A brief yet helpful guide to the 'isms' flying about now
MAGPIE:POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES and economic theories have filled the airwaves of late in a way not seen since the 1960s and 1970s, providing a nostalgic reprise for many an ageing leftie whose assumptions were blown away by the dominance of Thatcherism and monetarism. For younger readers perhaps less familiar with some of the "isms" flying about now, Magpie offers the following guide
You have two cows. You give one to your neighbour.
You have two cows. The state takes both and gives you some milk.
You have two cows. The state takes both and sells you some milk.
You have two cows. The state takes both and shoots you.
You have two 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.
AN AMERICAN CORPORATION
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 president of the United States, leaving you with nine. The public then buys your bull.
A FRENCH CORPORATION
You have two cows. You go on strike, organise a riot, and block the roads, because you want three.
A JAPANESE CORPORATION
You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce 20 times the milk. You then create a clever cow cartoon image called Cowkimon.
A GERMAN CORPORATION
You have two cows. You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.
A RUSSIAN CORPORATION
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 two cows. You stop counting and open another bottle of vodka.
A SWISS CORPORATION
You have 50 cows. None of them belong to you. You charge the owners for storing them.
A CHINESE CORPORATION
You have two cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity.
AN INDIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows. You worship them.
A BRITISH CORPORATION
You have two cows. Both are mad.
You have two cows . . . or is it three? What matters? Aren't you well off to have even one?
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 hell out of you and invade your country. You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of democracy.
AN AUSTRALIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows. Business seems pretty good. You close the office and go for a few beers.
A NEW ZEALAND CORPORATION
You have two cows. The one on the left looks very attractive . . .
(With acknowledgements to Harry Sexton in Budapest)