Date: June 20, 1931
Location: Northampton, MA
Summary: Calvin Coolidge argues for less government intervention within the labor market.
The centralization of power in Washington, which nearly all members of Congress deplore in their speech and then support by their votes, steadily increases. The latest report is that the Federal Employment Service will have a bureau in every state and the District of Columbia. The farmer who was the shining example of sturdy independence has intrusted the government with finding him a market. Now the wage earner is to look to the same source to find employment. Individual self-reliance is disappearing and local self-government is being undermined.
A revolution is taking place which will leave the people dependent upon the government and place the government where it must decide questions that are far better left to the people to decide for themselves. Finding markets will develop into fixing prices, and finding employment will develop into fixing wages. The next step will be to furnish markets and employment, or in default pay a bounty and dole. Those who look with apprehension on these tendencies do not lack humanity, but are influenced by the belief that the result of such measures will be to deprive the people of character and liberty.
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 David Wang who prepared this document for digital publication.