All Commentary
Monday, August 1, 1960

Subsidized Doctoring or–Progress of The Welfare State


Economist at Fayetteville Arkansas

It was a chilly 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 watched while pairs of burly men

Within a factory yard

Would lift each worker by the heels

And shake him long and hard,

While others sifted through the trash

Collecting all the fallen cash.

 

“Now tell us what it’s all about!”

The little children cried.

“It is another payroll tax,”

Old Kaspar soon replied.

“The cash will pay the doctor bills

Of older folks with chronic ills.”

 

“The Welfare State,” said Kaspar then,

“Devours private wealth.

Whatever tax collectors miss

Inflation takes by stealth.

That’s why we old retired folks

Have many ills, but empty pokes.”

 

“Who paid the old folks’ doctor bills

Before the Planners came?”

“They paid their own,”

Old Kaspar sighed,

“But times were not the same.

A prudent man could always save

Enough to last him to his grave.”

 


  • 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.