It’s important for all of us to have a firm grasp on economics because economics is vital to the world, so as a public service, here are some basics on economics – call it Economics 101 – using cows as a helpful aid.
Once you master the economics of cows, you’ll be well on your way to a Nobel Prize in economics.
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.
FRENCH CORPORATION — You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows.
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 clever cow cartoon images called Cowkimon(tm) and market them world-wide.
A GERMAN CORPORATION — You have two cows. You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.
A BRITISH CORPORATION — You have two cows. Both are mad.
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 12 cows. You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.
A SWISS CORPORATION — You have 5000 cows, none of which belong to you. You charge others for storing them.
A HINDU CORPORATION — You have two cows. You worship them.
A CHINESE CORPORATION — You have two cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim full employment, high bovine productivity, and arrest the newsman who reported the numbers.
AN ARKANSAS CORPORATION — You have two cows. That one on the left is kinda cute.
ENRON CORPORATION — 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. 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 buys your bull.
COWS.COM — You own two cows, so you send a business plan to 20 venture capital firms about how you can make money by giving away milk and selling ad space on the cartons. As the venture capital runs out, you issue an IPO based on your projections that your research team will develop new milking technology any day now. When your milking engineers tell you that they can’t get any more milk from a cow by working 60-hour weeks, you offer them more stock options if they’ll work 80-hour weeks solving the problem. The good engineers, who might actually have solved the problem, all work until their options vest, then retire, leaving you with junior engineers whose options all become wallpaper in another year when the company collapses and liquidates all its cows to a traditional dairy farm started by one of the old engineers.
MICROSOFT CORPORATION — You have two cows. You patent them and sue anyone else who has them.
HOLLYWOOD — You have two cows. You give them utter implants and also teach them to bullet-dodge, wall climb and shoot milk out of their utters on command.
ANARCHISM — You have two cows. The cows decide you have no right to do anything with their milk and leave to form their own society.
DEMOCRACY — AMERICAN: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk and then blame Japan while border guards beat up Mexicans sneaking into the country. People are outraged for a week or so and then go back to televised sports where there’s no violence.
LIBERTARIANISM — You have two cows. You let them do what they want.
MARXISM/LENINISM — The proletarian cows unite and overthrow the bourgeoisie cowherds. The egalitarian democratic cow revolutionary state with the cow party as vanguard disintegrate over time. Marx choked on a veggie-burger before he could explain what happens to the use-value, exchange-value and sign-value of bovine leather.
POLITICAL CORRECTNESSISM — You are associated with (the concept of “ownership” is a symbol of the phallocentric, warmongering, intolerant past) two differently aged (but no less valuable to society) bovines of nonspecified gender.
SURREALISM — You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.