Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quote of the day

"Our government, would be subject to every political pressure that desperate foreign statesmen can invent and their groups of nationals in our borders would clamor at the hill of Congress for special favors to their mother countries. Our experience in war shows that foreign governments which are borrowing our money on easy terms cannot expend it with the economy of private individuals and it results in vast waste... The collection of a debt to our Treasury from a foreign government sets afoot propaganda against our officials, against our government. There is no court to which government can appeal for collection of debt except a battleship. The whole process is involved in inflation, in waste, and in intrigue. The only direct loans of our government should be humane loans to prevent starvation. The world must stop this orgy of expenditure on armament. European governments must cease to balance their budgets by publishing paper money if ex- change is ever to be righted. The world is not alone in need for credit machinery. It is in need of economic statesmanship."

-Herbert Hoover December 1920 speaking against loans to foreign nations before the American Banker Association in Chicago.

3 comments:

Visibilium said...

In 1920, we had a real President. Too bad Hoover forgot this speech ten years later.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Actually in 1920 Wilson (my least favorite president) was still in office. Arguably though his wife was running the country as he had been largely disabled by a stroke. In the month before these words were delivered the Republicans had won the general election. Mr. Hoover would go on to become Secretary of Commerce under the new Harding Administration in March of 1921.

Visibilium said...

The 1920 recession was handled superbly, the lessons of which were lost on Hoover when he became President. I'm fine with Wilson (and his wife) and Harding for that reason alone. Otherwise, Harding was the best of the lot, and I agree with you about Wilson's flaws. Fortunately, the country didn't need much running in those days.