Century-old statements on responsibility apply today

October 17, 2013 

I've read many letters to the editor regarding our economy and how the ever-expanding entitlement programs are ruining this country financially and in large part responsible for the current fiscal crisis were facing today.

The following statements made sense 100 years ago and never applied more to the United States and its citizens than they do today.

From a pamphlet entitled "The Ten Cannots" by the Rev. William Boetcker published in 1916)

They were:

1. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

2. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.

3. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

4. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.

5. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.

6. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.

7. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.

8. You cannot establish security on borrowed money.

9. You cannot build character and courage by destroying men's initiative and independence.

10. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

Frank Daly


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