Freeman

ARTICLE

Getting The Country Moving

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

Economist, Fayetteville, Arkansas

The leaves were dying on the trees
and turning red and gold.
Old Kaspar sniffed the evening air
And felt the coming cold,
While Peterkin and Wilhelmine
Looked at the allegoric screen.

They saw a hill where groups of men
Were milling round and round
In search of gaps between the rocks

That littered up the ground;
While others loitered in the shade
Where rows of feather beds were laid.

The few who seemed to find a way
Among the rocky tracks

Were forced to carry other men
Who perched upon their backs,
Till burdened far beyond their size
They’d fall to earth and fail to rise.

"Now tell us what it’s all about! "
The little children cried.

"It’s Movement on the New Frontier,"
Old Kaspar soon replied.
"They’re off to gain the higher ground
Where joy and affluence abound."

"Why aren’t some," asked Peterkin,
"Allowed to reach the top?"
"They’re free to climb,"
Old Kaspar sighed,
"Or try until they drop.

Of course, it’s hard to climb the tracks
With people riding on their backs."
"Why couldn’t some just lead the way
And let the others walk?"
"A few would like it," Kaspar said,
"But all the rest would balk
At any chance they might be thrown
On no resources but their own."

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September 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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