Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Ten Cannots by Rev. William J. H. Boetcker 1916

Often attributed to Abraham Lincoln probably because it was included in a leaflet printed in 1942 by a conservative political organization called the Committee for Constitutional Government with quotes from Lincoln these words still stand today. Look up Boetcker a very interesting person in his own right.


You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.


  1. Well, Abe may have said it Reverend, but thank you for bringing these "cannots" to my attention. They are so true and so timeless.

  2. India's 2013 budget has followed these exactly; except the "cannot" part.