All Commentary
Saturday, October 1, 1960

Antidotes For Tax Resistance or–Progress In Tranquilizing Taxpayers


Economist at Fayetteville, Arkansas

It was a rainy afternoon

At story-telling time.

Old Kaspar chose a strong cigar

and spiked his rum-and-lime,

While Peterkin and Wilhelmine

Looked at the historama screen.

 

They saw a hill where points of flame

Were sparkling on the ground,

Below the wispy clouds of smoke

That drifted all around;

While lines of men in red and white

Were moving up toward the height.

 

“It was a battle,” Kaspar said,

“That shook a tyrant’s reign.

When folks resisted his controls

And started to complain,

He sent the famous Lobsterbacks

To force the payment of a tax.”

 

“The folks entrenched upon the hill

Believed in laissez faire;

And what a working man could earn

They called his rightful share.

They’d rather fight the Lobsterbacks

Than pay the royal tyrant’s tax.”

 

“With folks like that,” cried Wilhelmine,

“The taxes couldn’t rise!”

“But taxes now,” Old Kaspar said,

“Have grown to monstrous size.

They swallow wealth and business firms

Just like a robin gobbles worms.”

 

“Can freedom last,” cried Peterkin,

“With taxes up so high?”

“There’s little talk of freedom now,”

Said Kaspar with a sigh,

“When folks are waiting on their knees

 For bigger federal subsidies.”


  • H. P. B. JENKINS, 1902-1963. Following active service in the European Theater during World War II, Dr. Harry Jenkins taught Economics in the College of Business Ad­ministration at the University of Arkansas. Many will best remember him as author of the "Old Kasper" communiques, carried continuously in THE FREEMAN since February 1959.


    Dr. Jenkins was stricken and died while walking home from graduation ceremonies on the campus, January 26, 1963.