Snippetts from Teddy Roosevelt, collected by Patricia O’Toole for The American Scholar:
- [W]hen wealthy men … indulge in reckless speculation—especially if it is accompanied by dishonesty—they jeopardize not only their own future but the future of all their innocent fellow citizens, for they expose the whole business community to panic and distress.
- The men of great wealth who are careless of the welfare of the average citizen of our country are laying up an evil harvest for their own children. … [T]he growth of misery in any one great class will ultimately make its baleful effects felt through all classes.
- [Property rights] can only be preserved if we remember that they are in less jeopardy from the socialist and the anarchist than from the predatory man of wealth. It has become evident that to refuse to invoke the power of the nation to restrain the wrongs committed by the man of great wealth who does evil is not only to neglect the interests of the public, but is to neglect the interests of the man of means who acts honorably by his fellows.
- The government ought not to conduct the business of the country; but it ought to regulate it so that it shall be conducted in the interest of the public.
- Of all forms of tyranny the least attractive and the most vulgar is the tyranny of mere wealth, the tyranny of a plutocracy.
- There can be no delusion more fatal to the nation than the delusion that the standard of profits, of business prosperity, is sufficient in judging any business or political question.
- [I]n the long run, we all of us tend to go up or go down together.
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