Law Observance: Shall the People of the United States Uphold the Constitution?

By W. Durant C. | Go to book overview

A SCIENTIFIC STUDY

Irving Fisher and Associates, New Haven and New York

THE most practicable plan to make the 18th Amendment effective should be fitted, as nearly as possible, to the policy and methods of the incoming President. That policy, as Mr. Hoover has declared it, is primarily opposed to coercion, bureaucratic extensions and centralization. Instead, it is a policy of

(1) Informing the nation, scientifically and from unbiased sources, of defects and abuses in the application of the 18th Amendment, and

(2) Invoking the power of informed leadership to remedy the abuses and through organized, voluntary effort to secure general observance of the law.

In his administrative work the President-elect has invariably offered co-operation to representative groups of men and women in states and local communities.

By employing the principles of decentralized organization, leaving the execution of details to local autonomy, and of co-operation through volunteer committees of leading citizens, Mr. Hoover succeeded largely in regulating the food supply of scores of millions of people in Europe during and after the war; in forming and conducting the United States food administration and in reorganizing the federal Department of Commerce.

He has announced these principles as the heart of his policy during the next four years. It is inherently improbable, therefore, that any plan to make the Amendment effective will be practicable if it fails to embody the principles whereby Mr. Hoover habitually centralizes ideas and decentralizes their execution through organized leadership among states and local communities.

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