Writes Daniel Gross, in part of an argument that the IRS shouldn't add the value of food provided to employees to their taxable income. This food is "an instrument of social control."
Companies use people’s basic needs and desire to consume calories as a way of channeling their efforts toward the greater corporate good.Does that really make food different from money, which is also used to energize and appease workers? One difference is that people eat different amounts of food and some — such as vegetarians — eat less expensive items. How would you calculate the value of the free food?
Notice that this issue heated up because of the high quality of the food in Silicon Valley workplaces:
A Gourmet magazine article last year raved about the "mouthwatering free food" at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. The article cited dishes such as porcini-encrusted grass-fed beef and noted that nearly half the produce was organic....By the way, how did "mouth-watering" ever come to be a standard way to describe something appetizing? It's an internally inconsistent word. It's not "mouth-watering" to picture a mouth watering. It's stomach-turning. Looking at the (unlinkable) OED, I see the word originally described the person who was slavering:
Facebook's headquarters in nearby Menlo Park, Calif., has two main cafes, plus a barbecue shack, a pizza shop, a burrito bar, and a 50s-style burger joint. Recent menu options at Facebook's Café Epic, which dishes up free food from morning until night, included spicy she-crab soup and grilled steak with chimichurri sauce.
1779 H. Downman Lucius Junius Brutus v. iv. 124 Conscientious, babbling, sniveling, Mouth-watering knaves, who envy every man The dainty morsel they can't eat themselves.In the early use as a description of the object of the drooler's desire, there is a connotation of disgust and disapproval: "1900 Speakers 3 Jan. 338/2 The White Star shareholders have made a most mouth-watering bargain."
1845 R. Ford Hand-bk. Travellers in Spain I. i. 67 The mouth-watering bystanders sigh, as they see and smell the rich freight steaming away from them.
I've changed the topic, and I'd like to go on in this vein (duct?). Bodily fluids are a bit of a theme on the blog today, and the language of saliva is truly interesting. Drool and slaver. Did you know that drool is derived from drivel? And slaver and slobber are basically the same word. Drool and slobber — the words with the letter o — convey a childishness or mental incompetence, while the o-less drivel and slaver seem better for criticizing a competent adult who's wasting our time or is dangerously greedy.
So if you don't like the direction this post has taken, call it
1852 J. S. Blackie On Stud. Lang. 2 As it begins with dreams, so it must end in drivel.Ah, that reminds me. We were talking about the government. The mouth-watering government.