The sun was shining brightly
Upon the fields below:
He did his very best to make
The corn and fruit to grow;
And that was wrong because it brings
The prices down, you know.
The corn was ripening in the fields,
The fruit upon the tree;
The shops were full, and laden ships
Were sailing on the sea:
All things had a fictitious look
Of fair prosperity;
And that was wrong because the world
Was ruined utterly.
The Banker and the Economist
Were walking hand in hand.
They wept like anything to see
Such plenty in the land.
“If this were only stopped” they said,
“The prospect would be grand!”
“If seven pests or seven plagues
Were loosened every year,
“I think” said the Economist
“That things would then be dear.”
“I wonder” said the Banker
And wiped away a tear.
“Consumer come and talk with us”
They both did make request.
“The time has come to tell you what
For you we think is best.”
“O thank you” the consumer said
With lively interest.
“And first” said the Economist
“It’s needful to explain
The economic laws which prove
That trade must wax and wane,
And why abundance is a curse,
“And scarcity a gain.”
“But not to me“ the man replied,
Turning a little white
“Such dismal scientific stuff
Would stupefy me quite.
“I’ll take it all on trust because
“I know you must be right.”
Two winking eyes behind the back
Of that Consumer met,
As if to say: “This blessed boob
“Has asked for what he’ll get.”
“Old chap” said the Economist,
“Your trust you won’t regret.
“This gross abundance that you see
Before your hungry eyes
Has ruined all the primary
And so, to set things right again,
We must economise.
“And first we’ll make a cut in costs
By cutting down your screw,
And next we’ll cut production down
Till prices rise anew.
Then, though you’ll have less goods to buy,
More work you’ll have to do.”
“Right oh!” the good consumer said
(A sturdy Briton he),
And, smiling bravely, yielded up
His share of L.S.D.
By such contraction wages show
“It seems a shame” the Banker said
“To play him such a prank.”
With sobs and tears he cancelled out
A credit at the bank:
And that was right, unless you are
A monetary crank.
“Consumer” said that pleasant pair,
We’ve had a useful day.
Shall we be trotting home again?”
But nothing did he say:
And that was right enough because
He’d faded quite away.
Asses in Clover, Eimar O’Duffy (pages 260-262). Famous economist Professor Swallowdown is jinxed into demonstrating the stupidity of rational economic man automatically obeying economic laws invented by his own stupidity.