All Commentary
Friday, July 1, 1960

Fair Shares In The Wheat Belt or–Interventionism On The Plains

Economist at Fayetteville, Arkansas


It was a sunny afternoon

At story-telling time.

Old Kaspar puffed a long cigar

and sipped his rum-and-lime,

While Peterkin and Wilhelmine

Looked at the panoramic screen.


They saw the rolling countryside

Below the setting sun,

Where many red and white men died

Before the West was won—

When cowboys rode across the plains

And robbers stalked the wagon trains.


But where the scalping parties lurked

In days of long ago

Were furtive men with glasses trained

Upon the fields below,

Where tractors moved across the plain

 Among the strips of growing grain.


“Now tell us what it’s all about!”

The little children cried.

“It is the Federal Crop Control,”

Old Kaspar then replied.

“It regulates the wheat supply

To keep its market prices high.


“The men with glasses on the hills

Are checking off the plots

To see that farmers plant no more

Than Washington allots.

The Planners take the greatest care

To grant to each his proper share.”


“It seems a very perfect Plan,”

Said little Wilhelmine.

“It does indeed,” Old Kaspar sighed,

“The best in seventeen.

But still we need some more, I hear,

To solve the Surplus problem, dear.”

  • 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.