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It seems like the blustering politicians have been complaining a lot about economic systems lately.  They brand people inappropriately (and for ill intent) as Socialists, and they laud Capitalism as if it was a gift from God to them.

In the body of this diary I lay out why both systems suck.  Before you read on, take it on my word that I prefer a Capitalist system.  If the two systems are polar opposites (pure socialism=0 and pure capitalism=1) then I like my economy at about the 0.75 to 0.8 mix.

I don't think any reasonable person wants either of them in their pure form.  Hell, even President Ronald Reagan (the deity of the dying GOP) wasn't for pure capitalism.  He used regulation as a weapon to kill the USSR.  He got a 30 year contract with middle-eastern oil producers to hold the barrel prices down to where the USSR couldn't make a profit.  They died from a negative cash flow.  That wasn't free market capitalism on our part, it was international collusion.  Anybody that complains about free trade or "Made in China" stickers is also against pure capitalism.

I sincerely hope the split screen idea here doesn't irritate you the reader, it just seemed visually appropriate to me.

Capitalism &
the "Killer Instinct,"

Socialism &
the "Survival Instinct,"

it just wont just wont work...

I believe that the worst enemy our "Free Market Economy" has to face is the "Killer Instinct."  Thinking back to the Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations plan for the perfect economy, I see that their was some idea of fair play that must have been taken for granted, or assumed to be always present.  The Capitalist idea on it’s own assumes that people will be happier with better things so when new innovations enter the market people will pay more for the added value and lousy goods and services will vanish on their own because people wont desire them.  The losers will work for the winners or find other means of surviving economically.

It certainly would never be the case that the natural looser (in my quickly contrived case) would begin a slander campaign against the competition, or use predatory pricing tactics to strangle the cash-flow of the new entrant in the market, or a long list of other perversions of the fair play system that Adam Smith wrote of and hoped for.  Perhaps this is no place for sarcasm.

The simple fact is our ideal economic system is riddled with such perversions because the human species will never be rid of the killer instinct.  I believe the majority of us either don’t have it or suppress it very well only planning on using it in life or death situations, but some among us use it all the time to ensure victory for themselves at any cost.  It is this particular virus like perversion that will allow the sub-optimal product or service to rise to the top and dominate the market.  During the absence of any potential competitors these juggernauts of industry will price as they please and deliver product as they choose.  I believe that GM had 95% or higher market share at some point in their history near the 70’s-80’s; no surprise that the worst product they ever turned out was in the same period.

It took another entire country’s automotive industry with a far superior product at a lower price for about a decade to push GM down to 75% market share before they started to build great products again.  That was essentially a government intervention, albeit not our government, that caused the market to head back towards Adam Smith’s version.

During that time the American people lost in general, GM won in general.  The single large gain of GM was nowhere near the accumulated loss of value to the American people with respect to the value they would have had if the product produced was the best possible.  This killer instinct and greed gone wild activity in our recent past retarded our nation’s economy.

I rhetorically ask, what kind of ego allows people to retard a nation for their own gain?  People that cant control their own intense desire to dominate for their own personal gain.  People that are just as anti-social as common criminals but had a really good financial start in life, that’s who.

A more recent example is Microsoft.  How many times do you loose your mind at the computer when it won’t work right?  Other operating systems like UNIX, Linux, SunOS, and the Apple gang don’t suffer this type or level of failure.  How much time do you loose and what is it worth?  All attributable to a company selling a substandard product at exorbitant prices unchecked by any government entity for illegal monopoly practices.  Bill Gates gains at our unwilling and many times unknowing expense.

My point is, Capitalism (on its own) cannot work on humans with the laissez-faire policy.  It needs to be checked and intervened with.  Often times political pundits will decry, "let the market forces work," or they will try to equate capitalism with America and our freedoms, but I believe they either haven’t took the time to think about the results of what they are saying, or they are complicit with those despotic leaders of industry that run their business, not just lacking any altruism, but with gross disregard for all of society.

The good news is our government has worked fairly hard to institute barriers to most of the known perversions.

The bad news is the recently past six years or so we have seen the progress of all the anti-trust laws go by the wayside.  Thanks Republicans for giving the newest generation the nostalgic economic experience of the Nixon Years.  Thanks to the 2006 Democrats for nothing.  Apparently this is a job for nobody! (see nobody’s job).  I hope I’m starting to do nobody’s job here; please feel free to do nobody’s job too.

