Tuesday, May 15, 2007

An Economics Primer

Sometimes the best way to tell the truth is with humor. So it is with the Geek's latest post:
Colleague: "Hey, whats the definition of oligarchy?"

Me: "Government by the few and elite."

Colleague: "No. That's not the word I was looking for. What's the word for when the government owns everything?"

Me: "Um....that would be communism. You know, Marx, from each according to his means, to each according to his needs, workers of the world unite, the only thing you have to lose is all your stuff, er, chains, etc."

Colleague: "Oh, right. Of course." {mild laughter}

Me: "Classical Capitalism, on the other hand, the government owns nothing, except for some buildings, some ships for the navy, and a pile of cannons for the army."

Colleague: {Increased laughter}

Me: "Socialism is when the government owns only the stuff worth owning, leaving the unprofitable sectors for private ownership"

Colleague: {Yet more laughter}

Me: "And finally, we have modern capitalism, which is the inverse of my flawed description of socialism: the profitable sectors are privately owned, and the unprofitable sectors are government owned, necessitating a tax increase."

Colleague: {Full out incoherent laughter}

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