The teacher asked the students to name five things that contain milk. Little Timmy quickly raises his hand and starts giving his answers: Butter . . . (teachers says yes) Cheese (that is good), Ice Cream (great job Timmy – do you have two more?) Timmy looks up, scratches his head, and says . . . two cows!!
In the 2 ½ years of writing this column, as most of you know, I start with an attempt at some “humor”, fully realizing that I am using humor as a very loose term. The jokes/stories are designed to attract the attention of readers to the normally dry topic of economics.
The last two months I have received some negative feedback encouraging me to “stop with the lame stories – they are an insult to our intelligence”. Look, I get it. Humor is a subjective thing, and not everyone is going to find every joke/story funny. But, (opinion ALERT) I believe that if you can’t take the time to laugh from time to time, then you are wound a little too tight for your own good. My suggestion to those unhappy would be to skip the column entirely or ignore the first few paragraphs, as I do eventually get to information that pertains to economics.
On to more humor (this time with a point)– Imagine back in a time before there was money of any kind. Farmer Joe uses cattle to trade with his neighbors for the vital things he needs for his family (Joe’s cow-based economic system where cows are used as a metaphor for all currency, capital, and property). In a cow-only-economy here’s how one professor describes most the world’s political ideologies:
Socialism: Joe has two cows. The government takes one and gives it to Joe’s neighbor.
Communism: Joe has two cows. He gives them to the government, and the government then gives Joe some milk.
Fascism: Joe has two cows. He gives them to the government, and the government then sells Joe some milk.
Capitalism: Joe has two cows. He sells one and buys a bull.
Nazism: Joe has two cows. The government takes both cows and shoots Joe.
Progressivism (New Dealism): Joe has two cows. The government takes both, shoots one, buys milk from the other cow, then pours the milk down the drain.
Now before detractors start blasting me for expounding the virtues of one political party over another- hold the phone . . . go back and read the history our how the founders of our country used trial and error to eventually determine that capitalism yielded the best results (I described this in detail two articles ago in describing the efforts of the Pilgrims led by William Bradford).
The capitalism model respects and protects the freedom of individuals to make their own economic decisions, and to consider their earnings as their own. America, and the world, has lost this clear understanding. We have allowed those who disrespect our founding fathers’ values to distort this truth with false moral implications of greed.
We need to restore the capitalistic foundations of liberty to our county. We need to begin to encourage and inspire one another with enterprise, intelligence, and initiative.
If true capitalism (not the over-regulated cluster we now endure) would come back to USA, it would bring a new era of prosperity, and that (getting back to all things cattle) is no line of bull.