Diary

Origin and Obama-applicability of the famous "Parable of Isms" ("You have two cows...")

[CAP & TRADE OT: Glenn Beck has promised to continue with “Crime Inc.” this week. If Beck doesn’t discuss it today, I’ll post later on why the media is completely ignoring Obama’s Chicago Climate Exchange and $10-trillion Cap & Trade Crime of the Century, while going crazy on Cheney’s Haliburton.]
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How can we now define Obamaism/Obamanomics?

On my etymology blog, I’ve located the November 15, 1938 Wall Street Journal as the probable source for the “Parable of Isms” (“You have two cows…”). This first list contained the punchline of “New Dealism” (seemingly from the Republican opposition to the New Deal) that is often forgotten today:

Socialism means that if you have two cows you give one to your neighbor. Under Communism you give both cows to the government, which gives you back some of the milk. Under Fasicsm you keep the cows but give the milk to the government, which gives you some of it back. And under New Dealism you shoot one cow, milk the other and then pour the milk down the sink.

Here’s a list from the 1949:

IDEALISM: If you have two cows, you milk them both, use all the milk you need and have enough left for everyone else.
SOCIALISM: If you have two cows, you keep one and give the other to your neighbor.
Now, in Russia
COMMUNISM: If you have two cows, you give both of them to the government, then the government gives you back some milk.
SOFA PINK COMMUNISM: If you have two cows, you’re a capitalist.
FASCISM: If you have two cows, you keep the cows but give the milk to the government.
IMPERIALISM: If you have two cows, you steal somebody’s bull.
CAPITALISM: If you have two cows, you sell one and buy a bull.
NEW DEALISM: If you have two cows, the government shoots one cow, you milk the other, then throw part of the milk down the sink.
NAZISM: If you have two cows, the government shoots you and takes both cows.
REALISM: If you have two cows, then they’re both dry.

Here’s a popular modern list:

DEMOCRAT
You have two cows.
Your neighbor has none.
You feel guilty for being successful. Barbara Streisand sings for you.

REPUBLICAN
You have two cows.
Your neighbor has none.
So?

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.

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.

CAPITALISM, 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 your 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.

Here’s something from last year (2009):

Capitalism (unfettered): If you have two cows, you sell one and buy a bull.

Capitalism (fettered): If you have two cows, the government requires you to sell your cows on credit to neighbors who can’t afford them, and guarantees the loans. All of the new cow owners default, but they keep the cows and the taxpayer covers the loans. The government criticizes your ‘predatory tactics’ and ‘unfettered markets’, vowing to ‘replace selfishness and greed with responsibility and fairness’ (see Obamaism).

Obamaism: If you have two cows, the government gives one to your neighbor and one to a commercial farm. You pay capital gains tax on the ‘sale’ and new cow owners get a tax credit for buying feed. With the new farm bill, your neighbor also receives government subsidies if they don’t milk the cow. But now YOU have to buy milk and beef and you pay much higher prices due to the shortage. Sadly, the milk and beef aren’t as good because government regulations require commercial farms to inject the cows with antibiotics and growth hormones, making you sick. You can’t seek medical care because you couldn’t afford to keep your health insurance when your cows were taken, and the government won’t cover you because, being self-employed, you don’t qualify as an ‘at-risk’ individual. Lacking insurance, the government fines you for your ‘selfish failure to contribute’. Clearly a malcontent, your name is added to a ‘watch list’.

My question to all of you is: What happens to those two cows under Obama? What “ism” is the most appropriate?