had no character to undermine


Senior Member
Hi there,

"Hostile commentators remarked that he was willing to lend government money to the big bankers, who allegedly had plunged the country into the mess. He would likewise lend money to agricultural organizations to feed pigs—but not people. Pigs, the cynics of the time noted, had no character to undermine."

The American Pageant by Bailey / David Kennedy

The parts addresses how President Hoover was criticized for his policies.
For the last sentence, I don't quite understand. What does it mean?


  • Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    Some people believe that giving money to poor people (rather than making them work for it) undermines (harms) their character, and makes them lazy. So, according to this point of view, it is not wise to give money to feed people.
    However, since pigs don't have any character that can be harmed, it is all right to give money to agricultural organizations to feed pigs.
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