Tuesday 21 June 2011

The Euro as a Farmyard Parable

(also called Mutual Fiscal Destruction)

Each country in the EU agrees to donate their cows to a new joint Euro Herd in a specially ring fenced Euro Field.

Countries like Germany nurture their part of the Euro Herd very well and it prospers and yields high levels of good quality milk. One or two countries, like Britain, decide not to join the Euro Herd and keep their own cows in their own field.

Other countries though, such as Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain (the PIGS) only occasionally look in on their part of the Euro Herd and generally neglect them. One day a PIG discovers the dead carcasses of their cows as a horrid flattened mess. They ask for emergency cow loans and, reluctantly, the other Euro Herd members agree on condition that the PIGS take better care of their cows.

For some inexplicable reason Britain, which has to borrow money every year to support its own cows, borrows even more money to buy cows to lend to the PIGS.

A few days later one of the PIGS, who had nothing else better to do, happens to look in on his herd and discovers to his astonishment that his part of the Euro Field is a bloody, mangled mess of squashed cows. The PIGS again demand help from the Euro Herd members. Again they receive help on condition that they improve their cow husbandry.

To the astonishment of impartial observers, Britain, which has absolutely no obligation to do so, borrows even more money to increase its already eye-watering, record breaking debt just so it can buy more cows to lend to the PIGS.

What these Euro Herd owners and Britain refuse to acknowledge however is that every evening one of the PIGS leads a huge elephant into the Euro Field. This elephant usually lives in their front room during the day. Over night, as the elephant tramps around the PIGS part of the field, it accidentally flattens all of their cows.

The big elephant in the PIGS’s room has a name and it is tattooed on its side in huge two foot high red letters, it is called Irresponsible National Debt.

This was posted in response to an excellent rewrite of the Two Cows Capitalism joke by SadButMadLad at Anna Raccoon.