April Freeman Banner 2014


Interest Rate Control

MARCH 01, 1961 by H.P.B. JENKINS

Economist at Fayetteville, Arkansas

It was a day in early spring
At story-telling time.
Old Kaspar chewed a dead cigar
and sipped his rum-and-lime,
While Peterkin and Wilhelmine
Looked at the television screen.

They saw a giant printing press
Behind a guarded door
And heaps of crispy dollar bills
Upon the marble floor,
Where men were piling them in stacks
Or stuffing them in plastic sacks.

"Is that a counterfeiting gang?"
The little children cried.
"It’s called the Interest Rate Control,"
Old Kaspar soon replied.
"That printing press, the Planners say,
Will drive the interest rates away."

"What sort of harm," asked Wilhelmine,
"Can rates of interest do?"
"It’s said they strangle business growth,
And strain the budget, too.
They always grow and multiply
Where cash is kept in tight supply."

"There was a time," Old Kaspar said,
"When loans on easy terms
Were all reserved for prudent folks
Or wisely managed firms.
But now a loan is guaranteed
To anyone who shows a need."

"It seems a very helpful change,"
Breathed little Wilhelmine.
"One bad effect," Old Kaspar sighed,
"Was wholly unforeseen.
Inflated prices cost us more
Than interest burdens did before."


March 1961

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April 2014

Around the world, people are struggling to throw off authoritarianism, with deeply mixed results. From Egypt to Venezuela, determined people build networks to overthrow their regimes, but as yet we have not learned to live without Leviathan. In this issue, Michael Malice and Gary Dudney discuss their glimpses inside totalitarian regimes, while Sarah Skwire and Michael Nolan look at how totalitarian regimes grind down the individual--and how individuals fight back. Plus, Jeffrey Tucker identifies a strain in libertarianism that, left unchecked, could reduce even our vibrant movement to something that is analogous to the grim aesthetic of architectural brutalism. The struggle for our lives and freedom is a struggle for beauty; it begins inside each of us.
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