Feeding Guilt: When Things Get Renamed, It Costs You More Money

I don't take medicine anymore. I take medications. The only difference I've noticed is that medications cost more.

You can't just take an aspirin these days. The drug companies insist that you need an aspirin regimen. Because you shouldn't let a day go by without taking one of their pills.

Lately I've been fighting an overwhelming wave of guilt. It turns out I have not been feeding my lawn. I never used to understand why I would want to put fertilizer on my lawn so that I would have to mow it more often. But I've spent my adult life feeding horses, dogs, and the occasional cat. Not to mention children. I just didn't realize, until watching recent television ads, I was supposed to be feeding my lawn as well.

Will some bureaucrat come along and arrest me for grass abuse? Is there an interest group canvasing neighborhoods to identify brown grassers? Is there a state or federal program to address this problem? If I take the horse manure piled up in my barn and spread it on the grass without going to a lawn and garden store and spending money, does it count? Do I need an EPA permit?

Is there a Bermuda grass hotline?

The English language is wonderful in its complexity and its flexibility. But the language that produced Shakespeare is also the language of advertisers, marketing experts, and consultants who are able to use it to produce Pavlovian responses. When new words replace old ones it usually means it's going to cost more. Or engender the desire to purchase something you didn't realize you needed. Or disguise what public money is being spent to purchase.

Does a Por-sha cost more than when we used to call it a Porsche? Does a Jag-you-R cost more that the old Jaguars?

Lotion isn't expensive. But why not spend more and get a "skin treatment" system?

Soap? No. You need to buy body wash.

How can you sell young men perfume? You can't. So you sell them some outrageously expensive "body spray."

How is it that you have to pay more for food that doesn't have things added? How much does it cost if the words natural, organic, or farm fresh is added to the label?

We used to buy dog food that was mostly grains. Then we started buying "meaty" dog food. It cost more. Now we are back to buying "vegetarian" dog food. It costs even more.

New words in government also seem to cost more. If someone tells you they are going to spend $2 million to dig a trench and install a sewer line for an industrial site, you might question it. But spending $2 million on infrastructure? No one bats an eye.

A proposal to take taxpayer money and give it to a business with the understanding they can keep the profits while the taxpayers take the risk sounds really dodgy, doesn't it? But a public-private partnership? It's a wonderful thing.

Especially if it's an "investment" in infrastructure.

Sometimes it isn't about money, it's just renaming things to avoid calling it what it is.

Liberals are now progressives. (What's wrong with being a liberal?)

We aren't spending money on social programs or education anymore. We are "investing" in the future.

The Fed isn't pumping money into the banks to create inflation. It is practicing "quantitative easing."

We used to have a lot of illegal aliens coming across the border. They are still aliens. They are still illegal. But now they are undocumented workers. Even if they have fake documents and they don't work.

We used to declare war on countries. Now we have declared war on an ill-defined thing called terrorism. We can only hope it's more successful than the War on Drugs.

All this is giving me a headache. I think I will take my aspirin regimen medications, take a nice shower and use my body wash, take a skin treatment, put some natural organic vegetarian food out for the dogs, and take a nap.

If I can get to sleep knowing my grass is hungry.