An Overview of Political Systems
(found whilst browsing the interwebs)
You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. So what?
You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. You feel guilty for being successful. You vote people into office who tax your cows, forcing you to sell one to raise money to pay the tax. The people you voted for then take the tax money and buy a cow and give it to your neighbor. You feel righteous. Barbra Streisand sings for you.
You have two cows. This doesn’t matter as you spend most of your time hunting foxes.
You have two cows. 20 years ago your chief agricultural health/safety adviser warned you about Mad Cow disease. You fired him. Then publicly ridiculed him. Then placed reporting restrictions on anything that even sounded like Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (not that much did).
British Old Labour:
You have two cows. You raise taxes on the rich to 70% so that every cow is guaranteed to get council housing and family benefits for each of their calves.
British New Labour:
You have two cows. You rationalize farm subsidies (cut them by 54%), slaughter every cow that fails your impossible to pass means test for Bovine Sanity, kill any sheep for good measure… blame it all on the Conservative government of 20 years ago and ban fox hunting. Then suggest that the public-private partnership will make all the milk.
You have two cows. Your neighbors help take care of the cows. You all share the milk.
You have two cows. The government seizes both and provides you with milk. You wait in line for hours to get it. It is expensive and sour.
You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.
You have two cows. Your neighbors elect someone to decide who gets the milk.
You have two cows. The government takes them both, shoots one, milks the other, pays you for the milk, and then pours the milk down the drain.
You have two cows. The government fines you for keeping two unlicensed farm animals in an apartment.
You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three.
You have two cows. They are mad. The government shoots both, burns their corpses and charges you for the pleasure.
You used to have two cows, but the EC has never agreed a definition of “cow” so you now have two Domesticated Mammals (Bovine) Female Production (Beef Products). Nowhere in the definition does it say “milk” so you are not allowed to sell milk, on pain of a huge fine. You can, however, get “Milk set-aside” for NOT milking them (even though you can’t milk them) and all the milk you milk (but don’t milk) can be poured away, so you get another subsidy for NOT adding to the European Milk Lake, and although you are free to export your cows to any other part of the European Economic Area, you need to prove your herd and every other herd for miles (sorry kilometers) around is and always has been free of BSE, swine vesicular disease and Plum Spot Mould but the moment you transport them into France a bunch of angry farmers sets fire to your truck. As the cows have been exported but not re-imported and since they have not been sold to any other EU Registered Business, you can continue to receive all the subsidies but there are 12 forms to complete each year. Then the area around your farm is re-designated Objective 2 (industrial) instead of Objective 5 (agricultural) so cows are no longer allowed but you can get a one-off payment in compensation provided you promise never to keep any more cows (which you aren’t) or milk them (which you don’t). Instead, you get a grant for a small factory which you don’t build, get another subsidy for employing 10 people then a cash grant to pay their redundancy when you sack them the next day and because you’re a new business there’s a free computer and a one-year course at the local tech. You choose Animal Husbandry because there’s a strong possibility that next year the EC will decide there aren’t enough cows in Europe so you’ll get another grant for changing your industrial land back into farming land and all the same subsidies for NOT producing milk or beef. At the same time you decide to apply for set-aside subsidies NOT to grow bananas (which you couldn’t even if you wanted to), lupins (because there’s a lupin glut) or grape seed (because the EC Equal Opportunities Commissioner is taking five years to decide whether the word “rape” is offensive to rape victims and thus the word cannot be used in any Common Agricultural Policy document, therefore grape seed doesn’t, officially, exist). You do, however, grow plums, but can’t sell them to the local jam factory because officially they are a vegetable not a fruit and there is no definition of “jam” which the Greeks will accept. Instead, you get paid to eat them yourself. However, you make the mistake of recording the crop in Pounds instead of Kilograms and the fine puts you out of business. So you shoot yourself, and the EC is happy that there is one less farmer to worry about.
You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd grows and the economy expands. You retire on the income.
Hong Kong Capitalism:
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 an debt/equity swap with associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax deduction for keeping five cows. The milk rights of six cows are transferred via a Panamanian intermediary to a Cayman Islands company secretly owned by the majority shareholder, who sells the rights to all seven cows’ milk back to the listed company. The annual report says that the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. Meanwhile, you kill the two cows because the Feng Shui is bad.
You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.
You have two cows. The government takes both and denies they existed. Milk is banned.
You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.
Wow, dude, there’s like… these two cows, man. You got to have some of this milk.
You are associated with (the concept of “ownership” is an outdated symbol of your decadent, warmongering, intolerant past) two differently-aged (but no less valuable to society) bovines of non-specified gender.
You have two cows. You keep one, but must give the other to your neighbor. You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.
You have two cows. The government takes them both and shoots you for not meeting the quota.
You and your neighbor each have one cow. The Brits invade, give your cow to your neighbor, and your neighbor’s to you. You and your neighbor will not stop arguing over the cows, as each wants their own cow back but is unwilling to relinquish their new cow. The Brits decide all the arguing isn’t worth their time and leave the two of you to argue into eternity.
You have two cows. Your neighbor wants those cows. The two of you hold each other at gunpoint, arguing over who is going to keep the cows. You shoot each other. The cows decide to go back to democracy.
You have two cows, and the Government makes sure they are always milked on time. However, in a brilliant plan to fool the milk economy, the government pours 80% of the milk away, in order to place a surprise delivery of milk to neighboring countries. After your milk exports have failed due to astonishing lack of milk, the government is overthrown, but is supported by the German Milk Axis. Decades later, shamed by your attempts at milk imports, you will make snide and vicious “jokes” about Germany’s mass-milk exporting several decades ago.
Roman imperialism in about 400 AD:
You rule two cows. angry, hungry tourists appear at the edge of your farm. You, completely unarmed, steal some of their money and run like heck. They follow you, burn your fields, ransack your home, enslave your family, and steal your cows.
You have two cows. The lord of the manor takes some of your milk.
You have two cows. You sell one, lease it back to yourself and do an IPO on the 2nd one. You force the two cows to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when one cow drops dead. You spin an announcement to the analysts stating you have downsized and are reducing expenses. Your stock goes up.
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 engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent quality milk, and run a hundred miles an hour. Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year.
You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows. You go to lunch. Life is good.
You have two cows. They are mad. They die. Pass the shepherd’s pie, please.
You have two cows, but you don’t know where they are. While ambling around, you see a beautiful woman. You break for lunch. Life is good.
You have two cows. You have some vodka. 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 others for storing them.
You have two cows. You worship both of them.
You have two cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim full employment, high bovine productivity, and arrest the newsman who reported on them.
There are these two Jewish cows, right? They open a milk factory, an ice cream store, and then sell the movie rights. They send their calves to Harvard to become doctors. So, who needs people?