Today is Taft’s birthday (No Pasaran reminded me; thanks). He reminds us of a few lines from the big man:
"Next to the right of liberty, the right of property is the most important individual right guaranteed by the Constitution and the one which, united with that of personal liberty, has contributed more to the growth of civilization than any other institution established by the human race."
Here is his Dollar Diplomacy Speech, 1912.
Yes, but. . . Taft, in one of his annual messages (or maybe it was even his inaugural address) explicitly embraced the Progressive theme that "laissez faire" economics was obsolete, even though this is the predicate for constricting property rights.
Hayward: I did not put this out to praise Taft. However, do you want to talk about Teddy Roosevelt and the real start of progressivism and how his understanding is almost indistinguishable from the New Deal, and how the guy may well have been a nut case in his last years? Relative to Teddy, Taft may be a normal, decent human being who had not yet fully lost his constitutional bearings. Maybe.