Date: January 9, 1931
Location: Northampton, MA
State legislatures are now in session. Almost as much as the Congress, they will affect the public welfare. They should face all facts. That will be difficult. It is axiomatic that half the world does not know how the other half lives. But state legislatures are fresh from the people. They know the conditions of their own neighborhoods much better than Congressmen know them.
Some people are suffering from lack of work, some from lack of water, many more from lack of wisdom. These facts have been emphasized all out of proportion to their importance. Other facts of abundant supplies of food, raw materials, credit, productive capacity and the ability of a free people to take care of themselves when necessary are being almost entirely ignored. Cities and towns are responsible for relief. Give them all needed authority to raise and expend their own money for that purpose. That and local charity will be sufficient. Recall the principle of President Cleveland that it is the business of the people to support the government, not of the government to support the people. We can supply enough of our own lack of wisdom. We do not need to increase it by unwise legislation.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Pamela Mett who prepared this document for digital publication.