I guess I need to start this column with a disclaimer or explanation.
Eons ago when I was a journalism major at the University of Oklahoma, one of the degree requirements was six hours of economics.
It may as well have been theoretical astrophysics or Confucianism.
I. Just. Didn’t. Get. It.
In fact, it took me multiple attempts to pass the first course, by which time I’d somehow managed to pass the second.
I remember the question from my first course final, third time around – “What grade do you expect to earn in this class and why?”
Figuring nothing ventured was going to gain me a blessed thing, I poured heart and soul into my answer:
“I hope to earn a passing grade. This is my third time to take this course and I’ve already passed the next course. If I pass this, I pledge never to darken the door to the economics department again.”
That kindly instructor gave me a “C.”
While I still don’t understand economics, I appreciate jokes that poke fun at my nemesis.
So when I came across the following on Facebook, I knew I had to share it. I am sorry I can’t cite the source, but whoever wrote it was darned clever.
It lists tongue-in-cheek definitions of different economic theories and practices.
I hope you enjoy it.
Communism – You have two cows. The State takes both and gives you some milk.
Socialism – You have two cows. You give one to your neighbor.
Fascism – You have two cows. The State takes both and sells you some milk.
Bureaucratism – You have two cows. The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other and then throws the milk away.
Traditional capitalism – You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiples and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income.
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 of the six cows is transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island company secretly owned by the majority stockholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says your company owns eight cows with an option on more.
French corporation – You have two cows. You go on strike, organize a riot and block the roads because you want three cows.
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 died.
Chinese corporation – You have two cows. You have 300 million people milking them. You claim that you have full employment and high bovine productivity. You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.
Irish corporation – You have two cows. One of them is a horse.
British corporation – You have two cows. Both are mad.
Indian corporation – You have two cows. You worship them.