent insane persons,' ... is returned to the Senate ... with a statement of the objections which have required me to withhold from it my approval.

"I address you, the Members of the Seventy-seventh Congress, at a moment unprecedented in the history of the Union. I use the word 'unprecedented,' because at no previous time has American security been as seriously threatened from without as it is today."

"This Nation in the past two years has become an active partner in the world's greatest war against human slavery.

We have joined with like-minded people in order to defend ourselves in a world that has been gravely threatened with gangster rule.

But I do not think that any of us Americans can be content with mere survival. Sacrifices that we and our allies are making impose upon...

"Good morning. This is a pivotal moment for America's economy. Problems that originated in the credit markets and first showed up in the area of subprime mortgages have spread throughout our financial system. This has led to an erosion of confidence that has frozen many financial transactions, including loans to consumers and to businesses seeking to expand and create jobs."

"Any doubt remaining after Butler as to the scope of the General Welfare Clause was dispelled a year later in Helvering. There the Court defended the constitutionality of the 1935 Social Security Act, requiring only that welfare spending be for the common benefit as distinguished from some mere local purpose. Justice Benjamin Cardozo...

"Because of its direct relation to the cost of Government, I desire again to bring to the attention of the Congress the necessity of more effective organization of the Executive branch of the Government, the importance of which I have referred to in previous messages. This subject has been considered many times by the Executive and by the Congress, but without substantial results. Various...

"In 1789 Congress created three Executive Departments: Foreign Affairs (later in the same year renamed State), Treasury, and War. It also provided for an Attorney General and a Postmaster General. Domestic matters were apportioned by Congress among these departments.

The idea of setting up a separate department to handle domestic matters was put forward on numerous occasions. It wasn't...

This massive piece of legislation most importantly consolidated dozens of federal agencies in order to improve means of fighting terrorism. It was single largest consolidation of federal power since the National Security Act of 1947. This act also established the Department and Director of Homeland Security.

"The federal government's interest in housing conditions can be traced back to the first national investigation of large urban slum areas in 1892. HUD is the successor to a number of federal housing agencies, which gradually evolved following a major effort during the great depression to stimulate housing development. The following narrative highlights major events and legislation tracing the...

Offers a timeline of important events in the history of the Housing and Urban Development department.

"It may be presumed that the proposition relating to internal improvements by roads and canals, which has been several times before Congress, will be taken into consideration again either for the purpose of recommending to the States the adoption of an amendment to the Constitution to vest the necessary power in the General Government or to carry the system into effect on the principle that...

Jefferson argues against the creation of a national bank on the grounds that it is not one of the delegated powers given to Congress under the Constitution.

"The first and most frequently asked question is: Is the Federal Government growing so large that our private economy is endangered?

My answer to that is no. The Federal Government has been growing for 175 years. Our population has grown even faster."

In an opinion authored by Justice John Paul Stevens, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the city of New London, Connecticut could condemn Susette Kelo's house and take the property for the purpose of economic development. The question presented was whether the city's actions fit within the "public use" requirement of the Fifth Amendment. The Court found that in...

In this speech, President Lyndon B. Johnson outlines his vision and goals for "The Great Society," a massive web of government programs and legislation aimed at societal improvement and progress. This speech was given during the University of Michigan's graduation commencement ceremony on May 22, 1964 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

"The excitement which grew out of the territorial controversy between the United States and Great Britain having in a great measure subsided, it is hoped that a favorable period is approaching for its final settlement. Both Governments must now be convinced of the dangers with which the question is fraught, and it must be their desire, as it is their interest, that this perpetual cause of...

"I sign this bill with considerable hesitation, not because I dissent from the purpose of Congress to create a Department of Labor, but because I think that nine departments are enough for the proper administration of the government, and because I think that no new department ought to be created without a reorganization of all departments in the government and a redistribution of the bureaus...

This Act created the predecessor of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development and sought "To encourage improvement in housing standards and conditions, to provide a system of mutual mortgage insurance, and for other purposes."

The National Industrial Recovery Act of June 16, 1933 was a forerunner of the Wagner Act. Signed by President Franklin Roosevelt, the Act was implemented by the National Recovery Administration and the Public Works Administration until it was ruled unconstitutional, in part, in May of 1935.

"Good morning, everyone. Thank you for starting early with us as we make our way over a number of states to Colorado -- Colorado Springs -- where the President will, with great pleasure, deliver the commencement address at the Air Force Academy -- part of a tradition where the President, every year, delivers the commencement at one of the service academies. This year he very much looks forward...

