An earlier post pointed out that many policies that are commonly called pro-business are really pro-management and advocates using that name. But in the spirit of using shorter words, why not call them pro-boss policies?
Boss is more emotionally charged than management and makes clear that the policies would benefit those at the top, not necessarily business as a whole.
What do you think? Is this accurate? Is it helpful to Framologists?
While reading a book about framing that I highly recommend, Frank Luntz’s Words that Work, I found the common phrase union bosses on page 91. It brings to mind a time when some labor unions were thought to be closely associated with political machines and organized crime. I haven’t heard of such associations being a big problem today. Have you?
Besides deceptively bringing to mind long-gone bad old days, union bosses also might confuse the listener about who the boss really is: the elected leaders of labor unions or management.
If you share this concern, please consider talking about duly elected union leaders when others mention union bosses.
What do you think? Does it matter if Framologists accept the phrase union bosses?
Everybody knows what pro-business policies are: low taxes, low minimum wage, less regulation, reduced ability to sue corporations, “right-to-work” laws (a topic for another post), etc. We “know” this because that’s what business lobbies usually want.
But these policies should be known as pro-management, not pro-business. That’s because they give management more power and money while depriving workers and the community.
But businesses also need workers:
Educated workers who can do their jobs with a minimum of training
Healthy workers who can come to work each day and do their best
Loyal workers who feel valued by their employers
Prosperous workers who can not only pay their bills but patronize their own and other businesses.
Businesses also need customers. In Economics 101, I learned that demand means the desire for a product or service plus the ability to pay for it. That means the community must prosper, not just management. People can’t patronize businesses without money. (And yes, this is related to the triple bottom line.)
And when we don’t trust a business or industry, we don’t want to support it. Wise government regulation of business helps create that trust.
So real pro-business policies would sound like this:
Strong support for public education to create an educated workforce
Strong public health efforts and ready, affordable access to health care, including preventive health care and mental health care
Support for workers’ work-family balance with family leave, child care, and so on
Support for living wages so the workers, community, and its businesses can thrive
Support for government regulations that give people confidence in business.
Do you think pro-management is a good reframe of pro-business? What might be better?
When the New York City Council approved a ban on sales of soft drinks in containers larger than 16oz, ban opponents used some ideological sleight-of-hand. It was so subtle that I noticed it only now!
By framing the ban as an issue of individual liberty, they obscured a crucial fact: the ban would have regulated the behavior not of individuals but of businesses. Individuals would still have been able to buy all the soda they wanted.
Therefore, the real issue was whether irresponsible corporations would still be allowed to tempt customers to use too much of an unhealthy product. All the talk about government overreach, the nanny state, and personal choice was really about the City’s treatment of corporations, not people.
All the talk about government overreach, the nanny state, and personal choice was really about the City’s treatment of corporations, not people.
However wise or foolish this ban proposal may have been, governments have a responsibility to regulate commerce within their borders and also a responsibility to protect the health of the community. In similar future cases, Framologists should name who is really affected by the proposal and identify the real issue as corporate responsibility, not individual liberty.
Do you know if soda-ban defenders used this approach? I’d love to hear about it!