Economic Models explained with Cows ~ the Ultimate Extended Version

Long Long time ago when I was still studying economics at the university, I once got the following list of how economic models could be explained as reference to how people treat their cows. Quite a funny illustration.

At that time, the list had only 6 items, up to just the “Traditional Capitalism”. Now as time evolves we have lots of new items such as the funny Swiss Banks, Japanese Factories, Mad Cows and even Hong Kong’s Feng Shui, plus some not so funny items such as Singaporean, Welsh and Canadian.

To reflect the contemporary wisdom, Enron, Andersen and even Iraq are in the picture in the latest version that I have captured below. You might think that these new ones are too artificial, but hey, wait and see the last few about some computing companies (found in a forum, no wonder why). I know they are a bit camp. But who cares. As long as it fits the theme, and as long as it is funny, and that’s all that really matters, it’s it?

SOCIALISM: You have 2 cows, and you give one to your neighbour.

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

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

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

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

TRADITIONAL CAPITALISM: You have 2 cows. You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income.

SURREALISM: You have 2 giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

AN AMERICAN CORPORATION: You have 2 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.

A CHINESE CORPORATION: You have 2 cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity, and arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.

A HONG KONG CORPORATION: You have 2 cows. You kill them both becausethe feng shui is bad.

A FRENCH CORPORATION: You have 2 cows. You go on strike, organise a riot, and block the roads, because you want 3 cows.

A JAPANESE CORPORATION: You have 2 cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.

A GERMAN CORPORATION: You have 2 cows. You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.

AN ITALIAN CORPORATION: You have 2 cows, but you don’t know where they are. You decide to have lunch.

A RUSSIAN CORPORATION: You have 2 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.

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

AN INDIAN CORPORATION: You have 2 cows. You worship them.

A BRITISH CORPORATION: You have 2 cows. Both are mad.

A WELSH CORPORATION: You have 2 cows. The one on the left looks very attractive.

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

AN AUSTRALIAN CORPORATION: You have 2 cows. The Government sold them to their mates who milked them dry and now the government wants you to buy them back.

A CANADIAN CORPORATION: You have 2 cows but you’re still waiting in line for them to come from the government.

You have 2 cows. You scold each one everyday before and after milking. You teach one of them to scold the other. You instruct them to moo only on command.

ENRON VENTURE CAPITALISM: You have 2 cows. You sell 3 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 4 cows back, with a tax exemption for 5 cows. The milk rights of the 6 cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all 7 cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns 8 cows, with an option on 1 more. Sell 1 cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with 9 cows. No balance sheet provided with the release. The public buys your bull.

THE ANDERSEN MODEL: You have 2 cows. You shred them.

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

LINUX COWS: You get 2 cows for free with promise of free veterinary support. The cows get sick, your family starts to get hungry. You contact your local veterinary community for free support and find out there is no fix for your problem, if there is you will have to wait and that maybe too late. The remedy is to pay the breeder of your free cows a fee. It would have been cheaper to buy two cows from a breeder who includes veterinary support in the price you can call any time. You are disappointed as the media said free cows are the future and you find out the hype is not what people made it out to be, you nearly starved for the experience.

IBM Cows: You have 2 cows. One has a calf. The outsourcer sends an Account Representative with an SLA Variation. The calf gets sick. The outsourcer sends two lawyers to dispute the SLA covers the calf. You demand that the SLA cover both original cows and the calf. The outsourcer returns with two Account Representatives, an Account Manager, a Business Analyst, a Software Architect, a Support Engineer, and a Project Manager. You are required to hire the rest of the project team. At the end of the project, the team produces an SLA Variation with a 400-page Appendix. The Executive Summary says “We know what’s wrong. It’s your fault, and you owe us more money.” You give up and go to milk the two cows: but it’s been six months since you last milked them so they long since dried up. Nobody has any use for the now-healthy calf that’s running around eating its head off.

UNISYS COWS: You have no cows. You hear about someone else making two cows, and construct a bogus claim for how the cow was your idea. Whenever anyone milks a cow, even if they don’t sell the milk, they have to give you money. As a result, everyone starts drinking sheep’s milk.

Tell me what you think!