Sunday, December 12, 2010

Seven Presidents Saw Something


Thomas Jefferson -- “I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”


Andrew Jackson -- "Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country.  When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank.  You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families.  That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin!  Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin!  You are a den of vipers and thieves.  I intend to rout you out, and by the grace of the Eternal God, will rout you out."


Abraham Lincoln -- “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. …corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.” (1864)


Theodore Roosevelt -- “The citizens of the United States must control the mighty commercial forces which they themselves call into being.”


Woodrow Wilson -- “Big business is not dangerous because it is big, but because its bigness is an unwholesome inflation created by privileges and exemptions which it ought not to enjoy.”


Franklin D. Roosevelt -- “The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism—ownership of Government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.”


Dwight Eisenhower -- “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”  (Farewell address, 1961)

And, lastly, a literary insight:

Theodore Dreiser -- “The government has ceased to function, the corporations are the government.”

*       *       *

Thanks to an Anonymous commenter for this post. Notice from history that each of these presidents had to deal with this power.  Some were successful; most were not.

Comments always welcome.


  1. Fast and short post. What amazes me is that the banks and their chums the investment analysts, out of sheer greed, could bankrupt the system. The Fed Reserve and oversight committees failed to recognise the problems. And ultimately the average John and Jane Doe on the streets got bankrupted twice - once because of bad banking and then by the bailout, were reduced to sleeping in their cars or the streets and still believe that business should not be subject to oversight. Truely a masterstroke by the spinmeisters.



    Try this link


  3. Please read what Thomas Jefferson actually wrote:

    To George Logan
    Poplar Forest near Lynchburg, November 12, 1816.

    ...... I hope we shall take warning from the example and crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.

    re: Andrew Jackson
    could you tell when, where, to whom ?
    (in any case, just some tid-bit, Mr. Jackson's portrait hangs in the London office of NMR)
    re: Abe Lincoln
    unfortunately, to this day, no one was able to find the original of that alleged Elkins letter

    but H.A. did say interting things:---

    a national bank is highly necessary and proper to the establishment and maintenance of a sound currency, and for the cheap and safe collection, keeping, and disbursing of the public revenue.
    ---Abraham Lincoln, March 1, 1843.

    I know of none which promises so certain results as the organization of banking associations. To such associations the Government might furnish circulating notes, on the security of United States bonds deposited in the Treasury.
    ---Abraham Lincoln, December 1, 1862.

    currency can be furnished by banking associations, as suggested in my message at the beginning of the present session.
    ---Abraham Lincoln, January 17, 1863.

    re: Woodrow Wilson
    His election campaign --during which he said such quotables-- was paid for by big business, during his presidency he served big business

    re: Eisenhoover (sucked like a ShopVac)
    the military industrial complex paid for his existence, without the military industrial complex he would never have been more than a colonel

    re: Theo Roosevelt
    the guy who decreed that anti-Trust law should not apply to really big monopolies.....