I believe that ideas within some of the Socialist economic plans have noble intent and merit if you think on an idealistic and small scale, but I don’t believe that it will ever be possible to have anything close to large scale social equality of power and wealth.  I believe that the irremovable part of human nature that would foul up any socialist economic system would be the Survival Instinct.  

Assume for the sake of argument that we had a device that could detect if a person running for a government office or applying for a government job was an honorable, selfless, and altruistic human being that was incapable of any wrongdoing and was also immune to corruptibility.  Also assume that during some prior election we voted overwhelmingly for a proposition allowing the government to own everything.  We would then be in one version of an ideal socialistic state.  The government decides how much of everything we should all get so that life is fair to all.  We all go to work for the same amount of time each day and put in equal effort and get equal rewards.

All this equality is great if humans were all identical or if at least we had a crystal ball to predict the weather or other problems that screw up production of goods and services in one place or deliver an over abundance to other areas.   Some people can’t eat dairy products, others have trouble from some kinds of meat.  Land and weather make it so that special needs exist in one place that don’t in others.  All these minor difficulties with defining equality make it obvious to the citizens at large that fairness and equality are arbitrary decisions at some point and cannot be measured accurately.  In Capitalist economies we use the dollar to reasonably estimate what one product or service is valued as in relation to another, but in Socialism the price mechanism isn’t market determined anymore, so it is not an accurate or consistent measure.  No bureaucracy could be set up to accurately assess this large of a problem and having complete social input would lead to infinite arguments.

So how do you as an individual take care of yourself and your family when faced with all these real inequities?  You stockpile a bit.  You hoard goods or are careful about who gets the time of your services in order to secure more of what you need, more than the person next to you needs it.  The Survival Instinct drives you to ensure that you have what you need plus some for emergencies.  If the government already decided how much everybody would need, and you took extra, then somebody else is going to come up short.  It wouldn’t be an option for the government to decide to make X% extra so that people could hoard equally because their would still be people hoarding at any level of production because somebody always thinks or feels they need more than everyone else.  Besides government decisions to make goods that weren’t needed would be taking man-hours and resources away from production that was needed.

In the left panel, I wrote about how the killer instinct prevents pure Capitalism from working as Adam Smith thought it would with the "invisible hand."  I believe in large numbers of people that there are few with that socially destructive killer instinct, but I believe that in those same large numbers that the Survival Instinct is very prevalent.  Perhaps a majority of any random sample of people will have this self-preservation instinct.  Thus it is not possible for any socialist economy to work on any large scale.  I’m convinced it would not even work properly for groups as small as 1,000 people.

A well regulated capitalist economy is the most ideal thing we can hope for.

Originally posted to WNYmathGuy on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 10:38 AM PDT.


I like my economy to be

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| 92 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    I am always willing to learn, but I am rarely willing to be taught. -- Sir Winston Churchill

    by WNYmathGuy on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 10:38:21 AM PDT

    •  A good friend of mine, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yet another liberal, nickrud

      back in our younger days, decided that he was "communist" by nature, and told us all:
      "When I get my commune started, you can live on it."

      Both hilarious and instructive.

    •  Apples and oranges... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happy camper

      Take a poli sci course.  Capitalism is an economic system.  Socialism is a system of government, wherein the state owns certain parts of the wealth.

      You want capitalism vs. communism.  Capitalism is doomed to fail.  Communism is, according to many, including Karl Marx, inevitable.  I agree.  Any who fault communism are unaware that it's never been tried.  When associated with a particular nation's government, it's always been distorted (squashed) under tyrannical dictatorship in power; hence, people say it has never worked.  BS.  Never has true communism in a modern democracy been given a chance to exist.  Actually, true communism equals the absence of a state.

      The organization that comes closest to true communism in today's world is Alcholics Anonymous.

      Kick apart the structures.

      by ceebee7 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 11:31:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What goods are exchanged in AA? -nt (0+ / 0-)
        •  Sobriety. The only product (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          of AA is sobriety.

          It's even more precious than money in a capitalist system.  And the beauty is, absent honesty and a sincere and practiced effort to help you neighbor acquire the product, you won't have any success either.

          At least, that's been my experience... and I've seen much of both success and failure in AA.

