Archive for the ‘bus’ Tag
Yes, this is the title of a book by political wordsmither Frank Luntz. While some on the left are aggravated by Luntz’s use of language for conservative gain (he coined the term “death tax” to replace “estate tax”), if you can put your politics aside, the man makes some good points.
Specifically: “it’s not what you say, it’s what people hear.” This breaks down further to “what’s in it for me?”
Two different talk shows on the Seattle-area NPR affiliate KUOW brought this point to life this week in their coverage of the proposed $20 car tab fee to help keep the current level of bus service. Yesterday, The Conversation was trying to generate listener interest with the following question: Should drivers have to subsidize bus riders? I was driving in my car (by myself) to work, and my immediate reaction was “Hell, no!” Our licensing and tag fees are outrageous to begin with, and I’m not signing up to pay more. Particularly since I have never ridden on a King County bus and possibly never will.
This morning, Weekday host Steve Scher asked the official behind the fee proposal this same question. King County Executive Dow Constantine responded that this isn’t about subsidizing bus riders, it is about supporting the road system–something drivers already do. He then explained how much more congested the roads would become if people who ride the bus today started driving. Suddenly, I found myself very much in favor of paying $20/yr to limit the traffic I encounter during MY commute and feeling grateful to the bus system for making MY life easier.
Kudos to Dow Constantine for his deft use of language to reframe a driver tax as a traffic-limiting investment. He clearly understands that if you want me to pay without a fuss, don’t appeal to my sense of civic duty. Show me what is in it for me.