The Business of America

Source: Bet On It
by Bryan Caplan

“Ah, Calvin Coolidge. I heavily blame him for his part in the termination of open borders. Yet if only he’d been pro-immigration, he might have been my favorite President. I’ve long smiled upon his stodgy slogan that ‘The business of America is business.’ While writing Unbeatable, I thought of quoting it — and discovered the origin story of the adage. To start, Coolidge’s actual line was not, ‘The business of America is business,’ but rather ‘The chief business of the American people is business.’ The sentence appears in a speech Coolidge gave to the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1925. The real sentence was not merely less euphonious than the faux sentence. It was also less normative. Coolidge was not attacking anti-business reformers, idealists, radicals, or proto-hippies.” (03/08/23)