          Kick apart the structures.

          by ceebee7 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 12:51:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  picky, picky, picky... (0+ / 0-)

        So by your own words Socialism is willfully controlling economic direction.

        Note that in my point I show how human nature will always cause either extreme to fail.

        Capitalism is not doomed to fail.  You are just getting tunnel vision from what you are reading.

        I am always willing to learn, but I am rarely willing to be taught. -- Sir Winston Churchill

        by WNYmathGuy on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 01:28:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  (very late reply)... No... (0+ / 0-)

          Human nature is not inherently greedy.  It is greed which causes either (and many other things) system to fail.  Look at babies -- they are not greedy...  Greed is a learned trait.  Granted, it infects almost 100% of humanity, but that does not change the fact that it is a learned trait.  Remove greed, replace it with common desires (survival, harmony, emotional and/or spiritual growth, enlightenment, etc.) that all can participate in, you won't have failure, because you won't have selfishness trumping benefit for the greatest number.

          Capitalism is BUILT on selfishness.  It is absolutely doomed to fail.  It cannot miss.

          Kick apart the structures.

          by ceebee7 on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 04:39:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  You Can't Win, Can't Break Even, and Can't Quit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Capitalism claims you can win.
    Socialism claims you can break even.
    Religion claims you can quit the game.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 10:47:36 AM PDT

  •  Pure capitalism has never existed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lams712, WNYmathGuy, patriceayme

    At least not in any functioning national economy that I'm aware of.  You can't have capitalism without some kind of state apparatus, and once you've established that, you're going to have some level of state intervention in the economy.

    Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

    by Linnaeus on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 11:04:17 AM PDT

    •  True... Pure Capitalism is like the Black Swan. (0+ / 0-)

      It's really my point.  People complain about regulation a lot, but it's the best part of our type of capitalism.  

      Pure capitalism = a car without brakes or a steering wheel.

      I am always willing to learn, but I am rarely willing to be taught. -- Sir Winston Churchill

      by WNYmathGuy on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 01:15:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Socialism and capitalism are wrong categories to (0+ / 0-)

    oppose. The semantics are holepessly inadequate. Both capitalism and socialism are everywhere. Stalin had enormous capital at his disposal. And first one has to define "capital" in general enough a way. Philosophers have done this recently. And more will be done. Even Larry Summers seems to understand this today (I really mean today, not two months ago). Progress.
    Patrice Ayme

    Patrice Ayme Tyranosopher

    by patriceayme on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 11:05:50 AM PDT

  •  Capital tends to grow exponentially, so neolithic (0+ / 0-)

    societies introduced taxation (including human sacrifices), to limit the monopoly of capital by a few. When civilization appeared, it was more of the same, because capital's importance grew ever more.

    Patrice Ayme Tyranosopher

    by patriceayme on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 11:11:27 AM PDT

  •  Of course, a capitalist system... (4+ / 0-) more efficient at producing goods and services than a socialist one. However the imbalance in accumulated wealth between the few at the top and the rest of us has created an economic situation (depression) which may not be self correcting this time. There will be NO recovery so long as the wealth of our nation is concentrated in the hands of the super rich who won‘t or can‘t spend enough to keep our consumer economy going. It is not even their fault. A decreasing marginal propensity to consume as people grow richer is a basic tenet of economic theory. Only ten percent of our population now possess over 80% of our wealth which basically means that 90% of us do not have a pot to piss in. This means that GM and Chrysler will soon leave their Chapter 11 bankruptcies for full Chapter 7 liquidation, and the housing market will never recover. Unemployment will rise well into the teens and stay there.  The answer is not to end capitalism but instead to recycle some of the stagnant pool of wealth (it currently is not going into productive investment) back into the economy through a highly progressive tax policy. The Obama administration will not confront the super rich to make it happen, and if the Republicans are returned to power the problem will only get worse. The result, as many are coming to realize, is a return to a full blown and near permanent 1930’s type of depression.

    Seeking to use the tax system to modestly redistribute wealth has nothing to do with Robin Hood (or Lenin), but is all about simple economics. We need to put money into the hands of those who will spend it to stimulate our consumer economy. The super rich now possess a huge stagnant pool of wealth while ninety percent of the population don’t have the resources to keep the consumer economy going, nor to save enough to provide for their economic security. New York state has the right idea.
    To see the data go to UCSC.

