Economist at Fayetteville, Arkansas
It was a foggy afternoon
At story-telling time.
Old Kaspar chewed a dead cigar
and thinned his rum-and-lime,
While Peterkin and Wilhelmine
Turned on the futurama screen.
They saw a crowd of drooping men
Go through an open door
And dump their loads of dollar bills
Upon the marble floor.
Then each would pick his dollars up
And gambol like a frisky pup.
"Now tell us what it’s all about!"
The little children cried.
"It is the Painless Subsidy,"
Old Kaspar soon replied.
"It gives a man a bulging purse,
But leaves his conscience none the worse."
"There was a time," Old Kaspar said,
"When fiscal arts were crude,
And people got their subsidies
By methods slow and rude—
With tax collectors breaking heads
And tearing mattresses to shreds."
"But now a self-respecting man
Can get a subsidy
Of any size his heart desires
And spend it blamelessly.
No longer need he feel remorse
For neighbors robbed by legal force."
"But why have subsidies at all,
If each his own must pay?"
"We can’t have economic growth,
I’ve heard the Planners say,
Without abundant subsidies
To stimulate the industries."