Perhaps you've heard the phrase "a distinction without a difference." Debaters often fall back on employing this logical fallacy when confronted with an argument they wish to evade. This is the world of euphemism. And it applies to the DOL fiduciary rule. Let me explain.

Politicians and marketers call it "reframing the argument." People who have read too many books might be tempted to call it "sophistry." Normal people simply call it "misleading." We can all agree "a distinction without a difference" is something we want to avoid being accused of using.

But what about "a difference without a distinction"? I could get into the whole Thomas Aquinas and "Just War Theory" thing, but that would just trigger a lot of shouting and marching with the whole mess ending up in the Ninth Circuit. Instead, I'll use a less controversial example: cholesterol. I don't know about you, but ever since I could remember, I was told "cholesterol is bad." Then, one day during a routine check-up, I learned there was such a thing as "good" cholesterol and "bad" cholesterol.

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Christopher Carosa

Chris Carosa has been writing a weekly article and monthly column for BenefitsPRO online and BenefitsPRO Magazine since 2011 and is a nationally recognized award-winning writer, researcher and speaker. He’s written seven books, including From Cradle to Retire: The Child IRA; Hey! What’s My Number? – How to Increase the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort; A Pizza The Action: Everything I Ever Learned About Business I Learned By Working in a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair; and the widely acclaimed 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions. Carosa is also Chief Contributing Editor of the authoritative trade journal and publisher of the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, a weekly community newspaper he founded in 1989. Currently serving as President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and with more than 1,000 articles published in various publications, he appears regularly in the national media. A “parallel” entrepreneur, he actively runs a handful of businesses, including a small boutique investment adviser, providing hands-on experience for his writing. A trained astrophysicist, he also holds an MBA and has been designated a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Share your thoughts and story ideas with him through Facebook ( Twitter (