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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Economics According Two Cows

First heard a version of this in the mid-70s. Pat Paulsen did it in the 60s, on the Smothers Brothers. I've trimmed it down a bit, but here are the essentials.

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Feudalism:
You have two cows. The lord takes some of the milk and all the cream.

Capitalism:
You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

Direct Democracy:
You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.

Representative Democracy:
You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.

Democracy, Democrat-style:
You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. You feel guilty. You elect politicians who raise your taxes, which forces you to sell one cow. The cow is given to a homeless man. You feel like a good person.

Democracy, Republican-style:
You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. You move to a better neighborhood.

Singaporean Democracy:
You have two cows. The government canes you for keeping two unlicensed farm animals in an apartment.

Indian Democracy:
You have two cows. You worship them.

Theoretical Socialism:
You have two cows. The government makes you share them with your neighbors.

Actual Socialism:
You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor, a chicken farmer. You have to take care of chickens. The government gives you as much milk and as many eggs as its regulations say a vegetarian should need. You are not vegetarian.

South American Socialism:
You have two cows. The government won’t license them. After taking bribes, it regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. Then it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows. Then it burns your village and you are drafted.

Totalitarianism:
You have two cows. The government takes them and denies they ever existed. Milk is banned. You are tortured.

Soviet Communism:
You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk. You stand in line all day, in the rain, for sour milk. Your neighbor denounces you for complaining and you are sent to a gulag. You write a brilliant novel about those 30 years. It is banned.

Chinese Communism:
You have two cows. The government takes them, sells them to WalMart, buys US Treasury bonds, builds up its blue water navy and takes over the world.

Italian Fascism:
You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk.

German Fascism:
You have two cows. The government shoots your neighbor and takes his cows.

Anarchy:
You have two cows. Your neighbor shoots you and takes the cows.

Khmer Rouge Communism:
You have two cows. The Government shoots you and the cows and your neighbors.

PC Multiculturalism:
You are associated with (the concept of "ownership" is a symbol of the male-centric, war-mongering, intolerant past) two differently-abled (but no less valuable to the community) bovines of non-specified gender. The government regulates you from exploiting them. The bovines get married as required by the Constitution and adopt a veal calf.

Obamaism:
You have two cows. You are taxed for being a millionaire or billionaire. The cows are given mandatory healthcare. Sea-level is carefully monitored. You lose your job.

Counterculturalism:
Wow, dude, there’s like . . . these two cows, man. You have got to have some of this milk.

Surrealism:
You have three giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

Athleticism:
You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull, resulting in the birth of a calf. You carry the calf everyday until it is a bull. You are the strongest human being alive. Milk? Milk is not Paleo. Government? You take care of yourself -- it's called "fitness," baby.

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You choose.


J

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