beingliberal

beingliberal:

Newsweek as we know it, soon will be a history. The magazine will transition from print to all-digital by early 2013, meaning that, excluding the following, the publication has only one more paper issue to go. Website Newsweek.com  already ceased to exist, and anyone who types the URL into their browser is redirected to TheDailyBeast.com.

Newsweek, was always a magazine famous for iconic, bold covers, All Presidential Elections and all presidents were featured, often in controversial way. Recently one of them asked why the Obama’s critics are so dumb.  

Newsweek goes away with a bang driving conservatives crazy. The 2012 post-election message for the GOP: You’re old, you’re white, and you’re finished. 

All photos credited to the Newsweek Archivist 

gov
election:

THE POLL DANCE: Nate Silver on Predicting Elections
Nate Silver turned a love of baseball into a breakout career in forecasting player performance, inventing his own statistical system for gaming the game. Then he turned his methodical eye on politics, shocking the media-polling industrial complex by correctly calling 49 of 50 states in the 2008 presidential election. He’s now the house polling analyst for the New York Times, bringing a rigorous and gnomic level of intensity to his Five Thirty Eight blog. And his well-timed new book The Signal and the Noise comes out this week, attempting to unspool the science and art of trying and/or failing to predict the future of most anything. We talked with Silver about how the 2012 race looks so far, how it might all turn out, and how this could be the year when all the predictions (including his own) go very, very wrong.
You noted recently that there had been over 400 national polls since June 1. Is more data always good in this context?If you’re doing it right, then yes. If you’re doing it wrong, it can get you in trouble. We’re getting to the point now that instead of having three polls released per day, you’re getting about twenty. So that means if you’re an Obama supporter, you can pick up the three data points you like the most and tweet about those and tell stories about those. And if you’re a Romney supporter, you can dismiss the Obama polls as outliers and take the three that youlike the most. People who aren’t committed to perceiving the signal — and who just want to create noise in a partisan environment — can get themselves in trouble in that respect.
We use all the polls in our analysis at Five Thirty Eight, but we weight them differently — a formula based on how well they’ve done, and if they’ve used industry standard methods. They get rewards both for performance and for qualitative measures. I don’t want to use my own judgment on a day-to-day basis — I don’t want to have to say this poll is right, and another one’s wrong. I want to set up rules for engaging with this data. It takes a lot of time to think about what those rules should be. But once you do that, it makes you more objective. If there’s one data point that drives the news narrative — one poll, or one story — and there are six data points that are buried because they don’t fit the current structure of what the media is saying about the race, you’re still going to give those other data points a fair shake. It’s tricky, but the more I can automate this stuff, the better. Because sometimes we’ll come out with an analysis that doesn’t fit what the conventional wisdom holds.
Are there pollsters or polling firms who reliably produce questionable data?There are some terrible polling firms. But if you’re slanting your polls toward one party or another, we can detect that. It’s not too hard statistically, and people know it intuitively. You can run a test to say that, on average, the polls from, say, Rasmussen Reports are two or three points more Republican-leaning than the average poll. Or the polls from Public Policy Polling are two points more Democratic-leaning. So you can de-bias them that way and translate things to a common scale.
You also remarked that “90% of ‘game-changing’ gaffes are less important in retrospect than they seem in the moment.” This feels right intellectually, but is that an apt generalization or an actual statistic you’ve researched?I guess that’s a semi-fake stat. But I know from covering campaigns that a lot of these things don’t pan out, in part because voters do actually care about the economy and big-picture issues, and not some daily controversy necessarily. For example, it was thought that Romnney’s handling of Afghanistan was poor and was going to doom his campaign, but the polls didn’t really move against him at all. But even if it’s 90% likely that “game-changers” don’t matter, there is the 10% that are the exception. I’ve found it’s just very hard to know what those 10% are.
In the 2000 campaign, Al Gore developed a reputation for exaggeration … maybe it was fair and maybe it wasn’t. If you look at the case where he supposedly said he invented the internet — which he never actually said verbatim — that was one line in an interview with Wolf Blitzer that no one even noticed until a few days later. And then it kind of blew up after that, and it did affect the narrative of the race. So things that are viewed as being hugely significant at the time turn out not to be, and also vice versa.
