Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On what one cannot do when seeking real progress

The following is common mistakenly attributed to Abraham Lincoln:
You cannot bring about prosperity by 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 others to do for them what they can and should do for themselves.

The story for the misattribution goes all the way back to the original publication.

The quotation by this local preacher was printed on a flyer that bore Lincoln's Gettysburg Address on the other side. Some, at the time, apparently thought that both quotations to belong to Mr. Lincoln. It has been very commonly publicized as the words of Lincoln to this day.

Chances are, however, that our illustrious 16th President would have heartily endorsed the sentiment.

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