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Herbert Hoover State of the Union Highlights: 12 Quotes From Addresses

Image: Herbert Hoover State of the Union Highlights: 12 Quotes From Addresses
Herbert Hoover was the 31st President of the United States of America and served from 1929 to 1933. (Landov, file)

By    |   Sunday, 22 Mar 2015 07:33 PM

Herbert Hoover had the unfortunate distinction of becoming president at the greatest time of economic instability in the history of the United States. After the prosperous 1920s, the stock market crash of 1929 launched the Great Depression just a few months after Hoover took office. The crisis would cost Herbert Hoover’s chance for re-election.

The White House reports he became the “scapegoat” for the depression. He delivered four written State of the Union addresses during that difficult time in the country’s history. The yearly statements became increasingly focused on the nation’s failing economy.

Here are 12 quotes from those State of the Union addresses concerning the economy:

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1. “The problems with which we are confronted are the problems of growth and of progress. In their solution we have to determine the facts, to develop the relative importance to be assigned to such facts, to formulate a common judgment upon them, and to realize solutions in spirit of conciliation.” (1929)

2. “We can not fail to recognize the obligations of the Government in support of the public welfare but we must coincidentally bear in mind the burden of taxes and strive to find relief through some tax reduction. Every dollar so returned fertilizes the soil of prosperity.” (1929)

3. “Fortunately, the Federal reserve system had taken measures to strengthen the position against the day when speculation would break, which together with the strong position of the banks has carried the whole credit system through the crisis without impairment.” (1929)

4. “During the past 12 months we have suffered with other Nations from economic depression. The origins of this depression lie to some extent within our own borders through a speculative period which diverted capital and energy into speculation rather than constructive enterprise.” (1930)

5. “In the larger view the major forces of the depression now lie outside of the United States, and our recuperation has been retarded by the unwarranted degree of fear and apprehension created by these outside forces.” (1930)

6. “Economic depression can not be cured by legislative action or executive pronouncement. Economic wounds must be healed by the action of the cells of the economic body--the producers and consumers themselves.” (1930)

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7. “The chief influence affecting the state of the Union during the past year has been the continued world-wide economic disturbance. Our national concern has been to meet the emergencies it has created for us and to lay the foundations for recovery.” (1931)

8. “The strains and stresses upon business have resulted in closer application, in saner policies, and in better methods. Public improvements have been carried out on a larger scale than even in normal times. The country is richer in physical property, in newly discovered resources, and in productive capacity than ever before.” (1931)

9. “To meet our domestic emergencies in credit and banking arising from the reaction to acute crisis abroad the National Credit Association was set up by the banks with resources of $500,000,000 to support sound banks against the frightened withdrawals and hoarding.” (1931)

10. “During the past year banks, representing 3 per cent of our total deposits have been closed. A large part of these failures have been caused by withdrawals for hoarding, as distinguished from the failures early in the depression where weakness due to mismanagement was the larger cause of failure.” (1931)

11. “Our system, based upon the ideals of individual initiative and of equality of opportunity, is not an artificial thing. Rather it is the outgrowth of the experience of America, and expresses the faith and spirit of our people. It has carried us in a century and a half to leadership of the economic world. If our economic system does not match our highest expectations at all times, it does not require revolutionary action to bring it into accord with any necessity that experience may prove. It has successfully adjusted itself to changing conditions in the past. It will do so again.” (1931)

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12. “On the social and economic sides, the background of our American system and the motivation of progress is essentially that we should allow free play of social and economic forces as far as will not limit equality of opportunity and as will at the same time stimulate the initiative and enterprise of our people. In the maintenance of this balance the Federal Government can permit of no privilege to any person or group. It should act as a regulatory agent and not as a participant in economic and social life. The moment the Government participates, it becomes a competitor with the people.” (1932)

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Herbert Hoover had the unfortunate distinction of becoming president at the greatest time of economic instability in the history of the United States. He delivered four written State of the Union addresses during that difficult time in the country’s history.
herbert hoover, state of the union
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2015-33-22
Sunday, 22 Mar 2015 07:33 PM
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