Economics Short Course

Contracting Capitalism

Government owns two cows and puts out an RFP for their care and feeding. Awards the contract to the low bidder and pays them 10 times the cows' gross market value (per year) for their support, the prime takes 20% as a pass through, you take out salary for 10 people, plus overhead, plus fixed fee, get an award fee for substandard performance, and eventually kill the cows!

Additionally ....

You charge the government to maintain configuration control of their care and feeding instructions (on CD ROM). (You also charge for all hardware required to produce the CDs, maintenance of the hardware, software, frequent updates, consumables, and training of personnel.)

You charge the government for the preparation and management of the Environmental Impact Statement, public hearings, court cases, and plaintiff awards.

The contract runs through fruition long after the cows are dead.

After the cows die you collect the insurance and submit a claim against the government for obstruction and delays in fulfillment of your contract.

P.S. You have beef ribs, steaks and roasts at the company picnic.

P.P.S. Later you submit an unsolicited bid to produce a Quality Improvement Study to find out why the cows died.

Feudalism

You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

Pure Socialism

You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all the cows.

The government gives you as much milk as you need.

Bureaucratic Socialism

You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers.

You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and eggs the regulations say you should need.

Fascism

You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk.

Pure Communism

You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.

Russian Communism

You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.

Cambodian Communism

You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.

Dictatorship

You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.

Pure Democracy

You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.

Representative Democracy

You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.

Bureaucracy

You have two cows. At first 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.

Pure Anarchy

You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to take the cows and kill you.

Libertarian: Anacro-Capitalism

You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

Surrealism

You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.


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lic Sunday, February 8, 1998