[This item was added in 2013.]
This note in Edison's handwriting was found among the Lewis A. Miller letters in Book 13 on the Charles Edison Fund microfilm. It reads as follows: "In all deliberative bodies the results are always below the intelligence of the least intelligent member. Spencer collected all the data of 32 acts of Parliament covering a period of 200 years for the amelioration of the poor, 31 of which [created?] dramatically opposite to what was intended." A variation of this statement can be found in Will Irwin's "Why Edison Is A Progressive: An Interview," which was issued as a pamphlet during the presidential campaign of 1912. Edison was making the point that the initiative and referendumtwo key Progressive measureswere superior to acts of legislation. Courtesy of the Charles Edison Fund.