Tuesday, October 21

Economics in One Easy Lesson

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.


Limnicky said...

Dr Grant! Thankyou for posting these descriptions! After I listened to your Modernity series I have been trying to remember them correctly.

A Young American said...

Ditto to Liam! I have frantically typed, completely misspelled versions of those wonderful explanations, so those a really appreciated! I use them all the time!

Papa Giorgio said...


I posted/linked this on my blog as well as J. Budziszewski’s example from his book The Revenge of Conscience: Politics and the Fall of Man.

Good stuff. By-the-by, I just mailed to Dr. Craig Hazen (at Biola) an article that will prayerfully be published in Philosophia Christi. I hope to say that this high-school drop and three-time felon (20-years ago) is published!

I tried to contact you in the past about a book you had on your shelf in the DVD, The Real Jesus. Feel free to contact me... my e-mail is at the top of my blog.

From one bibliophile (3,500 [+] books) to another:

Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It is not, then, an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men [or women], setting out in life, it is there only capital. ~ Thomas Jefferson

Josh (the sexiest thing here) said...

Wouldn't the Multi-National also sell the rights to the future milk produced by the cows to one hedge fund and buy insurance for future milk not produced by the cows to another hedge fund? After that, they sell off the rights to various cuts of the cow to pension funds, insurance companies, and sovereign wealth funds. Then, they hire a new cow farmer, fire him after 3 weeks, and give him a $20mil golden parachute.

Scribbler said...

Well said....Why can't our current choices be clear with what they indeed will do with the resources that they will ...ummm...acquire from us...

joiz said...

you all forgot about "walmart capitalism" give both your cows to your neighbour, then buy the milk they produce cheaper, whilst not actually having a source of income (because THAT came from your cow). act surprised when you owe three billion dollars to all your neighbors and whine for help.