The Dolly Economic Plan

October 8, 2008

My husband and I enjoy visiting his relatives in rural southern Indiana. When Ray goes down to visit, he likes to help his relatives with farm chores.

One time, when Ray and I went down for a visit in early spring, his uncle was preparing to clean out the barn on his grandma’s farm. That meant loading up the manure spreader with cow droppings and flinging the rich organic matter onto the back acres.

As a city girl, I thought I’d join Ray and discover what it was like to “clean out the barn.” So I put on my cowboy boots — the kind that clean up easily — and headed out with Ray to meet the cows…and their plentiful winter droppings. Ray and I shoveled the manure into the spreader and his uncle drove the spreader out to the back of the farm.

The manure didn’t do any good accumulating in the barn. But spreading it out — to feed the soil — did a lot of good.

Which reminds me of our economy.

At a time like this, I keep thinking about one of my favorite musicals, Hello, Dolly! In the story, the widow Dolly marries Horace, a wealthy tightwad. Dolly has plans for Horace’s money. She quotes her late husband: “Money, pardon the expression, is like manure. It’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around encouraging young things to grow.”

The way I see it, that’s the problem right now with our economy. Too much money has accumulated in the barn. It’s not getting out to the field where it can feed the soil of our economy. We need to spread it around.

I’m tired of hearing about golden parachutes and credit-default swaps and mortgage-backed securities. I think it’s time to clean out the barns. Our leaders need to put on their cowboy boots, load up the spreader and fling some money where it’ll do some good — out into the fields, encouraging our economy to grow.

Cindy Hampel



  1. Cindy –

    Nice blog – I first relished in the imagery of the farm and getting back to nature (just as my 14 year old son is trying to talk my husband and I into building a chicken coop in the backyard) … and think you’re so right about the spreading around of the wealth. I also get angry and frustrated by the millions upon millions that go into supporting these campaigns – if we could level the playing field and operating procedures among the candidates – a heck of a lot of money could go to far worthier causes.

  2. nice post! i love a good analogy!

  3. Here’s an article that explains a bit more about “too much money in too few hands.”


  4. […] Money is like manure; it’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around encouraging young things … Thornton Wilder Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s