Political Framing and Sustainable Development Goals

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A few years ago the words „tax relief“ and ”tax relief creates jobs” appeared in Austria concluding in a tax reform. According to the theory of political framing, the word “relief” evokes a frame. A frame is a conceptual structure (Sprachbild) used in thinking. The words defined within the frame “creates jobs” even more evokes the frame. The “relief” can be quantified: it can be more or less “tax relief” and the logic of political framing (NOT economical): if “tax relief creates jobs” than more tax relief creates more jobs. Denying the frame “tax relief creates jobs” would further evoke the frame and reinforcing it. Conservatives (in the USA) further built up frames articulating that wealthy people and wealthy corporations create jobs and giving them more wealth creates more jobs, – concluding that giving wealthy people and corporations a “tax relief would create more jobs.” For the author as neo-liberal “hobby” philosopher of this posting is this myth: not just wealth but the infrastructure provided by the government made that wealth realizable. The (Austrian) taxpayers support the infrastructure of wealth accumulation (George Lakoff). Closing this circle: Tax cuts will not necessarily create jobs, and the wealthy (and multinational corporation) should pay their fair share of tax. Reframing takes time and work!


Prof. Dr. Georg Lakoff, Prof. of Linguistics at the University of California, “An Introduction to Framing and its uses in Politics”, Toward a World in Balance, A Virtual Congress for a Better Balanced World, Global Marshall Initiative. Prof. Lakoff is the author of several books like “Don’t think of an Elephant”.

Flut stellt eine Bedrohung dar,” Der Standard Sa./So. 20./21.February 2106. Rosa Winkler-Hermaden interviewed Elisabeth Wehling, born in 1981 in Hamburg, is a linguist and researcher at the University of California at Berkley in the US.  Elisabeth Wehling, “Political framing” Edition media practice was presented on 23 February in Vienna.

Conclusion: The political framing needs to be applied as a tool so that common citizens better understand the 17 SDGs. For the politics and NGOs to conduct debates better and to achieve the SDGs faster.  One example: The frame “Clean energy” describes energy sources like sun, wind and water, contrary to dirty coal, nuclear and oil. The framing of the 17 SDGs should use appropriate language and fundamental values:” empathy, social responsibility (CSR), fairness, community, cooperation, doing our fair share (George Lakoff)

Roland Leithenmayr VFV

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