Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Heard on NPR

On NPR's Morning Edition this morning, a reporter called attention to the idea that the new "right-to-work" laws just put in place in Michigan would cause the unions to lose, among other things, "clout." Doesn't the use of this negative-affect word prejudice the reporting? What sort of "clout" are we talking about? Does collective bargaining for the benefit of workers, who are otherwise at the mercy of amoral corporations, really constitute "clout?" Especially when the collective bargaining leads to better wages, enhanced benefits, safer working conditions (which also benefits employers), and so on? Implying that these are the result of having "clout" is the wrong way to frame this discourse, in my (linguist's) opinion.

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