Are there big feuds or rivalries in the world of political polling?There’s always been a feud between traditionalists — using live interviewers to call people — versus robocalling, where you have an automated script that will dial and call you. I used to have a little more sympathy for the robopolls because they’re so simple … press 1 for Romnney, press 2 for Obama, there’s not much more to it than that. But now I see robopolls turning out more and more strange data, partly because they’re not allowed by law to call cell phones in most circumstances. So they’re missing a whole big chunk of the electorate who don’t use landlines, and it goes against the notion of a scientific sample. So I’ve started to side more with the traditionalists.
It’s worthwhile to get good high-quality polling data, but people aren’t doing it much anymore — when you have media budgets being cut, when you have pressure from austerity. Also it’s more expensive to conduct a live poll now because people don’t pick up their phone as much. You might have to call someone five times because we don’t have that kind of culture anymore, where you sit by your landline, and if a stranger calls, of course you answer your phone. It just doesn’t really occur in many households anymore. On the other hand, you have Google doing more with surveys, and other internet companies trying to see if that could be a reasonable solution. Internet polling is getting there, but it hasn’t really been tested very much yet.
You can combine polls with other types of data. Fundraising data tells you a lot — who’s actually translating their infrastructure into getting in touch with enthusiastic voters, getting contributions. That really is hard data. It all has to be reported to the FEC. There’s not any issue of calling the wrong people, or weighting that data. We’ve found that especially in races where you don’t have much polling, or where the polling isn’t in agreement with the other polls, looking at those non-polling factors helps.
It’s a little early to  know exactly what we can learn from social media metrics. I think the way we’ll be looking at this stuff will be very different in four years, in eight years, in twelve years. For right now, we’re kind of in an awkward adolescent age … we’re out of the classical innocent era of our youth where you could just call someone on the phone. But we’re not sure what the substitute for that is yet.
We’re eventually going to have an election — and it could be this one — where the polls are way off in one direction. We could go into Election Night thinking Obama’s going to win by three, and he loses by five. Or wins by ten! It’s my nightmare. Our forecasts basically do as well as the polls do. So if we believe Obama has a 95% chance to win — say, if he’s up by a few points on Election Eve — that 5% is still going to happen some of the time. In the polling industry, it’s getting harder and harder to do polls the right way, and with pollsters that might use more questionable techniques, maybe that 5% is going to come up sooner rather than later.
A main focus of your new book is uncertainty, in particular how being honest about the level of uncertainty can make a prediction more accurate. How would that apply to something like the presidential race?Everything we say about the election is couched in terms of probabilities. You need to have a way to quantify the relative importance of a piece of information. SInce the conventions, we’ve had Obama go from about a 70% chance to win, moving up to 80%, then down to 75%. If you’re comfortable with probability, it gives you a way to measure things along a spectrum. The mainstream coverage went from “this race is too close to call” to “Romney is doomed.” But being realistic about it, if you look at websites where you can bet on these things and at bookmaker’s odds, then Obama’s odds went up a little bit from 70% to 75%, but it’s not a night-and-day difference. The problem is that narratives — including journalistic narratives — want everything to be a game-changer.
Including the primary campaigns, these election cycles last a year, year-and-a-half now. You get so used to having days when there’s not really any news, that when thereis some semblance of news, everything gets magnified in importance, and the volume’s always turned up louder than it should be. But if you have your volume turned up too loud in the truly important moments, you lose the top of that frequency curve. The things that really are important in the campaign sometimes don’t get enough coverage.
In the 2008 elections, you successfully predicted 49 of 50 states’ choice for president, the only exception being Indiana. What message would you like to send to the voters of Indiana for the 2012 election?Maybe they should have had a recount! I think the turnout was 110% in Gary, Indiana. If I had to say this year, I wouldn’t predict 49 as the number of states we’d get right. The over-under’s probably 45. You hope you get lucky on some of the close calls.
— Chris Mohney

