We're studying the Progressive Era in the Edwards Academy, but it almost feels like we're studying current events. Progressive ideology is increasingly carrying the day, at the expense of individual liberty. Hope and Sydney have been thinking through the pros and cons of Woodrow Wilson's Progressivism, taking an honest look at the good that came of it, and a hard look at the harm that has been done by it.
In short, Progressives saw problems in American society that they sought to solve through government intervention. Because American Constitutional government was limited in its power, Progressives were limited in their ability to accomplish social reforms without re-imagining the Constitution to be a "living" document, a system that should adapt to the times. Government action is costly, so the Constitution was amended in 1913 to enable the federal government to collect income tax.
We set aside our studies for our lunch break today and I read this news headline to the kids: "NYC Board of Health passes big-soda crackdown rule." I explained that in New York City they now have a 16-ounce size limit on sugary drinks served in restaurants, movie-houses, and concession stands. Why? Because they believe that people are too fat and unhealthy, partly because they don't say "no" to high-calorie drinks.
Sydney responded, "That's Progressive!"
Lane asked, "Well, if they think that sugary drinks are bad for you, why do they allow alcohol?"