Date: November 18, 1930
Location: Northampton, MA
(Original document available here)
Sometimes our country is charged with giving too much thought to the material things of life. The charge may appear more justified because in ordinary times the rank and file of our people are in such comfortable circumstances, so independent and well able to take care of themselves, that they make no appeal to the humanitarian sentiments. But if any catastrophe arises that is likely to cause real human suffering, at home or abroad, our response to the need for relief is generous and instantaneous.
The economic effect of the unemployed can be overestimated. It is the number at work, not the number out of work, that measures our business prosperity. But the need for assisting those not able to find work cannot be overestimated. The real human sympathy of all our people in every station and locality now is being most effectively revealed in the relief that is being provided through private charities and local governments. It demonstrates not only our ample ability to take care of each other, but the existence and power of a deep and abiding community spirit. Our social system is not yet perfected, but it is already the best and safest reliance in time of need that any people ever enjoyed.
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 Robert Manchester who prepared this document for digital publication.