Date: October 7, 1930
Location: Northampton, MA
(Original document available here)
We ought to get some light on how to conduct our public affairs by observing how we manage our private affairs. When times are good and money is plenty we are willing to make liberal commitments. We take chances even to the extent of reckless extravagance. But at such times we want a conservative government. We disapprove of any proposed radical action.
But when some depression in business comes we begin to be very conservative in our financial affairs. We save our money and take no chances in its investment. Yet in our political actions we go in the opposite direction. We begin to support radical measures and cast our votes for those who advance the most reckless proposals.
This is a curious and entirely illogical reaction. When times are good we might afford to take a chance on a radical government. But when we are financially weakened we need the soundest and wisest of men and measures.
The coming election is no time for rash experiments. The best we can get will be none too good. It is a time to use the same care in our politics that we use in our finances.
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 Greg Harkenrider who prepared this document for digital publication.