"More Than Just Musings" #13

WHEN DID "BIG" BECOME PEJORATIVE?

"Big Bird," "Big Ben," "bighearted," "Big Easy," "Big Papi," "Big Sur," "Big Rock Candy Mountain," all invoke a big smile. Why is "big" complimentary and inviting while "big" government is pejorative? Our Founding Fathers established the parameters for big government. Their heated discussions were over whether the federal or the state government should be bigger.

When describing government, maybe we should substitute "proactive" for "big" in light of what "big" government has done to build our nation and what it does for us daily. After the War for Independence, the Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis and Clark exploration, the Land Grant Act of 1850, the trans-continental railroad, the abolition of slavery, the Morrill Acts, the anti-trust legislation (The Sherman Act, The Clayton Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, and more), the Banking Act of 1933, FDIC, CCC, WPA, Boulder (Hoover) Dam, the TVA, Social Security Act 1935, WWII and the rebuilding of Europe and Japan, G I Bill, United Nations, NATO, SEATO, integration of military, Medicare, the interstate highway system, EPA, the Clean Water Act, the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, Consumer Protection Agency, FEMA, the space program, the internet, and a thousand other protective and encouraging acts, what do we really have?

Well, because of "proactive" government, we have a country with the most powerful military and economy in the history of the world, a citizenry with more rights, freedoms, protections, and opportunities than any culture in the history of the world, and a democratic experience, with all its shortcomings, that is a model for the world.

Our "proactive" government also plays a major role in universal public education, the technical quality of healthcare, disease research and control, safety in the workplace, nutrition, housing discrimination, national parks and other recreational and wilderness areas, encouragement and spending on the arts, flood control, protections against hazardous waste, fire, storms, and earthquakes, and the tens of thousands of research grants that in the end benefit big pharma, big insurance, and big industry in general.

So, give it a rest.

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