Let me explain your reasoning. 1. You do not like the over regulation of business today. 2. Theodore Roosevelt was very successful in regulating business during his state and federal administrations. 3. Since he was the first to be really successful in regulation he is the fault for today’s regulations. Is this not your line of reasoning?
The flaw with this reasoning is that you do not go back to see what he actually regulated and if it harmed business. It did not harm business. Business actually prospered under the regulations he helped enact. Ergo what he did was not harmful. But others of a different philosophy enacted additional regulations or different laws on top of his well reasoned laws and then you blame him for other peoples folly. This is a flaw in your reasoning.
If you go back to his time you would find that there was a faction that wanted all corporations dissolved and he fought tooth and nail against these reactionaries for a square deal for corporations. The beauty of TR is his willingness to treat rich an poor alike. But it is human nature for factions to believe that they deserve more than what is fair. You see it in war, how can both sides believe they are right. You see it in civil courts when two parties believe they have been wronged. Some people are still trying to tarnish TR today with half baked reasoning.
You may not know that TR was one of our best-read presidents. Among his vast knowledge he gained and excellent idea of how all (recorded) nations rose and fell through history. He had 8000 books in his personal library and read many more than that. He wrote history books so that we in our day could learn from the past.
The thing I admire most about him is his honesty. You have a better chance of solving complex problems if people could be honest. You have heard of honest George Washington that could not tell a lie. You have heard of Honest Abe Lincoln. Well you need to learn that honesty was one of TR's central character taits. What he said you could take to the bank as if it were gold. You will not find one instance where he lied or said one thing in one section of the country that he said something else in another section of the country. He went one step further if there was something that was unpopular and he believed popular opinion was wrong he made it his duty to make his position clear. He did not want to be elected under false pretences. This is what got him in trouble in 1912 when he wanted to do something about judges legislating from the bench.
What I seek from you is to say what exact law that TR signed had an adverse effect upon business (not a law enacted by others after he was out of office). Then we will have a starting point for a logical debate about TR doing harm to the country he loved. A general statement will be a wrong variable. Remember we live in a practical world not a theoretical world of Adam Smith. The beauty of Adam Smith is that his theory has found validation in this countries success. TR played a large part in our success because practical application of theory needed to meet the industrial age in a manner where property rights and human rights were not left to the law of the jungle. Did you forget that the United States became a super power after TR helped insure rich and poor received a square deal? Try to square your reasoning with reality.
Want to blame TR which of these accomplishments were wrong?
The achievements attributed to the Roosevelt Administration of seven years and the policies recommended by the strenuous President during that time are many. These, as arranged by his friends to illuminate his candidacy for the Presidency as leader of the Progressive Party in 1912, are:
1. Dolliver-Hepburn railroad act.
2. Extension of forest reserve.
3. National irrigation act.
4. Improvement of waterways and reservation of water-power sites.
5. Employers' liability act.
6. Safety appliance act.
7. Regulation of railroad employees' hours of labor.
8. Establishment of Department of Commerce and Labor.
9. Pure food and drugs act.
10. Federal meat inspection.
11. Navy doubled in tonnage and greatly increased in efficiency.
12. Battleship fleet sent around the world.
13. State militia brought into coordination with the army.
14. Canal zone acquired and work of excavation pushed with increased energy.
15. Development of civil self-government ininsular possessions.
16. Second intervention in Cuba; Cuba restored to the Cubans.
17. Finances of Santo Domingo adjusted.
18. Alaska boundary dispute settled.
19. Reorganization of the consular service.
20. Settlement of the coal strike of 1902.
21. The Government upheld in the Northern Securities decision.
22. Conviction of post office grafters and public land thieves.
23. Investigation of the sugar trust customs frauds and resulting prosecutions.
24. Suits begun against the Standard Oil and Tobacco companies and other corporations for violation of the Sherman anti-trust act.
25. Corporations forbidden to contribute to political campaign funds.
26. The door of China kept open to American commerce.
27. The settlement of the Russo-Japanese War by the treaty of Portsmouth.
28. Diplomatic entanglements created by the Pacific coast prejudice against Japanese immigration avoided.
29. Twenty-four treaties of general arbitration negotiated.
30. Interest bearing debt reduced by more than $90,000,000.
31. Annual conference of Governors of States inaugurated.
32. Movement for conservation of natural resources inaugurated.
33. Movement for the improvement of conditions of country life inaugurated.