I blatantly stole this from someone named Joseph who posted it on MySpace because it is too good to stay hidden on MySpace. Thanks, Joseph, whoever you are (I touched up the spelling and grammar a bit).
Joseph’s Lesson On Capitalism:
Traditional Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies, and your income grows. You sell cows and bulls and retire on the gain.
American Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when the cow drops dead.
French Capitalism: You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows.
Japanese Capitalism: You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create cow cartoon images called Cowkimon and market them World-Wide.
German Capitalism: You have two cows. You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.
Italian Capitalism: You have two cows, but you don’t know where they are. You break for lunch.
British Capitalism: You have two cows. Both are mad.
Russian Capitalism: 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 12 cows. You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.
Swiss Capitalism: You have 5000 cows, none of which belong to you. You charge others for storing them.
Canadian Capitalism: You have two cows. Lets start a hockey team, eh?
Chinese Capitalism: You have two cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim full employment, high bovine productivity, and arrest the newsman who reported the numbers.
Irish Capitalism: You have two cows. You only feed them potatoes, then wonder why they emigrate.
Enron Capitalism: 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. Sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release. The public buys your bull.
Cuban Capitalism: You have two cows. They swim to Florida.
Politically Correct Capitalism: You are associated with (the concept of "ownership" is a symbol of the phallo centric, war mongering, intolerant past) two differently – aged (but no less valuable to society) bovines of non-specified gender.
Disney Capitalism: You have two cows. You train them to dance & sing.
Microsoft Capitalism: You have two cows. You patent them and sue anyone else who has cows.
Hollywood Capitalism: You have two cows. You give them udder implants and teach them to dodge bullets,climb walls and shoot milk from their udders on command.
Clinton Capitalism: You have two cows. You deny any knowledge of them.
Bureaucratic Capitalism: You have two cows. The government contracts with ex-chicken farmers to care for them. Then they have to contract with more people to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and eggs as the regulations say you should need.
Gore Capitalism: You have two cows. You claim you invented cows.
Real-World Capitalism: You have two cows. You share them with your neighbors. While you and your neighbors bicker about who has the most "ability" and who has the most "need", no one works, no one gets any milk, and the cows drop dead of starvation.
Australian Capitalism: You have two cows. You try to wrestle them.
Iraqi Capitalism: You have two cows. They are classified as biochemical weapons.
Perestroika Capitalism: You have two cows. You take care of them, but the government takes all the milk. You steal back as much milk as you can and sell it on the black market.
Cambodian Capitalism: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.
Military Capitalism: You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.
Texan Capitalism: You have two cows. You teach them to drive pickup trucks and shoot guns.
Totalitarian Capitalism: You have two cows. The government takes them and denies they ever existed. Milk is banned.
Bureaucrat Capitalism: You have two cows. The government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. Then it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.
Real Capitalism: You don’t have any cows. The bank will not lend you money to buy cows, because you don’t have any cows to put up as collateral.
Environmental Capitalism: You have two cows. The government bans you from milking them.
Californian Capitalism: You have two cows. They are happy.
Bush Capitalism: You have two cows. You give all of the milk to the upper class when they have cows of their own, and the lower class needs milk.
Martha Stewart Capitalism: You have two cows. After decorating them, you sell them because a farmer told you the price of milk might go down.
Ayn Rand Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell both so that you can invest in a new dairy distribution company. It does well, you sell stock in it and buy a cow farm. After that does well, you take out a loan using cows as collateral and build a milk processing plant. After creating a milk monopoly, you sell the company and retire to the Cayman Islands with billions of dollars.
And this addition to the list from Josef Horber …
You own 2 cows. Knowing, that all European Union member states subsidize agriculture, you buy a Learjet and fly them non-stop above each country (You may need an in-flight-refuel system, as used by the Airforce to keep the Learjet up). With 25 member states and one visit per day per country, You can spend 57.6 minutes (Takt time?) in the airspace of each country. To ensure real-time accurate track and trace, you will gear up the cows with RFID chips, pocket PC-s with GPS-guided navigation systems and mobile phones using Bluetooth headsets. To complete the immigration and the subsidy application procedures, you will use passports with biometric photos, fingerprint and iris-scan technology. To use up the collected frequent flyer miles, you will send the cows once a year to Bali for a wellness & beauty weekend, with Yoga, Aquajogging, Ayurveda, Lifting, Sauna and Tai Chi sessions. So much for the logistics.
Milking is production, hence you will only milk them in China to use the cheap labor rates. One flight per week, to use the cheap weekend tariffs. So you have to send them to a cosmetic surgeon, to increase their udders to hold one week´s worth of milk. In China, You set up a greenfield factory with laser-guided Automatic Guided Vehicles using cruise-missile technology to effectively move the cows through the production process.
You will sell the milk in the US. Since the freight companies only handle full containers, You have to accumulate 3 months worth of milk, before shipping it. After this and the 8 weeks transit time, the milk might taste a bit strange, but that´s the price to pay for the efficieny. Before shipping, you will store it in a fully automated high-bay warehouse with ASRS, pick-by-voice and RFID chips to ensure a seamless inventory control.
To manage this, You hire a managemement team using flat hierarchies (CEO, CFO, COO, C*O, C*O, etc. etc., plus 12 board members, plus HR, IT, SupplyChain, etc. staff) … around 40 people should be enough for the core team. And an $80.000 lean consultant fresh from Business School, to see whether there are still opportunities left out for further efficiency improvements.