All Commentary
Sunday, April 1, 1962

Effortless Prosperity


Economist, Fayetteville, Arkansas

It was a bright and sunny day
When spring was in the air.
Old Kaspar checked his fishing gear
And settled in his chair,
While Peterkin and Wilhelmine

Looked at the futurama screen.
They saw a street where men and boys
Were dancing round and round,
With boisterous shouts and hats in air
And cartwheels on the ground,

While others romped around the square
Disturbing people standing there.
“They must have won a baseball game,”
Said little Peterkin.
“They’ve beaten economic fate,”

Said Kaspar with a grin;
“And now they’re gathered here to flaun
Their freedom from both toil and want.?
“The common economic fate,
Since Adam fell from grace,

Has been to live by toil and sweat
In field or market place;
But now these men have found the key
To effortless prosperity.”
“What is the key,” cried Peterkin,

“And could we use it, too?”
“They get their leisure,” Kaspar said,
“From what the unions do.
They set their labor price so high
That no one can afford to buy.”

“What use is all that leisure time
Without a cent of pay?”
“They don’t need wages,” Kaspar smiled,
“To pay their bills today.
They get the cash to fill their pokes
From taxes laid on other folks.”


  • 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.