Cow commodity illustrates the finer points of business, politics
Democrat: You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. You feel guilty for being successful. You vote people into office that put a tax on your cows, forcing you to sell one to raise money to pay the tax. The people you voted for then take the tax money, buy a cow and give it to your neighbor. You feel righteous. Barbra Streisand sings for you.
Socialist: You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor. You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.
Republican: You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. So?
Communist: 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.
Capitalist, American style: You have two cows. You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.
Democracy, American style: You have two cows. The government taxes you to the point you have to sell both to support a man in a foreign country who has only one cow, which was a gift from the government.
Bureaucracy, American style: 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.
American corporation: You have two cows. You sell one, lease it back to yourself and do an IPO on the second. 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.
French corporation: You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows. You go to lunch. Life is good.
Japanese corporation: You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-10th the size of an ordinary cow and produce 20 times the milk. They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains. Most are at the top of their class at cow school.
German corporation: You have two cows. You re-engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent quality milk, and run 100 miles an hour. Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year.
Italian corporation: You have two cows but you don’t know where they are. While ambling around, you see a beautiful woman. You break for lunch. Like is good.
Russian corporation: You have two cows. You count them and learn you have five cows. You have more vodka. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. You count them again and learn you have 12 cows. You stop counting the cows and open another bottle of vodka. You produce your 10th five-year plan in the last three months. The Mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have.
Taliban corporation: You have all the cows in Afghanistan, which are two. You don’t milk them because you cannot touch any creature’s private parts. At night when no one is looking, you kill them and claim a US bomb blew them up while them were in the hospital.
Florida corporation: You have a black cow and a brown cow. Everyone votes for the best looking one. Some of the people who like the brown one best vote for the black one. Some people vote for both. Some people vote for neither. Some people can’t figure out how to vote at all. Finally, a bunch of guys from out-of-state tell you which is the best looking one.
Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter — Simon, with offices in Truckee, South Lake Tahoe and Reno. He is a mediator and was the governor’s appointee to the Bipartisan McPherson Commission and the California Fair Political Practices Commission. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the firm’s Web site, http://www.portersimon.com.