All Commentary
Friday, June 1, 1962

No Day Of Reckoning?


Economist, Fayetteville, Arkansas

It was a lazy afternoon
Beneath a cloudless sky.
Old Kaspar settled in his chair
and turned a sleepy eye
On Peterkin and Wilhelmine
Who watched the historama screen.

They saw a crowd of city folks
Within a marble hall;
And one, dressed up like Uncle Sam,
Who stood against the wall
Where papers colored green and white

Were stacked beside him left and right.
And as the busy, pushing crowd
Came past him on the screen,
He’d give them papers colored white

And they’d give him some green,
While helpers worked at keeping track
Of changes made in either stack.
“Now tell us what ’twas all about!”
Cried little Wilhelmine.

“It was a market,” Kaspar said,
“Where dollars long and green
Were traded nearly every day
For simple promises to pay.”
“When Uncle Sam was short of cash

From current revenues,
He’d stand upon the market floor
And sell some IOU’s;
And in his youth, so I’ve been told,
He’d pay his IOU’s in gold.”

“Why doesn’t he,” asked Peterkin,
“Pay debts in gold today?”
“The Planners showed him,” Kaspar sighed,
“A more enlightened way.
When faced with bills and debts galore
He just goes out and borrows more.”

  • 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.