“Economic depression cannot be cured by legislative action or executive pronouncement. Economic wounds must be healed by the action of the cells of the economic body – the producers and consumers themselves. ” Herbert Hoover, who dictated this quote during the largest era of turmoil in American history, is given a great deal of blame for the events that occurred during the Great Depression. Many try to blame the entire Great Depression on President Herbert Hoover simply because he held office during the collapse of the stock market and the worsening of the economic tragedies.
However, underlying issues during the previous Presidencies of Harding and Coolidge are hidden due to the fact that Hoover is given too much of the blame. Although it is unjust to distribute all of the faults onto Hoover’s administration, his policies and actions while in office do warrant him some criticism. In the genuine economic policy known as laissez-faire, Hoover allowed many economic markets to operate freely without government regulation. Monopolies and trusts were allowed to form, leading to a tremendous inequality between the distribution of wealth from the rich and poor across America.
Indeed, some still insist that Hoover did do something about the Depression but it was too little too late. The worst part about the Depression was the Federal Reserve Board, meant to dispose of the let alone policy of Hoover, but in reality, doing absolutely nothing about it. One thing Hoover attempted to do was the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. Unfortunately, this was the worst thing he could have done. Raising the tariff was a ridiculous approach for this time, as all attempts to cure society should have been to lower prices.
Thus, the Depression was not Hoover’s fault because he did nothing, but rather because he did the wrong things in order to aid the economy at the time. Hoover’s legacy should not be one of disgust but should be one of misfortune. Although his policies and actions were clearly misguided, he had good intentions and sincerely tried to resurrect the American way of life. Hoover, who is now seen as disregarding the economic problem as a whole, should be seen as trying to fix the problem, but doing the wrong things in order to do so.