‘Ten Cannots’ resonate today

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A definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We are witnessing this phenomenon in the actions of our “government.” Lessons of the past are discarded by those who proclaim, “It will work this time if we are in charge.” In 1916 a pamphlet was published by William J. H. Boetcker, which distilled the experience of thousands of years of man’s social interaction into Ten Cannots. It was written to warn of the “progressive” movement of the time, the forerunner of the present radical left. You cannot: 1) bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift, 2) strengthen the weak by weakening the strong, 3) help the poor man by destroying the rich, 4) further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred, 5) build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence, 6) help small men by tearing down big men, 7) lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer, 8) keep out of trouble by spending more than your income, 9) establish security on borrowed money, 10) help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves. I might add government cannot give to someone what it does not take from someone else. Do these Ten Cannots sound like the opposite of present-day public policy? Larry C. Richardson, Auburn