Rutherford Birchard Hayes (October 4, 1822 – January 17, 1893) was the 19th President of the United States (1877–1881). As president, he oversaw the end of Reconstruction, began the efforts that led to civil service reform, and attempted to reconcile the divisions left over from the Civil War and Reconstruction. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)
Abolish plutocracy if you would abolish poverty. As millionaires increase, pauperism grows. The more millionaires, the more paupers.
All appointments hurt. Five friends are made cold or hostile for every appointment; no new friends are made. All patronage is perilous to men of real ability or merit. It aids only those who lack other claims to public support.
As knowledge spreads, wealth spreads. To diffuse knowledge is to diffuse wealth. To give all an equal chance to acquire knowledge is the best and surest way to give all an equal chance to acquire property.
Constitutional statutes... which embody the settled public opinion of the people who enacted them and whom they are to govern- can always be enforced. But, if they embody only the sentiments of a bare majority…they are likely to injure the cause they are framed to advance.
Every age has its temptations, its weaknesses, its dangers. Ours is in the line of the snobbish and the sordid.
Fighting battles is like courting girls: those who make the most pretensions and are boldest usually win.
In avoiding the appearance of evil, I am not sure but I have sometimes unnecessarily deprived myself and others of innocent enjoyments.
It is the desire of the good people of the whole country that sectionalism as a factor in our politics should disappear.
It will be the duty of the Executive, with sufficient appropriations for the purpose, to prosecute unsparingly all who have been engaged in depriving citizens of the rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution.
One of the tests of the civilization of people is the treatment of its criminals.
Partisanship should be kept out of the pulpit... The blindest of partisans are preachers. All politicians expect and find more candor, fairness, and truth in politicians than in partisan preachers. They are not replied to- no chance to reply to them... The balance wheel of free institutions is free discussion. The pulpit allows no free discussion.
Strikes and boycotting are akin to war, and can be justified only on grounds analogous to those which justify war, viz., intolerable injustice and oppression.
The melancholy thing in our public life is the insane desire to get higher.
The President of the United States of necessity owes his election to office to the suffrage and zealous labors of a political party, the members of which cherish with ardor and regard as of essential importance the principles of their party organization; but he should strive to be always mindful of the fact that he serves his party best who serves the country best.
The progress of society is mainly... the improvement in the condition of the workingmen of the world.
The real difficulty is with the vast wealth and power in the hands of the few and the unscrupulous who represent or control capital. Hundreds of laws of Congress and the state legislatures are in the interest of these men and against the interests of workingmen. These need to be exposed and repealed. All laws on corporations, on taxation, on trusts, wills, descent, and the like, need examination and extensive change. This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people no longer. It is a government of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations.- How is this? (March, 1888)
The unrestricted competition so commonly advocated does not leave us the survival of the fittest. The unscrupulous succeed best in accumulating wealth.
There can be no complete and permanent reform of the civil service until public opinion emancipates congressmen from all control and influence over government patronage. Legislation is required to establish the reform. No proper legislation is to be expected as long as members of Congress are engaged in procuring offices for their constituents.
Unjust attacks on public men do them more good than unmerited praise.
War is a cruel business and there is brutality in it on all sides...
We all agree that neither the Government nor political parties ought to interfere with religious sects. It is equally true that religious sects ought not to interfere with the Government or with political parties. We believe that the cause of good government and the cause of religion both suffer by all such interference.
(October 4 is also the birthday of Damon Runyon.)