The original act that created the United States Department of Labor.

"As concern with the condition of our physical environment has intensified, it has become increasingly clear that we need to know more about the total environment-land, water and air. It also has become increasingly clear that only by reorganizing our Federal efforts can we develop that knowledge, and effectively ensure the protection, development and enhancement of the total environment...

"By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, and in order to restore the division of governmental responsibilities between the national government and the States that was intended by the Framers of the Constitution and to ensure that the principles of federalism established by the Framers guide the Executive departments and agencies...

"All those who have served in America's uniform deserve the Nation's thanks. To show our gratitude, I am about to do something I've been looking forward to for a long time: sign the bill that creates a Cabinet level Department of Veterans Affairs."

"For the last few years, we've all faced an ever more grave economic situation with dismay and frustration—sort of a truck on the way downhill, as I said the other night, without any brakes. Many of our citizens were resigning themselves to permanent economic hardship. But what you achieved this summer, I think, has put us in a position to get control of the situation. And for the first time...

An Act to Improve the Navigability and to Provide for the Flood Control of the Tennessee River: To Provide for Reforestation and the Proper Use of Marginal Lands in the Tennessee Valley; to Provide for the Agricultural and Industrial Development of Said Valley; to Provide for the National Defense by the Creation of a Corporation for the Operation of Government Properties at and Near Muscle...

"It is common to think of the Declaration of Independence as a highly speculative document; but no one can think it so who has read it. It is a strong, rhetorical statement of grievances against the English government. It does indeed open with the assertion that all men are equal and that they have certain inalienable rights, among them the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness....

"It would be the extreme of vanity in us not to be sensible that we began this revolution with very vague and confined notions of the practical business of government. To the greater part of us it was a novelty; of those who under the former constitution had had opportunities of acquiring experience, a large proportion adhered to the opposite side, and the remainder can only be supposed to...

"This book contains the substance of the course of lectures given in the Old South Meeting-House in Boston in December, 1884, at the Washington University in St. Louis in May, 1885, and in the theatre of the University Club in New York in March, 1886. In its present shape it may serve as a sketch of the political history of the United States from the end of the Revolutionary War to the...

"Even though I arrived at the Department of the Interior with a background of 20 years on the Interior Committee in the House of Representatives, I quickly discovered that this Department has more nooks and crannies than any Victorian mansion or colonial maze. Fortunately, my predecessor, Secretary Don Hodel, had come to realize that many new employees--I'm not sure he had Secretaries in mind...

"HAVING shown that no one of the powers transferred to the federal government is unnecessary or improper, the next question to be considered is, whether the whole mass of them will be dangerous to the portion of authority left in the several States."

"Following the assassination of President James A. Garfield by a disgruntled job seeker, Congress passed the Pendleton Act in January of 1883. The act was steered through Congress by long-time reformer Senator George Hunt Pendleton of Ohio. The act was signed into law by President Chester A. Arthur, who had become an ardent reformer after Garfield's assassination. The Pendleton Act provided...

"One of the most challenging issues Congress faced during the Civil War was how to fund the war effort. Before the war tariffs generated adequate revenue for a relatively small federal budget. When it became clear that the war would not be decided quickly, Congress drafted legislation to generate more revenue. The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, William Pitt Fessenden of Maine,...

The Constitution of the United States established the federal governmental system currently in place with three branches of government. The premise of executive privilege developed from the separation of powers clause.

"The Department of Transportation (DOT) was established by an act of Congress, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on October 15, 1966. Its first secretary, Alan S. Boyd, took office on January 16, 1967. The department's first official day of operation was April 1, 1967."

"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere."

"I received with great pleasure your favor of June 4, and am much comforted by the appearance of a change of opinion in your state; for tho' we may obtain, & I believe shall obtain, a majority in the legislature of the United States, attached to the preservation of the Federal constitution according to it's obvious principles, & those on which it was known to be received; attached...

"No, my friend, the way to have good and safe government, is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the functions he is competent to."

"The idea which you present in your letter of July 30th, of the progress of society from its rudest state to that it has now attained, seems conformable to what may be probably conjectured. Indeed, we have under our eyes tolerable proofs of it."

"CALLED upon to undertake the duties of the first executive office of our country, I avail myself of the presence of that portion of my fellow-citizens which is here assembled to express my grateful thanks for the favor with which they have been pleased to look toward me, to declare a sincere consciousness that the task is above my talents, and that I approach it with those anxious and awful...

"This short essay stands as a distillation of Adams's most advanced political thinking. The principles that he would later put forth in his great treatise, A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, are all found in Thoughts: republican government, frequent elections, separation of powers, bicameralism, a unitary executive armed with a...

