In the Waiting Line

Samuel Bowles, Microeconomics, page 348:

Or, to put it more graphically, one reason why Fords were better cars than their Cold war–era Russian equivalents is that in Russia customers waited in line to purchase Volgas while in the United States, Ford salesmen lined up to sell customers cars. Another reason is that in the United Stats workers waited in line to get jobs at Ford.

He almost nails the Russian Reversal, but not quite. Let’s help him along:

In America, you wait on line to buy car. In Russia, car waits on line to buy you!

No, that’s not quite right. Maybe there’s another way of putting it:

In America, you cross river with Ford. In Russia, you swim in Volga.

Hmm. One last try?

In America, you wait around to get job in factory. In Russia, job in factory is waiting around.

Umm, something like that.