A FARMER, an Artisan, and a Labourer went to the King of their
country and complained that they were compelled to support a large
standing army of mere consumers, who did nothing for their keep.
'Very well,' said the King, 'my subjects' wishes are the highest
So he disbanded his army and the consumers became producers also.
The sale of their products so brought down prices that farming was
ruined, and their skilled and unskilled labour drove the artisans
and labourers into the almshouses and highways. In a few years the
national distress was so great that the Farmer, the Artisan, and
the Labourer petitioned the King to reorganize the standing army.
'What!' said the King; 'you wish to support those idle consumers
'No, your Majesty,' they replied - 'we wish to enlist.'