"The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."

"Since its creation in 1789, the Department of State has carried out a series of reorganizations and has created new offices and bureaus to deal with new diplomatic challenges."

"In Butler, the Court struck down the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which taxed processors in order to pay farmers to reduce production. Although invalidating the statute, the Court adopted the Hamiltonian view (almost in passing) that the General Welfare Clause is a separate grant of congressional authority, linked to and qualified by the spending power...

This report briefly traces the history of the Veterans Affairs government department, while also explaining some of its key duties and responsibilities.

Members of Congress wanted to help suffering farmers in the American West, but Cleveland rejected their bill, citing the limited mission of the general government and arguing that private charity ... should furnish the necessary aid.

Syllabus of Whitman v. American Trucking Association, a case which dealt with the EPA's ability to set clean air standards.

This Supreme Court case is regarded as the case that threw open the doors of federal government regulation. Whenever the constitutional authority of Congress to regulate interstate commerce is brought up, legal scholars and analysts point to this case, which gives Congress the authority to regulate almost anything it wants to regulate.

...

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Education history in America is important to know. ITO traces how education has changed from the colonial period to present day America.
At Intellectual Takeout, we think it's about time freedom went viral. Before our generation is the opportunity to embrace freedom, to unleash each individual's potential, and to have a prosperous future. And yet it seems that almost everyone running our cities, states, and federal government is intent on destroying freedom and burying us in debt to pay for it. If you, like us, believe that...
In the genre of documentaries revealing the problems with public education, "Kids Aren't Cars" focuses on helping us understand how schools are modeled after a factory system and what we need to do to change them. Understandably, treating kids as if they are a product to be manufactured has had detrimental effects on children going through the system and the overall level of education in America...
"Many parents and taxpayers feel helpless because the problems can seem so monumental. 'Kids Aren't Cars' director Kyle Olson reviews what he learned in the filmmaking process and the small things individuals can do that will add up to make a big difference." Here's Kyle being interviewed on a few things you can do and share with friends, family, and educators: Part 1Part 2
We all know Facebook is awesome for keeping up with friends, sharing about your life, and even distributing ideas. One great new way to get people thinking is to take advantage of the new banner profile with the help of Intellectual Takeout. Here's what one of our banners looks like loaded up on a Facebook profile: If you haven't changed your banner profile, than Facebook is likely ...
Tired of business getting a bum rap? We are, too. Here's your chance to share on Facebook the good news that business is good, beautiful, and makes life better.
While many documentaries on the education system focus on various examples of failure, "Flunked" takes a bit different tack. While certainly acknowledging and exposing the failures of the system, "Flunked" also seeks out individuals and approaches that ARE working in education. The hope is that these points of hope may serve as examples for others working in education.  Here's the trailer:...
Okay, so your friends and family keep telling you to jump on the social media bandwagon, but you have no idea what the fuzz is about. Here’s the deal: The Internet gives liberty-loving folk like us an opportunity we have never had before: to make the case for individual liberty, limited government and free market economics instantly and globally. But with the vast amounts of information...

