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The world according to cows

I have seen this before, but now it arrives in an expanded version.

Years ago, someone forwarded me an e-mail entitled, “Economics explained with cows.” It was funny then and it’s still funny now.

Last week, my niece, Elizabeth Vinson who resides in the capital city of Virginia (that would be Richmond to those who failed U.S. History), sent me what I first thought was a repeat e-mail. Like the one I received years ago, it began the same way, but this one went more into detail over other economic models that can be explained using cows.

Her e-mail is as follows; hope you enjoy it as much as I did:

SOCIALISM: You have 2 cows. You give one to your neighbor.

COMMUNISM: You have 2 cows. The State takes both and gives you some milk.

FASCISM: You have 2 cows. The State takes both and sells you some milk.

NAZISM: You have 2 cows. The State takes both and shoots you.

BUREAUCRATISM: You have 2 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 multiplies and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income.

SURREALISM: 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.

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 is provided with the release. The public then buys your bull.

FRENCH CORPORATION: You have two cows. You go on strike, organize a riot and block the roads because you want three cows.

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.

GERMAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month and milk themselves.

ITALIAN CORPORATION: You have two cows, but you don’t know where they are. You decide to have lunch.

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.

SWISS CORPORATION: You have 5000 cows. None of them belong to you. You charge the owners for storing them.

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.

INDIAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You worship them.

BRITISH CORPORATION: You have two cows. Both are mad.

NEW ZEALAND CORPORATION: You have two cows. The one on the left looks very attractive.

(Cal Bryant is the Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and Gates County Index. He can be reached at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.)