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?