Archive for March 20th, 2016

March 20, 2016

You Have Two Cows

Pat Paulsen

You have two cows‘ is a joke comparing political systems that circulated throughout the US since around 1936 under the title ‘Parable of the Isms.’ A column in ‘The Chicago Daily Tribune’ in 1938 attributes a version involving socialism, communism, fascism and New Dealism to an address by lawyer Silas Strawn to the Economic Club of Chicago in 1935.

The joke always begins with ‘You have two cows…’ followed by a political system and its effect on the cows. For example, ‘socialism’ (the government takes one and gives it to your neighbor), ‘communism’ (you give them to the government, and the government then gives you some milk), fascism (you give them to the government, and the government then sells you some milk), and capitalism (you sell one and buy a bull).