    The current Federal tax code is far less progressive than most people believe. It greatly favors the super rich.
    Super Rich Taxes
    Source: Ezra Klein
    The proposed Obama "socialist" tax increase for the super rich is the modest up-tick on the far right of the graph.

    Source: John Cole

    Where we are headed if we don‘t change course and begin to fairly tax the super rich.

    Sao Paulo, Brazil
    photographer: unknown

    •  Woot! (0+ / 0-)

      I think when you said marginal consumption you probably meant marginal consumption relative to income.  The idea I was first taught about this was called Satiety.  No matter how rich you get you only eat so much food a day.  I seem to have greater than 100% of my income spent on keeping the family on a forward moving course.

      I want taxes to be a percent of net worth!

      I am always willing to learn, but I am rarely willing to be taught. -- Sir Winston Churchill

      by WNYmathGuy on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 01:05:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ... (0+ / 0-)

      ...capitalistic system is more efficient at producing goods and services than a socialist one.

      Not necessarily.  It depends on the level of interest of the producer... for instance, a sytem where the producers of goods and services had a gun to their heads would tend to be incredibly efficient... due to the interest in the producer of staying alive...  while another system, one where progression through the ranks of power, money, prestige, etc., was based for example, on politics as opposed to merit would not be especially efficient, as too many producers would realize the game was fixed and not have an interest in efficiency or high output.

      US capitalism has become much more efficient because more and more jobs moved offshore and more and more working was about survival, as opposed to getting ahead.  This keeps the workers in their place and prevents them from thinking about things such as workers' unions.  This is a by-product of capitalism, BTW...  It reduces the worker to fear of losing his job -- survival -- at the expense of the old motivation, "getting ahead"...  

      Kick apart the structures.

      by ceebee7 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 01:07:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You know, I tend to agree with you until I (4+ / 0-)

    I prefer a Capitalist system.

    ask myself what the capitalist system is and then I come up empty.  If capitalism is some new invention then recognition of the corporate structure would seem to be a definitive element except that when the corporate structure was invented the economy of the day was where does that leave us?  
      What sets our economy apart from economic structures that have been around since the Silk Road and before?  Is there something "there" or is the term just an invention of the stock market to make its wares seem more up-to-date than all the other stuff in the marketplace?
      And what's this about Adam Smith?  I've read his book and all he does is posit a bunch of theories how the market works...theories that are more often true in their violation than in the markets conformity to them.  All that stuff about natural forces at play in the marketplace never considered PACs, K Street and lobbyists.
      Quite frankly I am about to the point where I believe those who are the loudest in touting capitalism are those who know least about our economy.  They have no clue about the role of money and know even less about how markets work, especially for labor.

    Candidate for 32nd CD of Texas to replace Pete Sessions"

    by Steve Love on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 11:32:52 AM PDT

    •  Capitalism is... (0+ / 0-)

      I believe we are saying the same thing then.  Many prominent politicians that pine for pure capitalism are in reality promoting a feudal system with a very high and narrow top, and a powerless wide base.  

      Capitalism is supposed to reward good ideas and services solely on their popularity in the marketplace and the ability to produce.  It's supposed to rid us of bad ideas like "natural selection" is supposed to work.  Instead the first with the most will win even if it sucks.  Quality typically takes longer.  Once you have the economic power of getting there first you can crush competitors.

      And the stock market has very little to do with Capitalism, and a lot to do with the concentration of power.  The first Joint Stock company was the Virginia Mining company.  It preceded a insane amount of colonialism.  It meant that if I had an idea and promised to give you a cut on the rewards, you would cede your economic power to me.  That's the stock market; power leveraging itself with other peoples little bits of power.  You get control of a giant with the input of a man.

      I am always willing to learn, but I am rarely willing to be taught. -- Sir Winston Churchill

      by WNYmathGuy on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 12:54:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I look at the invention of the joint (0+ / 0-)

