100 years on and Boetcker’s 10 cannots are still valid

John Henry Boetcker’s (1873  – 1962) 10 cannots were first published in 1916. Some of his ten are often attributed in error to Abraham Lincoln. And they are just as valid today as they were then. They are more widely applicable today and especially for all the developing countries who need – above all – to ensure sufficient growth to fulfill the aspirations of their billions.

You cannot

  1. bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
  2. strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
  3. help little men by tearing down big men.
  4. lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
  5. help the poor by destroying the rich.
  6. establish sound security on borrowed money.
  7. further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
  8. keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
  9. build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.
  10. help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.


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One Response to “100 years on and Boetcker’s 10 cannots are still valid”

  1. Marjorie Says:

    Great. These should be posted in every parliament.

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