59.Huey Pierce Long - Share Our Wealth
President Roosevelt was elected on November 8, 1932. People look upon an
elected President as the President. This is January 1935. We are in our third year
of the Roosevelt depression, with the conditions growing worse...
We must now become awakened! We must know the truth and speak the truth.
There is no use to wait three more years. It is not Roosevelt or ruin; it is
Now, my friends, it makes no difference who is President or who is senator.
America is for 125 million people and the unborn to come. We ran Mr. Roosevelt
for the president of the United States because he promised to us by word of mouth
and in writing:
1. That the size of the big man’s fortune would be reduced so as to give the
masses at the bottom enough to wipe out all poverty; and
2. That the hours of labor would be so reduced that all would share in the work to
be done and in consuming the abundance mankind produced.
Hundreds of words were used by Mr. Roosevelt to make these promises to the
people, but they were made over and over again. He reiterated these pledges even
after he took his oath as President. Summed up, what these promises meant was:
“Share our wealth.”
When I saw him spending all his time of ease and recreation with the business
partners of Mr. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., with such men as the Astors, etc., maybe I
ought to have had better sense than to have believed the would ever break down
their big fortunes to give enough to the masses to end poverty--maybe some will
think me weak for ever believing it all, but millions of other people were fooled the
same as myself. I was like a drowning man grabbing at a straw, I guess. The face
and eyes, the hungry forms of mothers and children, the aching hearts of students
denied education were before our eyes, and when Roosevelt promised, we jumped
for that ray of hope.
So therefore I call upon the men and women of America to immediately join in our
work and movement to share our wealth.
There are thousands of share-our-wealth societies organized in the United States
now. We want 100,000 such societies formed for every nook and corner of this
country--societies that will meet, talk,, and work, all for the purpose tat the great
wealth and abundance of this great land that belongs to us may be shared and
enjoyed by all of us.
We have nothing more for which we should
ask the Lord. He ahs allowed this land to have too much of everything that
So in this land of God’s abundance we propose laws, viz.:
1. The fortunes of the multimillionaires and billionaires shall be reduced so that no
one persons shall own more than a few million dollars to the person. We would do
this by a capital levy tax. On the first million that a man was worth, we would not
impose any tax. We would say, “All right for your first million dollars, but after you
get that rich you will have to start helping the balance of us.” So we would not levy
and capital levy tax on the first million one owned. But on the second million a man
owns, we would tax that 1 percent, so that every year the man owned the second
million dollars he would be taxed $10,000. On the third million we would impose a
tax of 2 percent. On the fourth million we would impose a tax of 4 percent. On the
fifth million we would impose a tax of 16 percent. On the seventh million we would
impose a tax of 32 percent. On the eighth million we would impose a tax of 64
percent ; and on all over the eight million we would impose a tax of 100 percent.
What this would mean is tat the annual tax would bring the biggest fortune down to
$3 or $4 million to the person because no one could pay taxes very long in the
higher brackets. But $3 or $4 million is enough for any one person and his children
and his children’s children. We cannot allow one to have more than that because it
would not leave enough for the balance to have something.
2. We propose to limit the amount any one man can earn in one year or inherit to
$1 million to the person.
3. Now, by limiting the size of the fortunes and incomes of the big men, we will
throw into the government Treasury the money and property from which we will
care for the millions of people who have nothing; and with this money we ill provide
a home and the comforts of home, with such common conveniences as radio and
automobile, for every family in America, free of debt.
4. We guarantee food and clothing and employment for everyone who should work
by shortening the hours of labor to thirty hours per week, maybe less, and to
eleven months per year, maybe less. We would have the hours shortened just so
much as would give work to everybody to produce enough for everybody; and if we
wee to get them down to where they were too short, then we would lengthen them
again. As long as all the people working can produce enough of automobiles,
radios, homes, schools, and theatres for everyone to have that kind of comfort and
convenience, then let us all have work to do and have that much of heaven on
5. We would provide education at the expense of the states and the United States
for every child, not only through grammar school and high school but through to a
college and vocational education. We would simply extend the Louisiana plan to
apply to colleges and all people. Yes, we would have to build thousands of more
colleges and employ 100,000 more teachers; but we have materials, men, and
women who are ready and available for the work. Why have the right to a college
education depend upon whether the father or mother is so well-to-do as to send a
boy or girl to college? We would give every child the right to education and a living
6. We would give a pension to all persons above sixty years of age in an amount
sufficient to support them in comfortable circumstances, expecting those who earn
$1,000 per year or who are worth $10,000.
7. Until we could straighten things out--and we can straighten things out in two
months under our program--we would grant a moratorium on all debts which
people owe that they cannot pay.
And now you have our program, none too big, none too little, but every man a king.
We owe debts in America today, public and private, amounting to $252 billion. That
means that every child is born with a $2,000 debt tied around his neck to hold him
down before he gets started. Then, on top of that, the wealth is locked in a vise
owned by a few people. We propose that children shall be born in a land of
opportunity, guaranteed a home, food, clothes, and the other things that make for
living, including the right to education.
Our plan would injure no one. It would not stop us from having millionaires--it
would increase them ten-fold, because so many more people could make $1
million if they had the chance our plan gives them. our plan would not break up big
concerns. The only difference would be that maybe 10,000 people would own a
concern instead of 10 people owning it.
But, my friends, unless we do share our wealth, unless we limit the size of the big
man so as to give something to the little man, we can never have a happy or free
people. God said so! He ordered it.
We have everything our people need. Too much of food, clothes, and houses--why
not let all have their fill and lie down in the ease and comfort God has given us?
Why not? Because a few own everything--the masses own nothing.
I wonder if any of you people who are
people or more. If there were 1,000 people, we would put enough meat and bread
and everything else on the table for 1,000 people. Then everybody would be called
and everyone would eat all they wanted. But suppose at one of these barbecues
can do fo
for 1,000 people that one man took 90 percent of the food and ran off with it and
ate until he got sick and let the balance rot. Then 999 people would have only Woman.
enough for 100 to eat and there would be many to starve because of the greed of
just one person for something he couldn’t eat himself.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, America all the people of America, have bee invited to Why You
a barbecue. God invited us all to come and eat and drink all we wanted. He smiled Fat
on our land we grew crops of plenty to eat and wear. He showed us in the earth I fought w
the iron and other things to make everything we wanted. he unfolded to us the belly fat f
secrets of science so that our work might be easy. God called: “Come to my feast.”