        stock corporation as "economic democracy."  By that I mean that a bunch of us limited means folks can get together and pool our money and do something in the marketplace that none of us could do alone.  I like that idea.  It allowed 16th Century Dutch shopkeepers to get in on the voyages of exploration, as you say, back in colonial days.  And when their ship came in the shopkeepers became wealthy merchants.
          And if the ship when aground and sunk nobody was all that much damaged...except the poor sailors.  And the corporate shield was a reasonable thing because there was really no way to ascertain culpability if a ship went down on the other side of the world...if, indeed it did and was not hijacked by pirates.  Was the widow of a seaman going to sue a stockholder?  Hard to do when you cannot produce a body.
          But that's a mile away from what the corporate shield is doing now.  Now it allows corporations to engage in reckless behavior that endangers the life of thousands (think Bopal or Exxon Valdez) and the managers can walk away and so can the stockholders.  There are thousands of toxic dumps around the country that are orphaned because the company that created them no longer exists and the stockholders who profited by the company's reckless behavior have gone on to better investments.
          This has created an arena of irresponsibility that the nation as a whole cannot stand.  Our environment is too fragile to allow it to be raped and the rapist just disappear into the shadows of the stockmarket.  Somebody needs to be held accountable when our environment is willfully damaged for blind economic purposes.
          What has become capitalism is nothing more than legally sanctioned lawlessness.  I have a problem with that.

        Candidate for 32nd CD of Texas to replace Pete Sessions"

        by Steve Love on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 04:14:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Negative externalities of scale (0+ / 0-)

          True.  It's like those negative externalities of scale that I stated as to why pure capitalism doesn't work.  What you mention about reckless corporate behavior is a different manifestation of the things I stated on killer instinct.

          As a bit of contention on the joint stock company, you give reasons for the small investor to offer their capital for a risk; those are true and correct, but not the reason for the joint stock company.  The risk reward of other investments of the day were no different than today, so a person could have found a small company to partner with instead of going into a stock company.  The difference is a joint stock company for a small investor gives the opportunity to diversify the assets easily.  The trade off was less profit for them and less risk for them, thus no real significant gain to the little investor as a whole.

          The big gain was that of the majority shareholder, or those with voting rights in the company.  Just going with the 51% steak case, the large investor doubles their economic power with 0% loss of control and 0% additional assets under risk.  They attain a personal superpower.  In reality it doesn't take 51% of a large venture to control it so the leveraging is more significant, like tripling their power or more.

          Today is the same as the first day of the stock companies inception, and that is why I say the stock market is not about anything but the concentration of power.  The companies an investor has a claim to have something to do with the economy (if they aren't a holdings company of some sort), but stock certificates of a company have nearly nothing to do with the companies current production or services (the economy), just their ability to raise new capital for future projects.

          I am always willing to learn, but I am rarely willing to be taught. -- Sir Winston Churchill

          by WNYmathGuy on Tue Jun 23, 2009 at 10:50:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Aye, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steve Love

      Kind of like those who scream loudest about taxes know the least about how the tax system works. They think that if they make $251k a year and taxes are raised to 70% for above $250k then they're going to start having to give the gubment all their money. When, in reality, they'd be paying $1.40 on $2 and paying a much lower rate on the rest.

  •  Capitalism worked best with a gun to its head (6+ / 0-)

    When the capitalists ran wild from the Civil War to 1929, they crashed the economy again and again.  Under the New Deal system from 1932 to 1980 they benefitted, and so did most other Americans.  Yet as soon as the workers started thinking of themselves as middle class and putting their racism over class solidarity, the bastards conned them into dismantling it all.

    Capitalism in Europe seems to be producing a more decent way of life, but it does so under the blackmail threat of socialism, delivered by social democratic parties and labor unions that we no longer have.

    The workers need to get their gun back.

    •  Well, it is also true that once a properly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Communist alternative, in the form of the Soviet Union, had collapsed under the weight the arms buildup required by the Second Cold War begun by Carter and accelerated by Reagan, the knives for workers came out.

      Once there was no pressure on Capital to prove it was in fact a better system for workers than that alternative, Capital reverted to its old forms of exploitation.

  •  Nice straw-men (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happy camper, patriceayme

    First, who says Communism requires selflessness? It does not. That's an blatantly false and overly simplistic cartoon of Communism. Read 'Capital' if you want. Marx never argued that human nature needed to change. And neither Communism or Social Democracy has ever advocated a perfectly even distribution of wealth, at all.

    Second, Communism isn't Socialism. The latter predated the former to begin with. Today's political socialism is primarily represented by Social Democracy.

    Third, Communism is dead. Why are you breaking down open doors? If you're going to argue against Socialism, then you should be arguing against Social Democracy.

