A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 04, 2014
“A full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) gave a campaign speech at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on November 1, 1940:

“It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach.”

Roosevelt was saying that the spending of those with money often had more influence than the hunger and poverty of the average people. “With that in view, we have pushed ahead with social and economic reforms,” Roosevelt continued.

President Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) used Roosevelt’s words in Johnson’s book, My Hope for America (1964):

“President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said that it is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocket-book often groans more loudly than an empty stomach. So long as I am President, I do not intend to allow the tempo of America’s unprecedented prosperity to ever muffle the cries of those who are denied a fair share of it. We have declared unconditional war on poverty. ”


Wikipedia: Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (/ˈroʊzəvəlt/ roh-zə-vəlt, his own pronunciation, or /ˈroʊzəvɛlt/ roh-zə-velt) (January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945), commonly known by his initials FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd President of the United States. A Democrat, he was elected four times and served from March 1933 to his death in April 1945. He was a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic depression and total war. A dominant leader of the Democratic Party, he built a New Deal Coalition that realigned American politics after 1932, as his New Deal domestic policies defined American liberalism for the middle third of the 20th century.

The American Presidency Project
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
XXXII President of the United States, 1933-1945
129 - Campaign Address at Brooklyn, New York.
November 1, 1940
Mrs. Burke, Governor Lehman, Mr. Kelly:

Sentiment is a very wonderful and continuing thing in the human race. It has brought me back again to this old Brooklyn Academy of Music on the Friday night before election.
(...)
We understand the philosophy of those who offer resistance, of those who conduct a counter offensive against the American people’s march of social progress. It is not an opposition which comes necessarily from wickedness—it is an opposition that comes from subconscious resistance to any measure that disturbs the position of privilege.

It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach.

I am, as you know, a firm believer in private enterprise and in private property. I am a firm believer in the American opportunity of men and women to rise in private enterprise.

But, of course, if private opportunity is to remain safe, average men and women must be able to have it as a part of their own individual satisfaction in life and their own stake in democracy.

With that in view, we have pushed ahead with social and economic reforms, determined that this period in American life should be written down as an heroic era—an era in which men fought not merely to preserve a past, but to build a future.

Google Books
As FDR Said:
A Treasury of His Speeches, Conversations and Writings

By Frank Kingdon
New York, NY: Duell, Sloan and Pearce
1950
Pg. 213:
He offered an epigram salted to its taste for wisecracks: “It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocket-book often groans more loudly than an empty stomach.”

Google Books
My Hope for America
By Lyndon B. Johnson
New York, NY: Random House
1964
Pg. 41:
President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said that it is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocket-book often groans more loudly than an empty stomach. So long as I am President, I do not intend to allow the tempo of America’s unprecedented prosperity to ever muffle the cries of those who are denied a fair share of it. We have declared unconditional war on poverty.

Google Books
The Seven Deadly Sins:
Society and Evil

By Stanford M. Lyman
Lanham, MD: General Hall
1989
Pg. 268:
That greed had not been mastered was admitted in 1940: “It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach.”

Google Books
The Oxford Dictionary of American Quotations
Edited by Hugh Rawson and Margaret Miner
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
2006
Pg. 441:
A full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, speech, Nov. 1, 1940

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Saturday, October 04, 2014 • Permalink