With the euphemism, “alternative investments,” Wall Street was “putting lipstick on a pig,” as the old saying goes. The Street took a page out of the modern playbook of one of America’s most insightful political strategists and pollsters, Frank Luntz, author of Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear. Luntz is the guy who reframed much of the conservative political rhetoric and the buzzwords floating around America’s contentious and highly partisan political arena since the 2000 election: In this new fantasyland, hot-button terms like “oil drilling” magically become “energy exploration,” the attack aimed at the “estate tax” on large fortunes passing by inheritance focused on the “death tax,” “logging” becomes “healthy forests initiative.” Up is down and down is up in this land of make-believe.
Most the time you’re an engineer, teacher, lawyer, parent, programmer. And you play the part like a responsible adult and a leader. But occasionally when you don the role of an “investor,” you enter the world of children’s fairytales. There you become innocent, vulnerable, disoriented and impressionable. You walk through the looking glass, suddenly fall down a rabbit hole. You’re in Alice’s Wonderland, where the storytellers’ favorite weapons-of-choice are words that make you believe “up is down, down is up,” that fantasy is reality. (More)