    Modern Social Democracy does not oppose a market economy. It does not have complete socialization of the means of production as its goal in the near or long term.

    Your arguments betray a complete lack of knowledge of the actual theoretical frameworks of of Marxism, as well as the practical ideology of modern Social Democracy.

    If you want to know why Marxism/Communism doesn't work, go read "Open Society and Its Enemies" by Karl Popper. At least that book was relevant once, and he both knew the other side and didn't need to misrepresent it to make his point.

    •  Communism is not dead. (0+ / 0-)

      In fact, the real left is resurgent in important parts of the west, notably in Germany, France and Holland, as seen in recent EU Parliamentary elections among other recent developments. Not to mention that as long as the 1.2 billion people in the People's Republic of China are led by a party which is in form (and in fundamental substance) still devoted to to Marx's communist ideals (as enumerated in the Manifesto, which itself predated European socialism in fundamental ways, contrary to what you say), declaring the demise of communism is a bit premature.

      And while political socialism, in the West (tm), of recent years, as represented by social democracy and Bliarite third-wayism certainly has been the ascendant form of socialist representation in the West, it is largely at an impasse in Europe and increasingly rejected. Why? Because it doesn't respond to workers needs. Social democracy has in the post-war era always been a form of bourgeois socialism and, as it increasingly is forced to identify with that class, it becomes increasingly irrelevant to the working classes. And so does the PS in France get killed in election after election, the Labour Party in the UK may as well rename itself, and Social Democrats in Benelux, in Germany and the Scandinavian counties have been out of power far more than in over the past decade. If social democracy is a practical ideology, it is practical for fewer and fewer voters.

  •  According to Cows (4+ / 0-)

    You have 2 cows.
    You give one to your neighbour.

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

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

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

    You have 2 cows.
    The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws the milk away...

    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 giraffes.
    The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

    You have two cows..
    You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.
    Later, you hire a consultant to analyse why the cow has dropped dead.

    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 BANK, leaving you with nine cows.

    No balance sheet provided with the release. The public then buys your bull.

    You have two cows.
    You go on strike, organise a riot, and block the roads, 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 a clever cow cartoon image called 'Cowkimon' and market it worldwide.

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

    You have two cows, but you don't know where they are.
    You decide to have 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 2 cows.
    You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.

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

    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.

    You have two cows.
    You worship them.

    You have two cows.
    Both are mad.

    Everyone thinks you have lots of cows.
    You tell them that you have none.
    No-one believes you, so they bomb the shit out of you and invade your country.
    You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of a Democracy...

    You have two cows.
    Business seems pretty good. You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.

    You have two cows.
    The one on the left looks very attractive..

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis, 1935

    by Living in Gin on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 12:22:51 PM PDT

    •  THANKS!!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Living in Gin

      I loved this one.  Saw it on a dorm room door at a friends school in the 1980's and wanted a copy of it ever since.

      I am always willing to learn, but I am rarely willing to be taught. -- Sir Winston Churchill

      by WNYmathGuy on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 01:30:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Italian one is all wrong. (0+ / 0-)

      Should be like this: You had two cows. However, you've been at lunch so long you have no idea where they are.

      The way it is makes us Italians sound lazy and we're not. If we knew the cows were missing we'd go find 'em. OTOH, we are very social so it may take us a while to notice that the cows are missing.

  •  Meh (0+ / 0-)

    Saying that capitalism is the most efficient is misleading. It's the most efficient at producing what people can pay for. Having labour/materials going into building yachts that some rich bastard goes out on once a year is terribly inefficient use of resources. The list of ineffeciencies of capitalism just goes on and on. Caviar, does anyone think that crap really tastes good? I doubt it, it's a status symbol that lots of time and effort go into that could be used to fish for things that would provide more food for the people. "Summer" homes, horribly inefficient use of land, labour and materials. There's thousands of homeless people in the US, yet we allow people to not only own homes they don't live in, they won't even rent them out!

    At the least private ownership of land needs to be restricted to what you can use. Land lords drive property values up by restricting the housing market. But that's good behaviour under capitalism.

    Also, the idiot developers around here were plugging along like crazy, even after any layman could see there were to many houses being built for this area. Now there's a bunch of lots that are in some state of development but are not being developed or used for anything. Under socialism I'd be allowed to go plant some veggies on the unused land. Under capitalism I could be arrested for trespass. That's terribly effecient.

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