All Commentary
Saturday, October 1, 1960

Monkey Business

Mr. Leslie is a free-lance reviewer and jour­nalist from Washington, D.C.


Once upon a time, as an old Arabian legend has it, there were two cats who could not agree on a fair division of a chunk of tasty cheese. After a lot of argument, one said: “Let’s go to the all-wise monkey and let him divide our cheese fairly.”

So, they went to the monkey and agreed to abide by his judicial de­cision. The monkey broke the cheese into two parts and put the pieces on his judicial scales.

He found that one piece was slightly heavier than the other, so he nibbled a piece of it and put it again on his scale. He then found that it was lighter than the other, so he shrewdly bit off a piece of the other, only to find that there was still an imbalance.

While the two anxious cats watched this judicial performance, the monkey kept biting off pieces of the cheese, first from one piece and then from the other, until, eventually, there were only two small pieces remaining.

“What is left,” said the monkey, as he popped them into his mouth, “is just enough to pay my fee.”

If the present rate of govern­ment taxation is allowed to con­tinue and grow, careful observers can see a direct parallel between the record of taxation and this ancient parable of the trusting cats, the greedy monkey, and the tasty cheese.

If the government is to rule on the disposition of the earnings of individuals and industry, by tak­ing bite after bite out of the shares of both, initiative will be stifled, industrial growth will be seriously impeded, and the strength of our vaunted free en­terprise system will be seriously threatened.

Unless Americans become alert and articulate about the socialistic trends of our government, we shall find ourselves in the position of the two cats in the legend, when the monkey decides: “What’s left is too small to divide.”