About the Cry Wolf Project

Throughout American history virtually every legislative initiative for progressive reform has been achieved only after bitter struggle by citizens, workers and advocates demanding fundamental rights and protections.  In each case, they were met with claims that the proposal will “kill jobs,” generate a stifling government bureaucracy, or curtail economic growth.

The Cry Wolf Project is a network of advocates, researchers and scholars dedicated to demonstrating that, in fact, conservatives and business groups are only "crying wolf" to delay, prevent and weaken important and common sense regulations that save lives, clean our environment and make our families more secure. 

There are many examples where their outsized rhetoric is successful in thwarting important reforms for decades. Unfortunately, there are real consequences for workers, families, communities and the environment when opposition successfully defeats, weakens or delays reform. Workplaces remain unsafe, poverty increases, public health is jeopardized, and our natural environment advances to the brink of global crisis.

Fortunately, there are also many cases where public demand for change was great enough for advocates and policy makers to successfully create new policy and regulations to protect workers, consumers, the environment and communities. These laws are now popular benefits and protections and a commonly accepted part of the American social contract.

The Cry Wolf Project chronicles these important consumer, environmental and health and safety reforms, shows how they were opposed by industry and their ideological and political allies and demonstrates how their predictions of economic catastrophe failed to materialize.  We also will demonstrate that they created overwhelmingly positive result – lives were saved, our air and water are cleaner, our workplaces and consumer products are safer and industry created new innovations and became more productive.