Ten ‘cannots’ and seven national crimes

1913 was a turning point year for Progressives (now called Liberals) and President Woodrow Wilson. In one year they accomplished the following: On Feb. 3, 1913, Congress ratified the 16th Amendment allowing the government to lay and collect taxes. On April 8, 1913, Congress ratified the 17th Amendment which changed the appointment of a state senator to a direct vote. On Dec.23, 1913, the Federal Reserve was born. It can print money any time it deems necessary. Woodrow Wilson of 1913 and our Barack Obama are kindred liberal statist personas separated only by 100 years. “Statist” is the principle or policy of concentrating extensive economic, political and related controls in the state at the expense of individual liberties.

Three years later, William John Henty Boetcker a German immigrant who had become a naturalized citizen and Presbyterian minister published “The Ten Cannots.” “You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.” “You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.” “You cannot help the little men by tearing down the big men.” “You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling on the wage payer.” “You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.” “You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.” “You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.” “You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.” “You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.” “You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.”

His “Seven National Crimes” came later. “I don’t think.” “I don’t know.” “I don’t care. I’m too busy.” “I leave well enough alone.” “I have no time to read and find out.” “I am not interested.”

Delbert Beyer