Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

November 28, 2013

Editorial: FDR's words of 1941 just as true today

On Jan. 6, 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke about the role of the United States in a troubled world and about “four freedoms” that form the foundation of the democracy we know as the United States.

On this Thanksgiving Day, as we celebrate our national heritage in a world again beset by uncertainty, his words still inspire:

Certainly this is no time for any of us to stop thinking about the social and economic problems which are the root cause of the social revolution which is today a supreme factor in the world.

For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy.

The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. They are:

Equality of opportunity for youth and for others. Jobs for those who can work. Security for those who need it. The ending of special privilege for the few. The preservation of civil liberties for all. The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living.

These are the simple, the basic things that must never be lost sight of in the turmoil and unbelievable complexity of our modern world. ...

Many subjects connected with our social economy call for immediate improvement. As examples:

We should bring more citizens under the coverage of old-age pensions and unemployment insurance.

We should widen the opportunities for adequate medical care.

We should plan a better system by which persons deserving or needing gainful employment may obtain it.

I have called for personal sacrifice, and I am assured of the willingness of almost all Americans to respond to that call.

A part of the sacrifice means the payment of more money in taxes.

In my budget message I will recommend that a greater portion of this great defense program be paid for from taxation than we are paying for today.

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