More Harm Than Good

Liberty Letters Quote of the Day, Abraham Lincoln

Property is the fruit of labor. Property is desirable, is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built. I take it that it is best for all to leave each man free to acquire property as fast as he can. Some will get wealthy. I don’t believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good.


Source: Abraham Lincoln. The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume VII, “Reply to New York Workingmen’s Democratic Republican Association” (March 21, 1864), pp. 259-260.