Oeconomia et Infans

A note from an economist (of sorts) to his newborn son on Father’s Day

Economic agents – of which surely you are one
If only prototypically
And in primordiality –
Concern themselves primarily with what is lost and won,
With each eventuality:
The Law of Marginality!
Ne’er abrogate nor derogate that holy tenet, son!

In such a way you have perceived (to quote a finer poet)
That bawling down the house with thy
Peculiar and quite strident cry
Returns to you a fine reward – your eyes glint that you know it –
With little needed to invest
(And such a rate of interest!)
Your livelihood – this in half-jest – to this tactic you owe it.

But meditate upon the way in which you earn you keep.
You don’t grow the proverbial pie;
You don’t produce a whit, and I
Would say a whit that’s unproduced will not bring in a heap
Of beans nor aught other legume
That hungry infants might consume.
Ricardo’s benefits of trade impossible to reap!

Instead of goods, you fabricate such externalities
That others pay you just to spare them!
Thus extorted, you ensnare them!
And once sated you employ such fraternalities
That all your fussing’s soon forgiven,
And the crania you’ve riven,
Cooing thus, and wooing thus my paternality.


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