Economist at Fayetteville, Arkansas
It was a sunny afternoon
At story-telling time.
Old Kaspar searched for more cigars
and checked his rum-and-lime,
While Peterkin and Wilhelmine
Looked at the futurama screen.
They saw a crowded city street,
Where slinky men in pairs
Were slipping up on passers-by
To catch them unawares
And lift their cash from hand or hip
Without a fumbled touch or flip.
"Is that a gang of robbers there?"
The little children cried.
"It’s just another hidden tax,"
Old Kaspar soon replied.
"That’s how the Treasury obtains
The cash to aid commuter trains."
"Commuter trains," said Kaspar then,
"Are needed every day;
But now their costs have soared beyond
What passengers will pay.
That’s why they get a subsidy
To keep them out of bankruptcy."
"Why don’t we use an open tax?"
Asked little Peterkin.
"Commuters have such tender hearts,"
Said Kaspar with a grin,
" ‘Twould make them suffer dreadfully
To see who paid the subsidy."
"It seems a very thoughtful plan,"
Breathed little Wilhelmine.
"It keeps commuters," Kaspar said,
"Contented and serene.
The Planners take the greatest pains
To shelter folks from moral strains."