Date: November 20, 1930
Location: Northampton, MA
(Original document available here)
The report that a group of fifty prominent persons are to be called together to consider what remedy can be provided to relieve trade and industry in some of our large cities of the burden of what is called racketeering is welcome news. The last annual convention of the American Federation of Labor denounced this evil and most commendably resolved to take action against any of it that it came in contact with their organization. Otherwise there has been little of a concerted movement for suppression.
In effect, a super government is undertaking to grant privileges and immunities, usually for a payment of money, under threat of penalties to be suffered if the demands are refused. While this form of corruption is peculiarly abhorrent to a free people, the ordinary individual is practically helpless against it. To refuse submission means to jeopardize his business, if not his bodily safety. Only an aroused, insistent and united public, with the help of the police power, will be able to cope with the situation. A public ventilation of the menace and energetic action by all agencies charged with suppressing crime are clearly needed. Failure to provide security means weakness in our government.
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.