The politics of the Gilded Age failed to deal with the critical social and economic issues of the times. With the rise of industrialization, large businesses turned into monopolies with all the economic power residing in just a few people. The government during the Gilded Age took a “laissez faire” (hands off) approach and resisted getting involved in the way businesses operated. Protective tariffs (taxes on imports) discouraged competition and consequently large business owners were able to charge whatever they wanted. Even though large businesses bolstered the US economy, it did so by exploiting the working class. The majority of workers were exploited, and were forced to work long hours for little pay and live in utter poverty. The government during this age did not get involved in private business matters until the latter part of the Gilded Age when Antitrust Acts were finally implemented.