You Cannot Bring Prosperity By Discouraging Thrift


The 10 Cannots

You cannot bring 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 brotherhood of men by inciting class hatred.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away 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 not Lincoln

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    • Kamna Narain
    • March 25, 2009

    Beautiful, powerful, and true. Thank you for sharing.

    • Sylvia
    • April 10, 2009

    Why are you attributing this quote to William Boetcker? It is from Abraham Lincoln?

  1. Reply

    Hi Silvia,
    Actually, go check out this link:

    It’s a page called “The Ten “You Cannots” Abraham Lincoln Did Not Say”.


    • Christian
    • April 16, 2009

    Man, this is all true. Well put.

    • Trevor Emdon
    • November 8, 2009

    Yes, very thought provoking, thank you! If you and the Rev. Boetcker would pardon me, might I add:

    “You cannot give back unless you are fulfilled first.”

    (I said that!)

    • Beth
    • September 26, 2015

    Very well written.
    Thanks for sharing.

      • shawn
      • September 26, 2015

      Happy you liked it. If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe for my blog updates; I’m planning to start posting a whole lot more very soon. 🙂

  2. Reply

    I originally had a link in a comment above, but I think it got removed by a broken link checker I have on this site. If you missed it, here’s a link explaining how Lincoln did not write/say the words above:

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