The old “two cows” story is doing the rounds again, this time in a slightly different version….
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.
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 and a subsidy for ten. 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 buys your bull.
You have two cows. You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when the cow drops dead.
You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows.
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 and market them world wide.
You have two cows. You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat only once a month, and milk themselves.
You have two cows. Both are mad.
You have two cows. Come to think of it, they look more like a pair of moose – in fact, yes, they are. One speaks French, one speaks English. One fights to create a new country, the other won’t let it. They both play ice hockey rather well.
You have two cows, but you don’t know where they are. You break for lunch.
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.
You have 5000 cows, none of which belong to you. You charge an outrageous fee to others for storing them.
You have two cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim full employment, high bovine productivity, and arrest and detain without trial the journalist who reported the number of cows.
New Zealand Capitalism
You have two cows. That one on the left is kinda cute…
Not to sully the joke, if it could be more sullied, but the sad thing is capitalism is still the exception rather then the rule around the world. What the world endures instead, to a greater or lesser degree, is a mixed economy – which is to say a mixture of trade and plunder.