At a grocery store last week, I saw a fellow staring at a package labeled “turkey bacon.” Neither of us had ever seen a piece of turkey sliced from a hog, and I pointed out that Wendy’s now features “Naturally Cut” French fries. We smiled and agreed we had never seen two potatoes in a knife fight, nor did we understand how “naturally cut” fries could be made any other way. Wendy’s removed a step in production, labeled it as a feature and pocketed the profits. “Good advertising” need not be accurate or even meaningful — only believed.
Of greater importance than our “snake oil” consumerism is the slanted “advertising” on the economy we’re getting from Washington D.C. We’re told unemployment is dropping, rapidly. Meanwhile, in one of the most fiscally resilient regions of the nation, we watch businesses go under every week that had meant paychecks for many.
A popular song from the Great Depression speaks of the government boasting of creating 10,000 new jobs, without mentioning the accompanying 12,000 lay-offs. Philosopher George Santayana said: “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Yet, history can’t teach those who refuse to listen, are too inexperienced to understand, or who think the problem is someone else’s.
With top administrators cutting deals and giving things away that don’t belong to them, our funding of legacy building is out of control. Last year the Panama Canal generated $800,000,000 profit for . . . the Panamanians. Thanks Pres. Carter; I didn’t know it was yours to give away. The list of such is huge, expensive and goes much deeper than it appears.
One thing is certain; if we can’t put an end to frivolous legacy building and start thinking more about OUR nation’s future, soon. . . it may not have one!