Freeman

ARTICLE

Fiscal Stimulant

AUGUST 01, 1962 by H.P.B. JENKINS

Economist, Fayetteville, Arkansas

When fireflies came out to dance
and stars began to blink,
Old Kaspar shook his piggy bank
And settled down to think,
While Peterkin and Wilhelmine
Looked at the metaphoric screen.

They saw some men who went along
A residential street
And scattered dollars in the air
Like peasants sowing wheat,
While people ran from all around
To pick the dollars from the ground.

And as the sowers moved ahead,
The crowds got bigger yet,
As rumor spread the word around
Of dollars there to get,
And many workers left their jobs
To join the dollar-picking mobs.

"Now tell us what it’s all about!"
The little children cried.
"It’s called a Fiscal Stimulant,"
Old Kaspar soon replied.
"It shakes us out of sloth or slump
And makes the business index jump."

"For curing slumps," said Kaspar then,
"The Planners all agree
There’s nothing in this world to match
A dollar-spending spree.
It drives the wolf from every door
And makes demand for products soar."

"It seems a very clever plan,"
Breathed little Wilhelmine.
"One imperfection," Kaspar sighed,
"May not have been foreseen.
The folks in dollar-picking mobs
Soon lose their zeal for finding jobs."

ASSOCIATED ISSUE

August 1962

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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.
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