election:

THE POLL DANCE: Nate Silver on Predicting Elections

Nate Silver turned a love of baseball into a breakout career in forecasting player performance, inventing his own statistical system for gaming the game. Then he turned his methodical eye on politics, shocking the media-polling industrial complex by correctly calling 49 of 50 states in the 2008 presidential election. He’s now the house polling analyst for the New York Times, bringing a rigorous and gnomic level of intensity to his Five Thirty Eight blog. And his well-timed new book The Signal and the Noise comes out this week, attempting to unspool the science and art of trying and/or failing to predict the future of most anything. We talked with Silver about how the 2012 race looks so far, how it might all turn out, and how this could be the year when all the predictions (including his own) go very, very wrong.

You noted recently that there had been over 400 national polls since June 1. Is more data always good in this context?
If you’re doing it right, then yes. If you’re doing it wrong, it can get you in trouble. We’re getting to the point now that instead of having three polls released per day, you’re getting about twenty. So that means if you’re an Obama supporter, you can pick up the three data points you like the most and tweet about those and tell stories about those. And if you’re a Romney supporter, you can dismiss the Obama polls as outliers and take the three that youlike the most. People who aren’t committed to perceiving the signal — and who just want to create noise in a partisan environment — can get themselves in trouble in that respect.

We use all the polls in our analysis at Five Thirty Eight, but we weight them differently — a formula based on how well they’ve done, and if they’ve used industry standard methods. They get rewards both for performance and for qualitative measures. I don’t want to use my own judgment on a day-to-day basis — I don’t want to have to say this poll is right, and another one’s wrong. I want to set up rules for engaging with this data. It takes a lot of time to think about what those rules should be. But once you do that, it makes you more objective. If there’s one data point that drives the news narrative — one poll, or one story — and there are six data points that are buried because they don’t fit the current structure of what the media is saying about the race, you’re still going to give those other data points a fair shake. It’s tricky, but the more I can automate this stuff, the better. Because sometimes we’ll come out with an analysis that doesn’t fit what the conventional wisdom holds.

Are there pollsters or polling firms who reliably produce questionable data?
There are some terrible polling firms. But if you’re slanting your polls toward one party or another, we can detect that. It’s not too hard statistically, and people know it intuitively. You can run a test to say that, on average, the polls from, say, Rasmussen Reports are two or three points more Republican-leaning than the average poll. Or the polls from Public Policy Polling are two points more Democratic-leaning. So you can de-bias them that way and translate things to a common scale.

You also remarked that “90% of ‘game-changing’ gaffes are less important in retrospect than they seem in the moment.” This feels right intellectually, but is that an apt generalization or an actual statistic you’ve researched?
I guess that’s a semi-fake stat. But I know from covering campaigns that a lot of these things don’t pan out, in part because voters do actually care about the economy and big-picture issues, and not some daily controversy necessarily. For example, it was thought that Romnney’s handling of Afghanistan was poor and was going to doom his campaign, but the polls didn’t really move against him at all. But even if it’s 90% likely that “game-changers” don’t matter, there is the 10% that are the exception. I’ve found it’s just very hard to know what those 10% are.

In the 2000 campaign, Al Gore developed a reputation for exaggeration … maybe it was fair and maybe it wasn’t. If you look at the case where he supposedly said he invented the internet — which he never actually said verbatim — that was one line in an interview with Wolf Blitzer that no one even noticed until a few days later. And then it kind of blew up after that, and it did affect the narrative of the race. So things that are viewed as being hugely significant at the time turn out not to be, and also vice versa.

Are there big feuds or rivalries in the world of political polling?
There’s always been a feud between traditionalists — using live interviewers to call people — versus robocalling, where you have an automated script that will dial and call you. I used to have a little more sympathy for the robopolls because they’re so simple … press 1 for Romnney, press 2 for Obama, there’s not much more to it than that. But now I see robopolls turning out more and more strange data, partly because they’re not allowed by law to call cell phones in most circumstances. So they’re missing a whole big chunk of the electorate who don’t use landlines, and it goes against the notion of a scientific sample. So I’ve started to side more with the traditionalists.

It’s worthwhile to get good high-quality polling data, but people aren’t doing it much anymore — when you have media budgets being cut, when you have pressure from austerity. Also it’s more expensive to conduct a live poll now because people don’t pick up their phone as much. You might have to call someone five times because we don’t have that kind of culture anymore, where you sit by your landline, and if a stranger calls, of course you answer your phone. It just doesn’t really occur in many households anymore. On the other hand, you have Google doing more with surveys, and other internet companies trying to see if that could be a reasonable solution. Internet polling is getting there, but it hasn’t really been tested very much yet.

You can combine polls with other types of data. Fundraising data tells you a lot — who’s actually translating their infrastructure into getting in touch with enthusiastic voters, getting contributions. That really is hard data. It all has to be reported to the FEC. There’s not any issue of calling the wrong people, or weighting that data. We’ve found that especially in races where you don’t have much polling, or where the polling isn’t in agreement with the other polls, looking at those non-polling factors helps.

It’s a little early to  know exactly what we can learn from social media metrics. I think the way we’ll be looking at this stuff will be very different in four years, in eight years, in twelve years. For right now, we’re kind of in an awkward adolescent age … we’re out of the classical innocent era of our youth where you could just call someone on the phone. But we’re not sure what the substitute for that is yet.

