You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong


I heard this on Dave Ramsey’s show yesterday and really loved it. It applies to so many situations, not just the current economic situation. This quote is often misattributed to Abraham Lincoln, but it was really written by this minister.

“William J. H. Boetcker, a Presbyterian clergyman who published a 1916 pamphlet (pamphlets were hip in the ’10s) called The Ten Cannots.

You cannot bring about prosperity discouraging thrift.You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.

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 brotherhood of men by inciting class hatred.

You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.

You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man’s initiative.

You cannot really help men by having the government tax them to do for them what they can and should do for themselves.”

Thank you to this blog for giving me the accurate citation and text!

By Marla Saunders

I am passionately devoted to living my life in the places God has given me. Over the years those places have changed: from homeschooler to businesswoman, from consumer to storyteller. These days I'm focusing on building a new business and figuring out what it means to do everything with integrity and informed by faith.