Letter to Eleanor Roosevelt (Modified)
Some of the language and phrasing in this document has been modified from the original.
Head Note: Americans sent thousands of letters to the White House during FDR’s presidency. On average, more than 5,000 letters arrived daily. This letter refers to the "forgotten man," the title of a radio address that FDR gave on April 17, 1932. The "forgotten man" became a phrase adopted by many Americans.
Jan 18, 1937
Dear Mrs. Roosevelt,
I was simply astounded to think that anyone could be nitwit enough to wish to be included in the so-called social security act if they could possibly avoid it. Call it by any name you wish, but it is, in my opinion (and that of many people I know), nothing but downright stealing.
Personally, I had my savings invested so that I would have enough money for old age. Now thanks to the President’s desire to “get” the utilities I cannot be sure of anything, being a stockholder. After business has survived his merciless attacks (if it does), insurance will probably be no good either.
Then the president tells them they should hire more men and work shorter hours so that the laborers, who are getting everything now (like raises) can have a “more abundant life.” That simply means taking it from the rest of us in the form of taxes or otherwise.
Believe me, the only thing we want from the president is for him to balance the budget and reduce taxes. That, by the way, is a “mandate from the people” that isn’t getting much attention.
I am not an "economic royalist," just an ordinary white collar worker at $1600 per year. Please show this to the president and ask him to remember the wishes of the forgotten man, that is, the one who dared to vote against him. We expect to be tramped on but we do wish the stepping would be a little less hard.
Security at the price of freedom is never desired by intelligent people.
Source: Excerpt from a letter sent to Eleanor Roosevelt by an anonymous woman, January 18, 1937.