113: A Square Deal (pt. 2): Consumer Protection–The FDA, & Ida Tarbell muckrakes Standard Oil

History That Doesn't Suck

Jun 6 2022 • 1 hr 6 mins

“In Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress you may recall the description of the Man with the Muck Rake …” This is the story of another “C” in Teddy’s Square Deal: “consumer protection.” The nation is grappling with new ideas on how involved the Federal Government should be in the lives of US citizens. Earthquake and fire levels San Francisco but no one expects executive action. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is torn on the Constitutionality of New York’s Bakeshop Act and TR’s Chicago meatpacking investigators—sent largely in response to Upton Sinclair’s stomach-turning, based-on-real-events novel The Jungle—have found such deplorable conditions Americans largely welcome a new federal regulatory body called the Food and Drug Administration. But amid protecting consumers, we aren’t without another trust to bust. An investigative reporter named Ida Tarbell is looking into JD Rockefeller’s business practices at Standard Oil. Has John swindled independent oilmen to build his empire? Or was it just good business? Once more, the question will go all the way to the highest court in the land. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices