American Elephants

Timothy Geithner’s Re-Branding Program. by The Elephant's Child
March 23, 2009, 8:36 pm
Filed under: Economy, Progressivism, Socialism, Taxes | Tags: ,

The contemporary term is “Branding.”  We used to call it “euphemism”, and even those of us who never read Romeo and Juliet associated the term with Juliet’s words: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” We started out with “The Bank Bailout Plan” which by some mysterious change morphed into “The Financial  Stability Plan”, and now the “Public-Private Investment Program”.  That sounds ever so much better.

“The Problem of Bad Mortgages” subtly shape-shifted through something about “toxic assets”  into the current and more manageable “The Challenge of Legacy Assets.” I find this naming or “branding” skill fascinating in its ability to subtly control public opinion. Is there a special Progressive department for “re-branding”, or is it a just a common ability on the Left?  God knows that Republicans do not have that talent.

For example, a headline at American Thinker “Geithner plan for banks leaked — a trillion more down the toilet” may be far more accurate, but it takes real skill to come up with “The Challenge of Legacy Assets.”  (We also have “Legacy Loans” and “Legacy Securities”) Should you choose to wander around in the Public Private Investment Program world of euphemisms, you will find it here.

It is unknown whether the public will want to partner with Wall Street.  Wall Street was pleased today about something or other, but it may not have been about the Geithner plan.  Some economists approve, some do not.  We shall see.

If you have not read George Orwell’s 1984 , this might be a good time to read it, or re-read it.  I think you feel better if you understand that they are attempting to manipulate you, than if you have been had and only wake up later to realize that you were a gullible fool.

Two must reads for today: “American Capitalism Besieged” by Robert Samuelson in The Washington Post, and “Too Clever by Half” by Canadian David Warren at Real Clear Politics.

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