Patrick Barrington – “Ma tahaksin olla tarbija”

Iiri aadli päritolu Patrick Barrington oli möödunud sajandi esimesel poolel tuntud oma humoorikate värsside poolest, mida avaldati näiteks sellistes ajakirjades nagu seda oli huumorit ja satiiri edastav Punch. Kuigi tema kuulsaimaks teoseks peetakse kirjutist The Diplomatic Platypus (Poliitiline nokkloom), võib majandusteooria seisukohast pidada oluliselt väärtuslikumaks luuletust I Want to be a Consumer (Ma tahaks olla tarbija), mis avaldati kaks aastat enne Keynesi suurteose General Theory väljatulekut ja mis võtab suurepäraselt kokku viimase raamatule ülesehitatud ideoloogia, mis tänaseks on poliitilise retoorika maastiku vallutanud.

Tuleb tõdeda, et juba Suure Depressiooni ajal oli kuulda hääli, kes nii nagu tänagi leidsid, et majanduse taastärkamiseks on vaja tõsta tarbimist. Ja kuigi tarbimine on majandusliku tegevuse eesmärk, ei tasu unustada, et see ei teki niisama kui pakutakse turule ükskõik mida. Inimestel on siiski kalduvus tahta endale vajalikke hüvesid. Tõdemus, mis paneb suure küsitavuse alla nende valdkondade toetamise, mis oma tohutu tarbimisbuumiga majanduse üldse kriisini viisidki. Niisama suvalise tootmise asemel võiks mõelda ikka sellele, mida inimestel reaalselt vaja on…

I Want to be a Consumer

“And what do you mean to be?”
The kind old Bishop said
As he took the boy on his ample knee
And patted his curly head.
“We should all of us choose a calling
To help Society’s plan;
Then what to you mean to be, my boy,
When you grow to be a man?”

“I want to be a Consumer,”
The bright-haired lad replied
As he gazed into the Bishop’s face
In innocence open-eyed.
“I’ve never had aims of a selfish sort,
For that, as I know, is wrong.
I want to be a Consumer, Sir,
And help the world along.”

“I want to be a Consumer
And work both night and day,
For that is the thing that’s needed most,
I’ve heard Economists say,
I won’t just be a Producer,
Like Bobby and James and John;
I want to be a Consumer, Sir,
And help the nation on.”

“But what do you want to be?”
The Bishop said again,
“For we all of us have to work,” said he,
“As must, I think, be plain.
Are you thinking of studying medicine
Or taking a Bar exam?”
“Why, no!” the bright-haired lad replied
As he helped himself to jam.

“I want to be a Consumer
And live in a useful way;
For that is the thing that is needed most,
I’ve heard Economists say.
There are too many people working
And too many things are made.
I want to be a Consumer, Sir,
And help to further trade.”

“I want to be a Consumer
And do my duty well;
For that is the thing that is needed most,
I’ve heard Economists tell.
I’ve made up my mind,” the lad was heard,
As he lit a cigar, to say;
“I want to be a Consumer, Sir,
And I want to begin today.”

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