My friend Mary sent this to me a couple of days ago, and I recall having seen it before, but her version said something along the lines of “updated for 2008” so I was curious enough to read all the way through. I figured it was entertaining enough to share with you, so here are some economic systems illustrated via a two cows example, for your reading pleasure. I’ve added my commentary where appropriate. I also put links on the first few, since I figured if people are going to accuse anyone of being a socialist or communist or whatever, they should at least understand what the terms mean.
(Sidenote: I also figured that I would post this because my mom really likes cows. I’m not really sure why, but it’s a long-standing thing, so I’ve stopped questioning it. For example, this is her desk at school:
I love how even the computer box has cow spots.)
You have 2 cows. You give one to your neighbor.
(Editor’s note: So Obama’s going to give me my neighbor’s cow? What if I’m lactose intolerant? =P)
You have 2 cows. The State takes both and gives you some milk.
(Editor’s note: And here I thought Communism was when the government bails out your cows by taking an ownership stake in them and then tries to tell you how to milk them. My bad.)
You have 2 cows. The State takes both and sells you some milk.
You have 2 cows. The State takes both and shoots you.
You have 2 cows. The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws the milk away…
(Editor’s note: The authors left out the part where the state pays Lockheed Martin $50,000 for the gun because it has a cost-plus contract and the gun happens to be gold-plated.)
You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income.
(Editor’s note: Unless you invested with Bernie Madoff. Then you just have some bulls***.)
You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.
AN AMERICAN CORPORATION:
You have two cows. You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. Later, you hire a consultant to analyze why the cow has dropped dead.
(Editor’s note: The consultants are more interested in the Key Success Factors regarding how the cow could produce the milk of four cows in the first place.)
ENRON VENTURE CAPITALISM:
You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release. The public then buys your bull.
(Editor’s note: The authors left out the use of Special Purpose Vehicles.)
A FRENCH CORPORATION:
You have two cows. You go on strike, organize a riot and block the roads because you want three cows.
(Editor’s note: Hopefully the French people don’t want milk with their cake.)
A JAPANESE CORPORATION:
You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create a clever cow cartoon image called ‘Cowkimon’ and market it worldwide.
(Editor’s note: Apparently there is such a thing as a Hello Kitty cow. Scary.)
A GERMAN CORPORATION:
You have two cows. You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.
(Editor’s note: As a loyal Volkswagen customer, I really do love that Geman engineering.)
AN ITALIAN CORPORATION:
You have two cows, but you don’t know where they are. You decide to have lunch.
(Editor’s note: Hm. Maybe this is why Parmalat was responsible for Europe’s biggest bankruptcy. *rim shot*)
A RUSSIAN CORPORATION:
You have two cows. You count them and learn you have five cows. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. You count them again and learn you have 2 cows. You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.
(Editor’s note: If the Russian oil companies are any indication, this should go more like “You have 42 cows. The public doesn’t believe that you are not going to steal most of the profit from the 42 cows for yourself, so they will only invest at the level that they would if you had 5 cows. But you know that you have 42 cows, so you don’t want to sell any of your stake, even though if you did people would be willing to pay you for more of your 42 cows.” See YUKOS.)
A SWISS CORPORATION:
You have 5000 cows. None of them belong to you. You charge the owners for storing them.
(Editor’s note: I am assuming that this is a bank analogy? It’s certainly not a watch analogy…)
A CHINESE CORPORATION:
You have two cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim that you have full employment and high bovine productivity. You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.
(Editor’s note: And then the newsman gets rescued by Bill Clinton and signs a book deal.)
AN INDIAN CORPORATION:
You have two cows. You worship them.
A BRITISH CORPORATION:
You have two cows. Both are mad.
AN IRAQI CORPORATION:
Everyone thinks you have lots of cows. You tell them that you have none. No one believes you, so they bomb the **** out of you and invade your country. You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of Democracy….
AN AUSTRALIAN CORPORATION:
You have two cows. Business seems pretty good. You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.
A NEW ZEALAND CORPORATION
You have two cows. The one on the left looks very attractive.
(Editor’s Note: Sorry Toby. 🙂 )