I stumbled across this the other day. Striking how appropriate it is in today’s political cycle. It’s known as the “Ten Cannots”.
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatreds.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man’s initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
–William J.H. Boetcker, 1916
Noticed on the CCM site. (Thanks Andres).
Borrowed money is more common today than at the peak of the Great Depression. Then the ratio of total US debt to GDP was about 300%. Now it’s 370%.
Nineties years on, the fight is not so much between the wage earner and the wage payer, but between those who produce and those who are carried. A few years before Boetcker wrote his Cannnots, the US government expenditures were only a tiny 2.5% of GNP. By 1990, they had risen to 22.5% of GNP. [Source: Cato]
And where are we with class hatreds today? The classes may be different…
Posting will be a little less frequent over the next few weeks. I’m scripting for a potential documentary, but it means time behind the scenes….There is such a story to be told. Thanks for your patience.