We’re eventually going to have an election — and it could be this one — where the polls are way off in one direction. We could go into Election Night thinking Obama’s going to win by three, and he loses by five. Or wins by ten! It’s my nightmare. Our forecasts basically do as well as the polls do. So if we believe Obama has a 95% chance to win — say, if he’s up by a few points on Election Eve — that 5% is still going to happen some of the time. In the polling industry, it’s getting harder and harder to do polls the right way, and with pollsters that might use more questionable techniques, maybe that 5% is going to come up sooner rather than later.

A main focus of your new book is uncertainty, in particular how being honest about the level of uncertainty can make a prediction more accurate. How would that apply to something like the presidential race?
Everything we say about the election is couched in terms of probabilities. You need to have a way to quantify the relative importance of a piece of information. SInce the conventions, we’ve had Obama go from about a 70% chance to win, moving up to 80%, then down to 75%. If you’re comfortable with probability, it gives you a way to measure things along a spectrum. The mainstream coverage went from “this race is too close to call” to “Romney is doomed.” But being realistic about it, if you look at websites where you can bet on these things and at bookmaker’s odds, then Obama’s odds went up a little bit from 70% to 75%, but it’s not a night-and-day difference. The problem is that narratives — including journalistic narratives — want everything to be a game-changer.

Including the primary campaigns, these election cycles last a year, year-and-a-half now. You get so used to having days when there’s not really any news, that when thereis some semblance of news, everything gets magnified in importance, and the volume’s always turned up louder than it should be. But if you have your volume turned up too loud in the truly important moments, you lose the top of that frequency curve. The things that really are important in the campaign sometimes don’t get enough coverage.

In the 2008 elections, you successfully predicted 49 of 50 states’ choice for president, the only exception being Indiana. What message would you like to send to the voters of Indiana for the 2012 election?
Maybe they should have had a recount! I think the turnout was 110% in Gary, Indiana. If I had to say this year, I wouldn’t predict 49 as the number of states we’d get right. The over-under’s probably 45. You hope you get lucky on some of the close calls.

— Chris Mohney

mommapolitico
azspot

James Madison, a key shaper of the U.S. system, believed that on any important issue there would be more than one faction in the body politic who would contend with one another until a compromise was reached. He also assumed that despite inequalities of resources, there would be sufficient controversy about legislation that extreme positions would be moderated. But when we have 400 billionaires buying our elections, it is perfectly possible for a handful of cranks to deeply influence the outcome and then to dictate policy positions to their clients, the winning politicians. The moderating influence of the broad electorate has been vitiated. That dynamic has produced what many puzzled voters have termed the Republican “clown car” in this election season. The democratic bargain struck by the founding generation, whereby we all have a chance to influence our country’s destiny, is in danger of being undone, with unimaginable consequences. Occupy the FCC.

kileyrae

The problem with selecting a candidate to “beat Obama”

kileyrae:

cognitivedissonance:

MSNBC and Fox News are both hammering home that out of all the candidates in the GOP primary in South Carolina, Newt Gingrich’s support was the highest among people who said the most important factor in their selection was a candidate who could defeat Barack Obama. Coincidentally, beating Obama was the most important factor in candidate choice to nearly 50% of voters. Fox News is also pointing out his strong performances in debates with his zingers at the media and fellow candidates and his stubborn refusal to go gently into that good night as factors in his rise in the polls, and his overall victory in South Carolina.

Um, guys?

You know that after January 20, 2013, the president-elect is now the president. That means said president has to actually do shit. Things will not be magically fixed just because you voted out Barack Obama. In fact, much of what Gingrich wants to do in office could make things worse. 

I imagine the thought process of many voters when considering Gingrich goes like this:

  1. Doughy white guy says shit I like. He sounds smart. He says he’s going to beat Obama. He sounds confident, unlike that sputtering asshat with tax problems. Plus, he’ll end Obama’s war on my religion.
  2. Fuck the lazy-ass poor people. Get jobs, douchebags. He’ll even put kids to work, too.
  3. Open marriage? Shit, at least he could beat Obama.
  4. Vote Newt Gingrich. 
  5. *POOF* Teatopia, y’all!

image

This is remarkably similar to liberal pals of mine who are pissed Obama didn’t unbreak everything in four years and bring about the opposite of Teatopia. If you listened to Obama and examined his voting record, you’d see he’s fairly moderate. In fact, compared to past Republicans, i.e. Richard Nixon, he’s more to the right.

