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Opinion

Milking an old joke

There is an old joke that represents a quick and easy way to understand the basic principles of political and economic ideologies:

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Capitalism: you have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

Socialism: you have two cows. The state takes one and gives it to someone else.

Communism: you have two cows. The state takes both of them and gives you the milk.

Fascism: you have two cows. The state takes both of them, hires you to take care of them and sells you the milk.

Dictatorship: you have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.

European democracy: you have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. After that it takes both, shoots one and milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.

And now Argentina’s Peronism joins the fray: you have two cows. Nestor and Cristina take the milk, export it for record high international prices and give the farmers whatever money is left over after they have paid off their political cronies and subsidized their poor urban voter base.


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