Economist at Fayetteville, Arkansas
It was a chilly afternoon
At story-telling time.
Old Kaspar turned his collar up
and spiked his rum-and-lime.
While Peterkin and Wilhelmine
Warmed up the metaphoric screen.
They saw a path that stretched away
Across the hills and plains,
Where men with burdens on their backs,
And many wrapped in chains,
Were plodding silently along
Without a spoken word or song.
"Is that a gang of foreign slaves?"
Cried little Peterkin.
"They’re builders of the New Frontier,"
Said Kaspar with a grin.
"They’re off to scale the distant heights
And pioneer unknown delights."
"Those men in chains," said Wilhelmine,
"They don’t look very spry."
"Those chains are union working rules
To keep employment high.
A man unchained might go astray
And work enough to earn his pay."
"What’s in the loads," asked Peterkin,
"They carry on their backs?"
"It’s shares of mounting public debt
And soaring payroll tax.
They’ve fallen heir to all the weight
Of paying for the Welfare State."
"Will they get rich," asked Wilhelmine,
"Upon the New Frontier?"
"The chance for that," Old Kaspar said,
"Gets smaller every year.
The Planners hold that private wealth
Is bad for economic health."