But in the 2012 Electoral Race to the Bottom, sponsored by Citizens United v. FEC (2010), the facts don’t matter and Barack Obama must be defeated. Even if it means nominating a man with absolutely no character or ability to lead. Why is it so tough to wrap my brain around voters supporting Newt Gingrich?

  • Speaking of the Citizens United decision, Gingrich Productions has “produced three films on religion and one each on energy, Ronald Reagan and the threat of radical Islam.” These films are little more than GOP talking point advertisements. Gingrich’s funding partner? As The Wall Street Journal points out, these were “all done as joint projects with the conservative activist group, Citizens United. The latest project: A film on American exceptionalism, another likely campaign theme.” 
  • He’s admitted to multiple affairs, while attacking others on “family values” and holding himself up as a moral paragon. His personal life is irrelevant until he begins throwing stones in his obviously glass house.
  • He doesn’t use a racism dog-whistle so much as a racism air-raid siren. Gingrich defended his diatribe from the Jan. 16th GOP debate, which he launched into when Juan Williams asked him about the racial overtones of his comments regarding poor children lacking “work habits”, employing children as janitors in poor, urban neighborhoods, and the black community needing to demand food stamps versus paychecks. And how did he choose to defend this? 

    Newt Gingrich decided to attack Juan Williams, claiming on Friday, “I had a very interesting dialogue Monday night in Myrtle Beach with Juan Williams about the idea of work, which seemed to Juan Williams to be a strange, distant concept.” So in order to defend himself against charges of racism, he essentially states Williams is lazy. Williams was the African-American man who had the audacity to ask him a tough question, and that does not seem to sit well with Newt several days later.
  • As a US House Representative, he kited twenty-two personal checks using the now-defunct House Bank, charges uncovered during the “Rubbergate” scandal - including a check for over $9,000 to the IRS. One of the whistleblowers on this scandal? Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Penn.
  • He blasted colleagues for ties to lobbyists and corruption, yet Gingrich accepted a check from Employment Policies Institute lobbyist Richard B. Berman for $25,000. This particular check, supposedly given to Gingrich as a donation for a college course he was teaching, led former Rep. Ben Jones (D-Ga.) to demand an ethics investigation by the US House because the note attached to the contribution raised questions of possible criminal wrongdoing by suggesting Gingrich used his influence on behalf of the lobbyist at a 1993 congressional hearing.
     
    The note stated in a postscript: “Newt - Thanks again for the help on today’s committee hearing.” The subsequent investigation into this charge, shady book deals, and other fundraising activity lead to over 80 ethics charges against Gingrich and a plea deal with an unprecedented $300,000 fine. Gingrich resigned as well.

A side note from Esquire on the ethics investigation: [Emphasis mine]

The House Ethics Committee started investigating GOPAC’s donations to his college class and caught him trying to hide his tracks by raising money through a charity for inner-city kids called the Abraham Lincoln Opportunity Foundation. Another charity of his called Earning by Learning actually spent half its money supporting a former Gingrich staffer who was writing his biography… The Ethics Committee found him guilty of laundering donations through charities, submitting “inaccurate, incomplete, and unreliable” testimony, and making “an effort to have the material appear to be nonpartisan on its face, yet serve as a partisan, political message for the purpose of building the Republican party.”

And yes, it’s those same inner-city kids he wants to make janitors

Gingrich is running what he claims to be a revolutionary campaign of ideas. Yet those ideas are little more than attacking fellow candidates, the media, and Barack Obama for issues ranging from corruption and immorality, to favoritism and anti-Americanism. Gingrich employs a set of cliches and fiery debate invective that gets voters in the booth on primary day as evidenced by South Carolina. Can he continue this into the general election?

As multiple news outlets discussed today, Gingrich’s unfavorability rating is the highest of any candidate among moderates and independents. This is a significant voting bloc the GOP will seek to court from Obama. Gingrich is not stupid. He is effective in debates. He calls other candidates “Washington elites” (when he spent significantly more time in Washington than any other candidate running) and the crowd goes wild.

Mitt Romney, the ostensible front-runner, is a terrible candidate in debates. He is easily rattled and incapable of answering a direct question. The GOP field is in disarray and looking for unity. The former Speaker of the House is an experienced politician - though divisive - and may be the one to watch going into Super Tuesday in the next several weeks. Perhaps a theory posited by Gingrich in 1988 explains his success: “In every election in American history, both parties have their cliches. The party that has the cliches that ring true wins.”

