Thursday, August 13, 2009

Find the Cost of Freedom

I am fairly easily confused, but lately things have been really getting out of hand. Birthers, death panels and other new nonsensical concepts pop up every week, and I'm having trouble figuring them out. Apparently our freedom is at stake. If the screamers are lot listened to, we are at risk of losing our freedom to be uninsured and over charged for health care.

Freedom has always been a confusing concept to me, and there have always been so many contradictory messages about what it is and what it means. Forty years ago while Janis Joplin was telling us that it was nothing left to lose, Up with People was telling us that "Freedom Isn't Free". While they never clarified what the actual cost of freedom was (I've heard that it was about $7.34 an ounce back then), they did reveal the master plan for their death panels in their signature lyric that went "If more people were for people, there'd be a lot less people to worry about and a lot more people that care."

Glenn Close rarely talks about her years with Up with People, but it is safe to assume it played an instrumental role for helping her find her inner loon in Fatal Attraction.

When sugarless gum was introduced in the early 1970s, marketers realized that it was much easier to swallow (or chew) if it was presented as sugar free instead of sugar less. That sort of support the Joplin theory that freedom is another word for nothing left to lose.

The same marketing firms need to start convincing people that are uninsured that they should celebrate that they are insurance free, and millions of soldiers risked their lives so they could have that freedom. In fact, many of those soldiers are insurance free themselves.

Whenever I step into Skecher's outlet at 22nd and Mission, the clerks great me excitedly saying that have a great sale going on -- buy one pair, get the second pair half off. This sale has been going on uninterupted since around 2001. When I ask if I can buy one pair for 25% off which is the same net savings as I would get were I to buy two pairs, they refuse to deal. They then say, "Go ahead, buy two pairs. You've got nothing left to lose."

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