3 minutes reading time (630 words)

You have Two Cows... Australian Financial Capitalism Explained

    This excerpt came to me from a friend of mine. It is a parody of the 'You have two cows' method of explaining political and economic systems. I have extended it to help us understand our situation.

Traditional Capitalism: 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.

British Capitalism: You have two cows. Both are mad

Italian Capitalism: You have two cows but you don't know where they are. You break for lunch.

Russian Capitalism: You have two cows. You count them and learn you have 5 cows. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. You count them again and learn you have 12 cows. You stop counting and open another bottle of vodka..

Chinese Capitalism: You have two cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim full employment, high bovine productivity, and arrest and detain the journalist that reported the number of cows.

Australian Financial Capitalism: You have a sufficiency of cows but the banks’ economists declare this is beside the point. You have to have money to have cows, and to have money you have to borrow it from us and we won’t lend it to you unless you promise to do work. So people, who just want cows, run around doing all sorts of energetic things to get money to get cows.

    Juvenile ideology gets in on the act. The left say the capitalists aren’t paying the workers enough money to get at the cows and the right say the workers want too much money so there isn’t any incentive to produce beef. The left start yelling about capitalist pigs and calling each other comrade and the right recite their jingoes re. free markets and invisible hands being interfered with. All this is good for the cow population because by this time the cold rooms are full and the price per kilo falls away to the point where it’s not worth the farmers taking the cows to market.

     Then someone films a cow being assaulted by a chain wielding Asian and people get emotional for two hours. The government have a quick meeting and decide that it would be good for the city vote to get rhetorical for a while about animal rights and ‘do something.’ Suddenly there is an even greater sufficiency of cows. But, far from this being a good thing, farmers, truck drivers, grain growers and girls who sell coffee to truck drivers in the Top End are ruined! The Real Estate people like if though.

     The CSIRO, taking a break from failing to predict the climate, publishes a cookbook (it’s cheaper than science) teaching people how to make a palatable cow udder and bull ball casserole, because most people still can’t afford the decent cuts. This is hailed in the papers and on cooking shows everywhere as a great leap forward in thrifty progress. National morale improves because we feel good about how Spartan we can be in tough financial times and we all silently give thanks for our jobs. Then some lean mean super model comes out saying bulls’ balls are a super food and she’s been eating them for years. One ball becomes dearer than a not quite whole bull. Meanwhile, Monsanto sets their scientists to work engineering three + balled bulls.

    By this time people are starting to think it would be easier to be vegetarian and sell our farmland to the Chinese so we can pay the banks all the money which they claim as their property. They are celebrating record breaking profits of ridiculous 000,000,000s, dining on marbled Wagyu, after the fashion, and, not surprisingly, are not discussing the plight of ordinary people or cows.


The Knowableness of Finance


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