The 10 Cannots


Often mis-attributed to Abraham Lincoln,the following ten cannots were put forth by  Rev. Boetcker. They had a profound effect on Margaret Thatcher.She is supposed to have carried a news-paper clipping of these 10 cannots in her now famous handbag.

  1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
  2. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
  3. You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
  4. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
  5. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
  6. You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
  7. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
  8. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
  9. You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.
  10. And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

wealthymatters.comLady Thatcher believed that societies have to encourage and reward the risk-takers, the entrepreneurs, who alone create the wealth without which governments cannot do anything, let alone help the weak. A country can prosper only by encouraging people to save and to spend no more than they earn; profligacy (and, even worse, borrowing) were the road to perdition. The essence of Thatcherism was a strong state and a free economy.

Her views might be very unpopular today when the political sentiments favour greater government controls and welfare spends.Consumption,even if it is backed by credit is seen as a way of pump-priming economies and beating recessions.Increasing direct taxes is seen as  virtuous.Stroking wealth envy is easy but we cannot disregard the above homilies and prosper.

About Keerthika Singaravel

4 Responses to The 10 Cannots

  1. Alex Jones says:

    As a business person I miss leaders like Maggie Thatcher. The UK now thinks that cutting everything is a way out of recession when it leads to social discontent. Better to concentrate helping the small and medium businesses by helping them prosper and thus help the nation to prosper.

    • Do any of the current leaders have any business background?I find that business people are more cosmopolitan and pragmatic.Its impossible to be successful in business and be otherwise.

      • Alex Jones says:

        The political leaders all appear to work in marketing or as lawyers.

        • Well as long as you work in marketing in a big firm you don’t have to care too much about being prudent with expenditure,Its all about sales and financial targets.So small wonder they understand budget cuts but don’t appreciate what are wise expenses.

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