(August 10, 1874 - October 20, 1964) is ranked poorly among United States
Presidents by historians. This ranking
apparently comes from his "failure to end the downward economic
spiral" of the Great Depression. I
however believe that he belongs in the great category - certainly higher on the
list than Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, or Lyndon B. Johnson. Hoover
Due to his engineering training,
believed in the
"Efficiency Movement." This
theory "held that the government and the economy were riddled with
inefficiency and waste, and could be improved by experts who could identify the
problems and solve them. He also
believed in the importance of volunteerism and the role of individuals in
playing a role in American society and the economy." Hoover
President Hoover was the first of only two Presidents who chose to "redistribute their salary." (President John F. Kennedy donated all his paychecks to charity.)
had made money in mining and
apparently didn't need the salary as President.
The Wall Street Crash of 1929 took place less than eight months after
Hoover took office, and tried to hold off
the Great Depression with "volunteer efforts, public works projects such
as the Hoover Dam, tariffs such as the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, an increase in the
top tax bracket from 25% to 63%, and increases in corporate taxes." The Hoover
initiatives didn't do much to bring economic recovery, but they did lay the
groundwork for several policies in the New Deal of FDR. Hoover
left office he became a leading conservative voice in opposing many of the
policies, both domestic and foreign, of FDR's New Deal. President Harry S. Truman brought Hoover back into
government service in 1947 in an effort to make the federal government more
efficient through the Hoover Commission. Hoover
Some quotes by President Hoover follow. Other Hoover quotes can be found at this site.
"About the time we can make the ends meet, somebody moves the ends."
- a great social and
economic experiment, noble in motive and far-reaching in purpose." America
"Children are our most valuable natural resource."
"Blessed are the young for they shall inherit the national debt."
"Competition is not only the basis of protection to the consumer, but is the incentive to progress."
"Economic depression cannot be cured by legislative action or executive pronouncement. Economic wounds must be healed by the action of the cells of the economic body - the producers and consumers themselves."
"Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity."
"Honor is not the exclusive property of any political party."
"If the law is upheld only by government officials, then all law is at an end."
"It is a paradox that every dictator has climbed to power on the ladder of free speech. Immediately on attaining power each dictator has suppressed all free speech except his own."
"It is just as important that business keep out of government as that government keep out of business."
"New discoveries in science will continue to create a thousand new frontiers for those who still would adventure."
"No greater nor more affectionate honor can be conferred on an American than to have a public school named after him."
"No public man can be just a little crooked."
"Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die."
"Once upon a time my political opponents honored me as possessing the fabulous intellectual and economic power by which I created a worldwide depression all by myself."
"Peace is not made at the council table or by treaties, but in the hearts of men."
"Prosperity cannot be restored by raids upon the public Treasury."
"The use of the atomic bomb, with its indiscriminate killing of women and children, revolts my soul."
"When there is a lack of honor in government, the morals of the whole people are poisoned."
"When we are sick, we want an uncommon doctor; when we have a construction job to do, we want an uncommon engineer, and when we are at war, we want an uncommon general. It is only when we get into politics that we are satisfied with the common man."
"With impressive proof on all sides of magnificent progress, no one can rightly deny the fundamental correctness of our economic system."