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Looking for an internship? If so, Intellectual Takeout has an opportunity for you. We have plenty of work to do as well as ideas to spread, and we need your help to get it done. If you're interested in an internship with Intellectual Takeout, you likely share our passion and you're excited about the possibility of working for a great cause. That said, you might have a few questions about what "...
The Association of American Educators (AAE) advances the teaching profession through personal growth, professional development, teacher advocacy and protection, as well as promoting excellence in education so that our members receive the respect, recognition and reward they deserve.
Are you concerned your child isn't getting the education necessary to compete in the global economy or even, perhaps, to carry on the lessons and learning of Western Civilization? If so, you have a number of choices. You could, of course, consider changing schools to a charter school, private school, or even homeschooling. If that's overwhelming for you right now, you can always supplement your...
Curiously, not a few individuals are realizing that their education (K-12 and even college) neglected to provide them with as much understanding of the world as they would like. At Intellectual Takeout, we believe that however you feel about your education, there is still much to be learned. To that end, we'd like to refer you to one book and a collection of "study guides" that serve as...
Sure, the idea of homeschooling is likely overwhelming. Indeed, homeschooling is a big commitment and a lot of work. That said, there's a reason why more and more parents are turning to homeschooling as the best option for their child(ren)'s education(s). Perhaps you are starting to realize that the public school system has changed a lot since you last attended it. Maybe you can't afford private...
Know your rights with Flex Your Rights guide to the "10 Rules for Dealing with Police."
In a highly regulated society such as ours, it's very easy to get yourself in trouble with the law. Learn more about how to protect yourself with the 5th Amendment and how to interact with the police.
Let's face it, most of us love to watch TV and movies. A wonderful way to spread ideas is to embrace our love of the cinema by hosting a movie night with friends and family.  There are numerous documentaries that do a fantastic job of sharing the ideas of liberty. You can pull a small group of friends together at your house or even consider asking a local restaurant or tavern to let you...
Watch "Waiting for Superman" to learn about the problems with the public education system.
Another movie that tells the story of the failing public school model in the United States is “The Lottery”. It takes its own unique look at the systems by focusing on the use of lotteries to choose which children will be plucked from failing public schools and put into more successful public charter schools. Here’s the trailer:  You can watch the whole movie right now with the help of Hulu...
While there are a variety of really good documentaries about the failing public school systems in America, "The Cartel" stands alone in its frontal assault on the teacher unions, particularly those in New Jersey. If you'd like to get an inside look into how some teacher unions operate and the effects they have on education, you'll want to watch "The Cartel."From the movie's website: "This movie...
How often do you hear conservatives being called a bunch of knuckle-dragging Neanderthals? Here's the reality: Conservatism, classical liberalism, and libertarianism have a rich, intellectual heritage reaching back many millennia. Our ideas are not just some historical relics from bygone eras; they are the very foundation of Western Civilization in general, amd the United States in particular....
Sadly (or happily for some), life goes on after college. So does the fight for freedom. Building friendships, networking, and growing the movement is critical after college. If our ideas are to be preserved and promoted, you need to stay involved. Plus, in a time when the individual seems to be ever more isolated and adrift, these groups can help plug you into social networks you can use....
Okay, so we don't expect you to drive a wooden stake into your flat screen. Plus, we're total hypocrites since we watch some TV. But here's the point: People waste a ton of time watching TV. If you're cool with government taking over your future, than keep watching Dancing with the Stars. If you consider yourself to be a free man or woman and want to live in a free society, then watch what you...
A great way to make a difference on your campus by spreading the ideas of individual rights, limited government, and free markets is to tutor. Plus, you can occasionally make a little bit of money. Depending on the subject matter, you will be discussing a variety of ideas, key thinkers, and theories. As anyone who has tutored knows, there are almost always opportunities to expand upon a topic....

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We've built Intellectual Takeout to provide you with quick, easy access to information. In time, we hope to become your one-stop-shop for the ideas of freedom. If your professor allows you to bring your laptop to class (if not, you can use an iPhone), we recommend keeping a tab open to Intellectual Takeout. As we continue to generate new content on the site, you will be able to fact check the...
When it comes to campus life injustices, student fees rank high on any list. On most campuses across the country a mandatory student fee is assessed to each student at the beginning of the year. A portion of this fee, which may be several hundred dollars, will go toward funding various political, religious, and interest groups.  A college requiring you to support groups espousing ideas which...
If you're not happy with the direction of the country and you want to take back your future, at some point you will have to do something. It's not enough to just know that we're going in the wrong direction. You actually have to step out and get involved. Most college campuses have conservative and libertarian student groups. Find one of them to join. Below is a list of some of the larger non-...
Now that you're at college and the initial excitement has worn off, maybe you're thinking that the course selection is a bit biased and you'd like some options. So how do you (the consumer) get the college (the business) to change up its offerings? It certainly won't be easy. Nevertheless it's something that should be done--particularly since you're footing the bill. A good, education in a free...
Whatever activism you choose to do on campus, you need to get your story out. A popular tactic used by the Left is to isolate and intimidate freedom-loving students. You're not alone and there are a lot of people in your city, state, and country that can probably support your efforts. They just need to know what is happening. Whenever you can, record in-class bias, discrimination against...
The reality is that most students (and people for that matter) won't speak out. It's called human nature and it was recognized in the Declaration of Independence: "...all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." While you might feel alone when debating a teacher,...
In the land of the free and the home of the brave, speech codes are a particularly odious example of politically correct repression on many a college campus. In some ways, college campuses are the least free places for thinking and speech in America. Your best friend for fighting your school's repressive speech codes is the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Here's a short clip...
Running for office isn't easy, even in college. Not everyone is cut out for it, either. For those of you who are, this completely non-partisan section is for you. If you are inclined to pursue student government, we're not going to spend time on telling you how to get elected. A good place to go for ideas and training is CampusReform.org. Rather, we want to help you in office, as a believer in...

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