Sunday, September 11, 2005

Whittlesey's Brief History of the Dismal Science

Aristotle felt he ought
And so was born economic thought.
The cannonists added just price
For of the men of God usery was a vice.
The Mercantilists sponsored foreign trade
But even that was bound to fade.
Adam Smith contributed all kinds of things
To Aristotles original sin
Capital, competition, lassez-faire.
To these he devoted time and care
Ricardo and agreeing venerable sages
Contributed the iron law of wages.
Malthus worried about copulation
And trusted famine to control population.
Then came Jevons and boys utility
But much of their work reflects futility.
Marx felt that the world wasn't right
That labor was cheated and ought to fight.
What have all these pregnant thoughts done?
Why dampened and ruined Whittlesey's fun.
This morning at four while spouse was still sleeping
Whittlesey was up in econ thought steeping.
But now it is over, is done, is through
And she bears no grudge but is grateful to you
that these wonderful thoughts to her you imparted
And explained how things like economics got started.

Faith Averall Whittlesey, 1923 - 1997


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