Herbert Hoover, capitalist or altruist-collectivist?


“Those who contended that during my administration our economic system was one of laissez faire have little knowledge of the extent of government regulation. The economic philosophy of laissez faire, or ‘dog eat dog,’ had died in the United reelecthoover32States forty years before, when Congress passed the Interstate Commerce Commission and Sherman Anti-Trust Acts.” Herbert Hoover, 1952

Hoover was not an admirer of Karl Marx, whose Manifesto proclaimed: 2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax. But he did admire and donate money to the campaign of Theodore Roosevelt, whose Progressive party platform read: We favor the ratification of the pending amendment to the Constitution giving the Government power to levy an income tax. In those days there was still no clear and meaningful definition of the word “government.” At the time the Communist Manifesto was published, Frederic Bastiat described it as a fiction “through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”

Hoover also admired and supported Woodrow Wilson, who bragged: “We have sought to equalize taxation by means of an equitable income tax.” Wilson went a step further and ordered “Pursuant to the provisions of Section 2 of the Tariff Act of October 3, 1913, said section providing for income tax, and which contains in paragraph G, sub-paragraph (d) the following provision, “When the assessment shall be made, as provided in this section, the returns, together with any corrections thereof which may have been made by the Commissioner, shall be filed in the office of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue and shall constitute public records and be open to inspection as such…” This Wilson did as he signed the Convention and Final Protocol for the Suppression of the Abuse of Opium and Other Drugs.

Another famous altruist on the international scene, the Austrian Franz Ferdinand, remarked on a visit to Australia that he did not like America, where “the almighty dollar reigns supreme through the land. No one can escape its spell.” Suddenly, Austrian Christian Socialist Franz Ferdinand was shot, the opium protocol was forgotten, Russia banned the manufacture and sale of alcohol. The stock market shut down completely for four months, and the festering Balkan wars in Europe promptly escalated into World War I.

Were all of these events somehow related?

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3 thoughts on “Herbert Hoover, capitalist or altruist-collectivist?

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