Normally I would never post a link to a story in Reason, a right-wing magazine. But I consider this particular story a tribute to the power of your voices and your actions.

The writer of this piece is upset that we are reframing regulations as protections. He’s upset because he even sees regulations being framed as protections in the pages of the newspapers.

He attributes this to the work we have done to raise awareness among journalists, elected officials, and our fellow citizens that, from the Public viewpoint, regulations are protections. And most regulations come into existence to protect the public from harm by irresponsible or unscrupulous corporations.

Specifically, the author references an essay I posted in January — aptly titled “Regulations Are Protections.” He does a great job of repeating all of our arguments in an effort to negate them. In other words, he’s saying: Don’t think of protections!

Please read the piece, then come back and leave a comment on Facebook or Twitter. I want to know what other ideas you think need reframing from the Public viewpoint. We have lots of important work to do!

Thank you for reading.

15 responses

  1. I’m glad to see that people, especially in the press, are reading your articles and beginning to apply the principles publicly. I am reminded of the book Reinventing Prosperity: Managing Economic Growth to Reduce Unemployment, Inequality, and Climate Change by Graeme Maxton and Jorgen Randers, published last year by the David Suzuki Institute. Though the authors don’t appear to use your language recommendations consciously, they do explain effectively the role governments can play in controlling predatory capitalism and protecting the planet. I’ll add that the state of California has experienced economic success by examining how Trump acts and doing the exact opposite.

  2. Is there a Lakoff dictionary available? I need to make flash cards. Ex. Regulation on one side, Protection on the other.

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. The Reason writer states “As I puzzled over this apparent shift in terminology…”. This poor logic, it assumes there has been a “shift” from some legitimate position. There hasn’t been. Use of Protection is not a change from some objective truth. The writer means the use of the word Protection is different from his perspective and that does not make it false, as he would have his readers believe. Shame on him, especially being billed as a science writer. Thank you for your insights, Mr. Lakoff, they help us see the propaganda properly.

  4. Yes, regulations/protections no doubt cost businesses money, but I’m pretty damned certain the costs to all of us, in dollars alone, is far greater than whatever the added expenses to business. And that’s just talking about money, without factoring in the costs in lives, health, and quality of life.

  5. Reason mag is sometimes touted in “Skeptic” circles. I bristle at that and steer clear of their nonsense. But if there is any Libertarian or free market idea that can surely be shown to fail it’s that environmental regulations should be dialed back or voluntary. This is total bullshit. It’s cheaper for industries to pollute and easy to get away with if there are no laws. That’s exactly what they will do and we’ll all pay dearly for it.

  6. It really speaks to what they are so afraid of. My goodness! Of course we want to protect the environment. If deregulation weren’t such a tangible threat, there would be no battle to fight. Let us not forget that one of the meanings of regulate is to put in good order.

  7. I think your idea that regulations are protections from irresponsible corporations is exactly right. I now call them protections in all my comments to Congressmen and anyone else I talk to about what the Republicans are doing in Congress and my state legislature. There are some very socially responsible businesses but there are also a lot that are not and the only way to protect people and land from exploitation is through the federal government.

  8. You are correct Doc! He posited your theory EXACTLY! Congratulations! As Conservatives often do, he ends on the note of EXPENSE ! that he generously provides is his concern for us poor fools and consumers that have to PAY for these protections. Where the lie starts is, we all know when Republican Cons talk about their concern for JOBS and COSTS to the Middle Class they’re covering up another give away to their BENAFACTORS ! ( Mostly to finance bigger campaign bribery scamming!) and as all CONS he wants to pretend we receive no benefits from the PROTECTIONS THESE PROVIDED! Imagine no Plumbing, Electric, Structual, or Building Codes ? Somalia? Haiti? The lives saved by seat belts ? OSHA? I just can’t treat these people with respect! Sorry! But REALITY seems to bother Conservatives!

  9. I like protections. I want to be protected. And, if it’s the government who is doing it, so what. I can’t protect myself or my loved ones by myself. Somebody has to help. I can’t count on Corporate America or the top 1% to care about me and my family’s welfare. That’s why I pay taxes. So that the heirs of Theodore Roosevelt and Upton Sinclair can protect me from poisoned medicines and contaminated food. Don’t you want that for your family too?

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