25 Frances Perkins Quotes And Sayings

Looking for quotes by Frances Perkins? We have rounded the best collection of Frances Perkins quotes and sayings about life, leadership and labor.

Frances Perkins, original name Fannie Coralie Perkins, U.S. secretary of labor during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1934 she published People at Work, and The Roosevelt I Knew, a record of her association with the late president, appeared in 1946.

Frances Perkins Quotes

  1. “In America, public opinion is the leader.”

  2. “Feminism means revolution and I am a revolutionist.”

  3. “The accusation that I am a woman is incontrovertible.”

  4. “Being a woman has only bothered me in climbing trees.”

  5. “American labor is tough, intelligent, and thoroughly patriotic.”

  6. “The New Deal began on March 25th, 1911. The day that the Triangle factory burned.”

  7. “I came to Washington to work for God, FDR, and the millions of forgotten, plain common workingmen.”

  8. “You can always get sympathy by using the word small. With little industries you feel as you do about a little puppy.”

  9. “We all take refuge in the optimism which is typical of this great creative nation. Every situation has found us unprepared.”

  10. “The people are what matter to government, and a government should aim to give all the people under its jurisdiction the best possible life.”

  11. “Roosevelt supported my suggestion that labor leaders who wanted to distinguish themselves should draw up such a code and let us take a look at it.”

  12. “But with the slow menace of a glacier, depression came on. No one had any measure of its progress; no one had any plan for stopping it. Everyone tried to get out of its way.”

  13. “It’s only when we’re relaxed that the thing way down deep in all of us – call it the subconscious mind, the spirit, what you will – has a chance to well up and tell us how we shall go.”

  14. “It is not the nature of man, as I see it, ever to be quite satisfied with what he has in life…. Contentment tends to breed laxity, but a healthy discontent keeps us alert to the changing needs of our time.”

  15. “The quality of his being one with the people, of having no artificial or natural barriers between him and them, made it possible for him to be a leader without ever being or thinking of being a dictator.”

  16. “Most of man’s problems upon this planet, in the long history of the race, have been met and solved either partially or as a whole by experiment based on common sense and carried out with courage.”

  17. “To one who believes that really good industrial conditions are the hope for a machine civilization, nothing is more heartening than to watch conference methods and education replacing police methods.”

  18. “He didn’t like concentrated responsibility. Agreement with other people  who he thought were good, right minded, and trying to do the right thing by the world was almost as necessary to him as air to breathe.”

  19. “The door might not be opened to a woman again for a long, long time, and I had a kind of duty to other women to walk in and sit down on the chair that was offered, and so establish the right of others long hence and far distant in geography to sit in the high seats.”

  20. “Out of our first century of national life we evolved the ethical principle that it was not right or just that an honest and industrious man should live and die in misery. He was entitled to some degree of sympathy and security. Our conscience declared against the honest workman’s becoming a pauper, but our eyes told us that he very often did.”

  21. “Our idea of what constitutes social good has advanced with the procession of the ages, from those desperate times when just to keep body and soul together was an achievement, to the great present when “good” includes an agreeable, stable civilization accessible to all, the opportunity of each to develop his particular genius and the privilege of mutual usefulness.”

  22. “What was the New Deal anyhow? Was it a political plot? Was it just a name for a period in history? Was it a revolution? To all of these questions I answer “No.” It was something quite different… It was, I think, basically an attitude. An attitude that found voice in expressions like “the people are what matter to government,” and “a government should aim to give all the people under its jurisdiction the best possible life.”

  23. “This leads to a question – if a great many people are for a certain project, is it necessarily right? If the vast majority is for it, is it even more certainly right? This, to be sure, is one of the tricky points of democracy. The minority often turns out to be right, and though one believes in the efficacy of the democratic process, one has also to recognize that the demand of the many for a particular project at a particular time may mean only disaster.”

  24. “I promise to use what brains I have to meet problems with intelligence and courage. I promise that I will be candid about what I know. I promise to all of you who have the right to know, the whole truth so far as I can speak it. If I have been wrong, you may tell me so, for I really have no pride in judgment. I know all judgment is relative. It may be right today and wrong tomorrow. The only thing that makes it truly right is the desire to have it constantly moving in the right direction.”

  25. “Whenever I see that picture which is becoming so familiar of the great mechanical man who does things automatically and can perform almost anything that a human being can perform, I confess to chills of horror lest we become like him. We are committed to the belief that the human race is not destined for that kind of efficiency, but for an efficiency of the spirit and of the mind. If this robot-man can release us from chores like turning off switches — all right, but let him release us to be human beings and let us not develop a race who are going to be patterned after him.”




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