Ten Cannots Quote by William J. H. Boetcker

With money tight and the Presidential election less than a week away, we’ve been hearing a lot about the economy, taxation, government and so forth. Somebody posted a very interesting quote in the comments section on a news site and I wanted to share it with our readers. Although this quote is sometimes wrongly attributed to Abraham Lincoln, it actually came from a pamphlet entitled The Ten Cannots that was first published in 1916 by William J. H. Boetcker (1873-1962). And though written 92 years ago, I think its wisdom is relevant for all times.

  1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
  2. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
  3. You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
  4. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
  5. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
  6. You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
  7. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
  8. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
  9. You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.
  10. And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

What do you think?

2 Comments

  1. ruky on November 1, 2008 at 1:55 am

    i agree to the 10 cannots..

  2. Brian on November 17, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    Excellent food for thought!

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