The Democratic Party operates according to a philosophy that emphasizes positive rights and the notion that people are entitled to certain things and that government is obliged to create the conditions in which people can achieve these things. Thus, Democrats tend to favor the expansion of government and its involvement in most areas of human activity.
According to Democrats.org, the Democratic Party believes that it is the government's responsibility to make sure businesses and other institutions serve the interest of the people. Often, Democrats paint corporations in the light of robber barons trying to take advantage of the working class. As a result, the Democratic platform normally calls for high corporate taxes, minimum wage hikes and support for unions. The belief in government's supremacy over other areas of society stems largely from progressives such as President Woodrow Wilson, who favored central planning. Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal policies of unprecedented government involvement in the economy laid the foundation for the modern Democratic Party's support for the welfare state.
In the sphere of social issues, the Democratic Party advocates an individualism according to which people are entitled to lead a chosen lifestyle without regard for traditional social norms. Members of the party typically favor expanding the definition of marriage, loosening restrictions on recreational drug use and increasing access to abortion.