Freeman

ARTICLE

A Depressed Area or

MARCH 01, 1963 by H.P.B. JENKINS

Economist, Fayetteville, Arkansas


When evening breezes stirred the air

and shadows gathered length,

Old Kaspar settled in his chair

And husbanded his strength,

While Peterkin and Wilhelmine

Turned on the television screen.

 

They saw a shabby little town

Where all along the street

Were groups of idle workingmen

Who stood on shuffling feet

Or leaned against the leafless trees

With backs turned toward the chilling breeze

 

The children watched the scene awhile,

Then ran to Kaspar’s side.

"What makes those strikers look so glum?"

They both together cried.

"Won’t they get more to wear and

By all that loafing in the street?"

 

"They’re not on strike," Old Kaspar smiled

"To get a raise in pay."

The children stood with open mouths

As he went on to say:

"The local firms were all destroyed

And all these men are unemployed."

 

"There’s something wrong," cried Peterkin,

"Are they not organized?"

"It makes no difference," Kaspar said;

"For unions are devised

To handle picket lines and mobs

While business firms provide the jobs."

 

"Can’t everyone get higher pay

By loafing in the street?"

"There’s one condition," Kaspar sighed,

"Attached to such a feat.

You can’t have jobs to strike or shirk

Without a firm to give you work."

ASSOCIATED ISSUE

March 1963

comments powered by Disqus

EMAIL UPDATES

* indicates required

CURRENT ISSUE

December 2014

Unfortunately, educating people about phenomena that are counterintuitive, not-so-easy to remember, and suggest our individual lack of human control (for starters) can seem like an uphill battle in the war of ideas. So we sally forth into a kind of wilderness, an economic fairyland. We are myth busters in a world where people crave myths more than reality. Why do they so readily embrace untruth? Primarily because the immediate costs of doing so are so low and the psychic benefits are so high.
Download Free PDF

PAST ISSUES

SUBSCRIBE

RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION

Essential Works from FEE

Economics in One Lesson (full text)

By HENRY HAZLITT

The full text of Hazlitt's famed primer on economic principles: read this first!


By FREDERIC BASTIAT

Frederic Bastiat's timeless defense of liberty for all. Once read and understood, nothing ever looks the same.


By F. A. HAYEK

There can be little doubt that man owes some of his greatest suc­cesses in the past to the fact that he has not been able to control so­cial life.


By JEFFREY A. TUCKER

Leonard Read took the lessons of entrepreneurship with him when he started his ideological venture.


By LEONARD E. READ

No one knows how to make a pencil: Leonard Read's classic (Audio, HTML, and PDF)