Economics, commonly known as the "dismal science," can actually be easily understood. Here are each of the basic economic philosophies explained in simple "two-cow" terms (first articulated years ago during a delightful dinner in Washington DC with Murray Rothbard):
Communalism: You have two cows. You keep one and give one to your neighbor.
Communism: You have two cows. The government takes them both and--from time to time--provides you with sour milk.
Fascism: You have two cows. The government takes them and sells you the milk.
Liberalism: You have two cows. The government takes them both, shoots one, milks the other, pays you for the milk, and then pours it down the drain.
Socialism: You have two cows. The government taxes you to the point that you must sell them both in order to support a man in a foreign country who has only one cow which was a gift from your government.
Free-Market Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.
Centralized, Multi-National-Corporation-Based, Government-Subsidized, Democratic Socialism: You have two cows. You sell one, force the other to produce the milk of four cows and when it dies you write off the depreciation, hire a lobbyist, and garner a government bail-out and tax-breaks in order to purchase two new cows. Repeat.