EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

April 9, 2014

Letter: Got milk? Depends on your government's 'ism'

To the editor:

No matter who occupies the White House, there is always much to debate when it comes to governmental influence on economic issues. And often these issues are described with vocabulary words that end with an “ism” of some sort.

However, these words involve some pretty complicated concepts for “low-information” as well as “high-information” voters.

Many years ago I read an article that attempted to simplify these terms with a metaphor (two cows) to represent anything that had value. The definitions are as follows:

Anarchism: You have two cows; your neighbor on your left takes one cow and your neighbor on the right takes the other cow; your backyard neighbor takes the milk, the bucket and the stool.

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

Communism: You have two cows; the government takes both and gives you the milk.

Environmentalism: You have two cows; the government bans you from milking or killing the cows.

Fascism: You have two cows; the government takes both and sells you some milk.

Nazism: You have two cows; the government takes both and shoots you.

New Idealism: You have two cows; the government takes both, shoots one, buys milk from the other cow, then pours the milk down the drain.

Socialism: You have two cows; the government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.

I will let the reader decide which governmental “ism” is in his or her best economic interest.

Richard C. Hodges

Groveland

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