Works in the Herald 1930
EASY STREET

In regard to the tale of another 20,000,000 loan to Australia it has been pointed out that great caution is needed in regard to further borrowing.

I often think when pondering upon some grave financial plan that, in regard to squandering, a country's very like a man. In spending or in borrowing, man, either solus or en masse, is partly sage when sorrowing - in days of plenty, partly ass. To illustrate, how 'tis with men, just take the case of Bert and Ben.

In days of lush prosperity, both Bert and Ben won all men's praise, for sobering severity that comes with lean and narrow days they neither knew nor thought about, but basked, contented with their fate, till changing fortune brought about an alteration of their state; and both, once rich, grew short of cash through acts improvident and rash.

To Bert and Ben, now destitute, came one who offered to employ a handy loan to restitute their former state of careless joy; and Bert, with all the headiness of one long used to easy ways, grasped with an eager readiness at his bright chance of pleasant days. But Ben, with a reluctant groan, thought deeply, and refused the loan.

Bert trod the primrose way again, content to loll in fortune's lap, well pleased to hear men say again he was a clever, kindly chap. But Ben, with wise frugality, another hitch took in his belt, and knew the grim reality that they who earned their money felt. And every penny that he earned brought wisdom and a lesson learned.

Now cheerful Bert is bust again, and down and out for keeps, and Ben, restored to trust again, sows wisely ere he reaps. And so, I think, when pondering upon some grave financial plan, in borrowing and squandering a country's very like a man. For sages told us long ago that "easy come is easy go"; and they who stay on Easy Street tread there with slow and cautious feet.

"Den"
Herald, 14 April 1930, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002