By William J. H. Boetcker (1873 – 1962)
- 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 was an American religious leader, as well as an influential public speaker. The Ten Cannots were originally published in 1916. They are often misattributed to Abraham Lincoln.