The 2012 primary season promises to be a dog and pony show until the bitter end - or until the money runs out. This election cycle reinforces the idea that American politics is little more than contemporary bread and circuses, only less bread and more circuses. Elections are ideally about issues and governance. This year, the only stated mission of the GOP is to rid the White House of Obama, and Gingrich is the candidate best at smearing Obama as somewhere between Benedict Arnold and Benito Mussolini.

Voters are responding well in the primary to this kind of messaging, but the GOP will hopefully discover it’s difficult to run on a platform of needing to do nothing besides regain control of the presidency. To run on a platform that consists of “beat the other guy and BAM! TEATOPIA!” is simply intellectually dishonest. But if it’s intellectually (and morally) dishonest they want, the GOP has their man in Gingrich. If it’s beat Obama they want, they may get it. However, January 21, 2013 and every day after is another day Obama will no longer be available as the executive target, and another day when the new president will be expected to lead. The GOP may be content to run a cliche-machine, powered by egomaniacal bile, but it is my belief that the American voters deserve more than just some guy nominated to beat Obama.

Case in point.

abokononist-deactivated20120714
The GOP fears losing in a fair fight, so the party is trying to rig the game through voter suppression, plain and simple.

Steve Benen, Washington Monthly

A wave of new Republican-driven election laws will make it harder for millions of eligible voters to cast ballots in 2012. The most significant restriction requires Americans in several states to present state-issued photo IDs when they vote. It is estimated that 3.3 million eligible voters in the affected states — Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin — don’t have such IDs now. The GOP insists the new rules were needed to stamp out voter fraud. The Left maintains these laws add up to a coordinated effort to suppress the Democratic vote.

(via theweekmagazine)

kileyrae
Even if Dems don’t take back the state senate in the end, it seems clear that the Wisconsin recall wars are shaping up as a dress rehearsal of sorts for the 2012 elections. Whatever happens, Wisconsin Dems have already succeeded in creating a true grassroots movement built around an unabashedly class-based set of themes that rely on a type of bare-knuckled class-warfare rhetoric that makes many national Dems queasy. In this sense, success in Wisconsin could offer a model for a more aggressive, populist approach for Dems in 2012.
Greg Sargent, in his Washington Post article “Are Dems About to Make History?” (via wisconsinforward)
brooklynmutt

wisconsinforward:

“Will the Democrats take this as a chance to go on offense?  Will national Democrats take a lesson from Wisconsin Democrats?” —Rachel Maddow.

Outstanding coverage of the FAA shutdown and union rights, plus a look back at Reagan’s firing of air traffic controllers.

passportpages

You have two cows.

passportpages:

It’s election day in Canada today. So, speaking of politics…

——————————————————————————————————-

Socialism: You have two cows. Give one to your neighbour.

Democracy: You have two cows. Your neighbours decide who will get the milk.

Communism: You have two cows. The State takes both and gives you milk.

Fascism: You have two cows. The State takes both and sells you milk.

Nazism: You have two cows. The State takes both and shoots you.

Bureaucratism: You have two cows. The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and throws away the milk.

Pacifism: You have two cows. They stampede you.

Traditional Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income.

American Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. Later, you hire a consultant to analyze why the cow has dropped dead.

French Capitalism: You have two cows. You go on strike, organize a riot, and block the roads because you want three cows.

German Capitalism: You have two cows. You re-engineer them so that they live to be 100 years old, eat once a month, and milk themselves.

Italian Capitalism: You have two cows, but you don’t know where they are. You decide to have lunch.

Russian Capitalism: You have two cows. You count them and you learn you have five cows. You count them again and you learn you have forty-two cows. You count them again and learn you have two cows. You open another bottle of vodka.

Chinese Capitalism: You have two cows. You have three hundred people milking them. You claim that you have full employment and high bovine productivity. You arrest the journalist who says otherwise.

Iraqi Capitalism: Everyone thinks you have many cows. You tell them you don’t have any, but they don’t believe you and they bomb the shit out of your country. You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of a democracy.

——————————————————————————————————-

… And finally, for my fellow Venezuelans:

Socialismo bolivariano del siglo XXI: Tienes dos vacas. El SENIAT te confisca una por evasión del Impuesto a los Activos Vacunos. El gobierno te expropia la otra por causa de utilidad pública para la “Misión Negra Hipólita”. El coordinador de la Misión se compra un Hummer y no hay leche.

(Mixed online sources.)