All Commentary
Sunday, July 1, 1962

The Decontamination of Profits


Economist, Fayetteville, Arkansas

When shadows faded in the dusk
Beneath the drooping trees,
Old Kaspar threw the windows wide
To catch the evening breeze,
hile Peterkin and Wilhelmine

Looked at the television screen.
They saw the sheriff check the loads
And buckle on his gun,
Then charge along the business street
As fast as he could run;
While shoppers turned in sudden fright

Then scuttled quickly out of sight.
“Are bandits ‘shooting up the town?”
Cried little Peterkin.
“It’s something worse than bandits, Pete,”
Said Kaspar with a grin.

“A profit-dollar, so they say,
Was hidden out in town today.”
“Why take a gun,” asked Peterkin,
“To find a dollar bill?”
“It comes in handy,” Kaspar said,
“To open up a till.

The owners often want to keep
The profit-dollars which they reap.”
“Some greedy folks,” said Kaspar then,
“Seem never to have learned
How wrong it is for them to keep
The profits they have earned.

They’re not convinced that private wealth
Is bad for economic health.”
“What harm would keeping profits do?”
Asked little Wilhelmine.
“A profit-dollar,” Kaspar sighed,
“Is held to be unclean
Until it’s spent for workmen’s beer
Or squandered in the public sphere.”


  • 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.