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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Presidential words c. 1906

This is admittedly taken out of context, but the words seemed to resonate across a century. From the Oct. 5, 1906 NYT concerning a speech by President T. Roosevelt:
[E]ach generation has its special and serious difficulties; and we of this generation have to struggle with evils springing from the very material success of which we are so proud, from the very growth and prosperity which, with justice, we boast. The extraordinary industrial changes of the last half century have produced a totally new set of conditions, under which new evils flourish; and for these new evils new remedies must be devised.

Some of these evils can be grappled with by private effort only; for we never can afford to forget that in the last analysis the chief factor in personal success, and indeed in National greatness, must be the sturdy, self-reliant character of the individual citizen. But many of these evils are of such a nature that no private effort can avail against them."
In full disclosure, Roosevelt is referring to the "evils" of concentrated wealth, and the need for government oversight and control of privately held means of production.

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