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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1983
AUTHOR: Samuel Gompers (1850–1924)
QUOTATION: Doing for people what they can and ought to do for themselves is a dangerous experiment. In the last analysis the welfare of the workers depends upon their own initiative. Whatever is done under the guise of philanthropy or social morality which in any way lessens initiative is the greatest crime that can be committed against the toilers. Let social busy-bodies and professional “public morals experts” in their fads reflect upon the perils they rashly invite under this pretense of social welfare.
ATTRIBUTION: SAMUEL GOMPERS, “The Shorter Workday—Its Philosophy,” Eight Hours, pp. 36–37 (191?).