All Commentary
Sunday, January 1, 1961

The Ultimate Foreign Aid


Economist at Fayetteville, Arkansas

It was a foggy afternoon
At story-telling time.
Old Kaspar chewed a small cigar
and sipped his rum-and-lime,
While Peterkin and Wilhelmine
Looked at the futurama screen.

They saw a sprawling foreign port,
Where rows of Yankee ships
Were anchored in the harbor pool
Or mooring at the slips;
While packed on piers or viewing stands
Stood multitudes with open hands.
“Now tell us what it’s all about!”

Cried little Peterkin.
“It’s Mutual Assistance, Pete,”
Said Kaspar with a grin.
“We’re sending folks the men and gear
They need to build a New Frontier.”

“What sort of gear,” asked Wilhelmine,
“Do all those people need?”
“It’s painted signs and sandwich boards,
And tracts for them to read.
It’s padded socks and feather beds
And bandages for broken heads.”

“Now tell us all about the men
We’re sending with the gear!”
“They’re union bosses,” Kaspar said,
“Who raised the wages here.
They’ll teach the working men they meet
The art of loafing in the street.”

“But can we spare the services
Of every union boss?”
“In many ways,” Old Kaspar smiled,
“It’s not a total loss.
With foreign workers highly paid
They’ll not be needing further aid.”


  • 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.