Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Greatness of Herbert Hoover

                    Herbert Clark Hoover (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 was a professional mining engineer and author who served as United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under President Warren Harding and President Calvin Coolidge.  In this position "he promoted partnerships between government and business under the rubric `economic modernization.'  He easily won the Republican nomination in presidential election of 1928 even though he had no previous experience in an elected office.  He won a landslide victory over Democrat Al Smith, probably due to the fact that the nation was "prosperous and optimistic at the time."

                    Due to his engineering training, Hoover 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."

                    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.)  Hoover 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 Hoover 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. 

                    After 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.

                    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."

                    "America - a great social and economic experiment, noble in motive and far-reaching in purpose."

                    "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."

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