How Dramatically Did Women’s Suffrage Change the Size and Scope of Government?

Democracy,Elections,Feminism,Gender,Political Economy,The State

In 2007, I ventured that, “I’d give up my vote if that would guarantee that all women were denied the vote.”—ILANA Mercer (August 8, 2007)

Coming from the anti-statist stance, the sentiment is a solid one. It’s anchored in data.

One only has to trace the statistically significant correlation between women’s suffrage and the change in the size and scope of the state, as did John R. Lott, Jr. (Yale University) and Lawrence W. Kenny (University of Florida), to realize that the female suffrage has undermined the small-government project.

How Dramatically Did Women’s Suffrage Change the Size and Scope of Government?” is in the Journal of Political Economy (Vol. 107, Number 6, Part 1, pp. 1163-1198, December 1999).

Of course, the tipping point has long been reached, so my altruistic gesture would be in vain.

Naturally, some will laud the growth of government under female tutelage; others will lament it.

Abstract

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 to 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 immediate increases in state government expenditures and revenue and more liberal voting patterns for federal representatives, and these effects continued growing over time as more women took advantage of the franchise. Contrary to many recent suggestions, the gender gap is not something that has arisen since the 1970s, and it helps explain why American government started growing when it did.

And look at these excerpts with their bold deductions. The following writers would have been “canceled” by the bumper crops of cretins who control the American intelligentsia (that is not very intelligent).

It  is  not  really  surprising  that  this   welfare  state  should   breed   a politics  not  of  “justice”  or  “fairness”  but  of  “compassion,”  which contemporary  liberalism  has  elevated  into   the  most   important  civic virtue.  Women  tend  to  be  more  sentimental,   more  risk-averse   and less  competitive  than  men—yes,   it’s   Mars   vs.   Venus—and   therefore are  less  inclined   to   be  appreciative   of  free-market  economics,   in which   there   are   losers   as   well   as   winners.   College-educated women—the  kind  who  attend  Democratic  conventions—are   also more   “permissive”    and   less    “judgmental”    on    such    issues    as homosexuality,  capital  punishment,  even  pornography.

—Irving  Kristol,  “The  Feminization  of  the  Democrats,” The Wall Street Journal (September 9, 1996): p. A16

Citing   marriage   as   “a   very   important   financial   divider,”   the American   Enterprise   Institute’s   Doug   Besharov    suggests    more married women did not  vote  for  Dole because of a widespread sense of societal insecurity: “It is not that  they  distrust  their  husband,  but they  have  seen  divorce  all  around  them  and  know  they  could  be next.”  The  Polling  Company’s  Kellyanne  Fitzpatrick  is  categorical: “Women  see  government  as  their  insurance.”  (Perhaps  significantly,  of the  24 million  individuals  working  in  government  and  in  semi-governmental  non-profit  jobs,  14  million—58  percent—are  women.)

—The Richmond Times Dispatch, December 5, 1996

THE REST.