Freeman

ARTICLE

Wirk

MAY 01, 1959 by E.F. HUTTON

Mr. Hutton is the well-known industrialist, investment banker, and author of the column, “Think It Through.”

John Hartford, of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Com­pany, hung a sign on the wall of his office. It read: “Ache and Pain Dept. Wirk."

He said, “I spell ‘work’ with an ‘i’ because I’m the only one around here who wirks."

Of course, he was “sorta” joking, because the A. & P. gives jobs to 100,000 folks, and it just couldn’t become the greatest food store in the world unless they wirked.

It couldn’t have lasted and grown for 100 years without a lot of aches and pains. But they all get cured by wirk.

If Mr. Hartford had lived in Ben Franklin’s time, the old philosopher would have put him in Poor Richard’s Almanac. He’d have told young folks: “If you’d get ahead in the world, put ‘i’ in your wirk."

A young man, applying for his first job, who doesn’t ask when his pension will begin, or how many paid holi­days he’ll have, and so on, is sure to get and hold a good job.

A golden age is opening up for such young men and women. For they will have less competition than ever before!

The idea today is that you can have wealth without wirk. Just vote yourself rich!

That’s what the politicians tell us.

But unless Ben Franklin and John Hartford were com­pletely wrong, we’ll find that the output of society can’t be greater than the input of wirkers.

ASSOCIATED ISSUE

May 1959

comments powered by Disqus

EMAIL UPDATES

* indicates required

CURRENT ISSUE

November 2014

It's been 40 years since F. A. Hayek received his Nobel Prize. His insights, particularly on the distribution of knowledge and the impossibility of economic planning, remain hugely important today. In this issue, we look back on the influence of his work. Max Borders and Craig Biddle debate whether liberty must be defended from one absolute foundation, further reflections on Scottish secession, and how technology is already changing our world for the better--including how robots, despite the unease they cause, will only accelerate this process.
Download Free PDF

PAST ISSUES

SUBSCRIBE

RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION