Research for Online Investors
This article originally ran in MarketToday on
Eighteen years ago we took a family vacation on an
eastern swing through the United States. Karen and I packed our four little girls in the mini-van and took to the
highways. We visited Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood home in Hodgenville, Kentucky. This was a welcome change for our
daughters as we had spent much of this vacation underground.
Growing up on the flat prairie in Kansas, we had
never seen underground caverns…and the Kentucky area had a hole in the ground at every turn! We toured the Lincoln Birthplace grounds to visit the “birthplace”
The cabin is housed inside a large Memorial
Building to protect it from the elements.
A few hundred feet down the hill from the memorial
is Sinking Spring. This is where the Lincoln family went for
water. When you walk down the shaded steps to the spring you can just
imagine drinking cool water in the heat of the summer.
After touring the site and letting the girls run
off some energy, we visited the gift shop. As a student of history and
politics, I am always anxious to bring home some memorabilia. I bought
copies of the handwritten Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights and Lincoln’s Gettysburg
These are framed and hanging in my office. One
other document I bought was Lincoln’s “Cannots.” My memory is that these were sold as written by Lincoln. A cursory
search on the internet informs me they were not. The “Ten Cannots” were written by William John Henry Boetcker
around 1916. I am in good company in mistaken these as from Lincoln. Evidently the National Park Service did in the
early 1990’s as did Ronald Reagan. The Gipper cited the “Ten Cannots” in his speech to the Republican National
Convention in 1992.
Following are the Ten
You cannot bring about prosperity
by discouraging thrift.
You cannot strengthen the weak by
weakening the strong.
You cannot help little men by
tearing down big men.
You cannot lift the wage earner by
pulling down 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.
Mr. Boetcker was an ordained Presbyterian minister
and was widely recognized as an eloquent motivational speaker. It is
interesting that he published the “Ten Cannots” in about 1916. This was
when Woodrow Wilson was president and tearing down the wall that kept government out of citizen’s
Importance of Ten
As a democrat progressive, Wilson was committed to
growing the government into a force for “improving” the lives of the governed. His milepost accomplishments include passage of the Sixteenth Amendment to
institute an income tax; this classifies him as the first president to institutionalize class
Wilson pushed for the Seventeenth Amendment to
popularly elect Senators and thereby remove them from the control of state legislatures, which was ratified in
1913. In 1913 his party rushed through legislation to create the Federal Reserve on Christmas Eve, this took
control of the nation’s currency from Congress and gave it to a Central Bank whose Chairman is appointed by the
In 1915, Wilson viewed “The Birth of a Nation” in
the White House. This silent film was controversial as it promoted a
racist view of African American’s and held the Klu Klux Klan out as a heroic force. Wilson supposedly commented the movie was “like writing history with
lightening. And my only regret is that it is all so terribly
After winning re-election in 1916 on a platform of
keeping the U.S. out of the European War, Wilson asked Congress to declare War on Germany in
1917. Spending on the First World War put the country into a
depression in the late teens and the long history of inflating the money supply by the Federal Reserve was
started under Wilson. The Roaring '20's ensued followed by the Great Depression. Does it sound
After the war, Congress passed and the states
ratified the Eighteenth Amendment making prohibition the law of the land. Not happy to just organize American’s lives, Wilson pushed for entry into the
League of Nations in 1918. In 1920 the Nineteen Amendment to the
Constitution was ratified giving the right to vote to women. His
influence was diminished in 1919 when he suffered a stroke. The Senate
rejected membership in the League of Nations as too expansionist. His
wife protected him from being removed from office and his term as president ended with him in a wheelchair in
The information presented in this newsletter is based on generally available news releases, corporate filings,
current events, interviews and the editor’s opinions. It may contain
errors and you should not make investment decisions based solely on what you believe you have read
here. Do your own research, it is your money. If you lose it, it is your responsibility, not ours or your
grandmothers! The editor may or may not have a position in any
securities discussed. The editor may have held a position in a
security earlier, or in the future.
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