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AndrewR

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #375 on: July 05, 2019, 10:01:42 am »
Please help me out. I heard this on the news, and now read it here. What is "virtue signalling"?
Don't ask me, I only live here.
Nauvoodle since March 2005 #1412
 
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Taalcon

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #376 on: July 05, 2019, 10:23:10 am »
Generally, in my experience, "virtue signalling' is understood to mean making a declaration of your position on a topic not as a part of a conversation, or inviting engagement, but to make clear to one's 'tribe' that you are part of their 'team' and opposed to their other team. It's seen as something being designed solely to score credibility within a community, often by disparaging something seen as valued on the 'other side'.

Sometimes, relatedly, as I have often seen it used, going out of one's way to declare something 'virtue signalling' can, in and of itself, be a form of said thing. It is a way of dismissing the argument and the issue, and declaring it an issue unworthy of thought or discussion. If you're on the same 'team' as the labeler, of course you'll disagree with the opposing 'team's argument.

IE, "No need to engage with this person, or give their argument any thought. They're just virtue signalling."
« Last Edit: July 05, 2019, 10:41:42 am by Taalcon »
 
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Palmon

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #377 on: July 05, 2019, 12:16:08 pm »
I want to make a slight correction to what Jacare said

Quote
Many of their products are made in Asian sweatshops where workers are paid near slave wages in miserable conditions.

They do use slave labor. In China, political/religious prisoners are used to manufacture many of the low priced items we devour.

The US government has an app (Sweat and Toil) that you can use to see if what you are buying was a product of slave/forced labor, child labor or forced child labor.
https://www.dol.gov/general/apps/ilab

History is history.  I am more concerned with the slavery that is ongoing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_the_21st_century
 
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N3uroTypical

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #378 on: July 05, 2019, 01:24:35 pm »
Virtue is holding a noble quality that expresses itself no matter what comes.    Virtue signalling is the conspicuous expression of moral values.   The action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one's good character or the moral correctness of one's position on a particular issue.

When I sit there on facebook and talk about how I have that virtue and another person doesn't, I'm not having virtue, I'm not advocating for a virtuous position.  I'm merely communicating that I have that virtue (and the other person doesn't).  In the study of social behavior, it's part of signaling theory.

What-about-ism is pointless. I like to think most people's responses to such arguments would be, "Yup. That person, who happened to wear the same political jersey I do/did, was totally wrong on that, too."
-Taalcon
 
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N3uroTypical

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #379 on: July 05, 2019, 04:28:22 pm »
Thinking about the CNN/Fox news stuff said in this thread, undeniable urge to post this picture in this thread is undeniable. 
What-about-ism is pointless. I like to think most people's responses to such arguments would be, "Yup. That person, who happened to wear the same political jersey I do/did, was totally wrong on that, too."
-Taalcon
 
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Roper

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #380 on: July 05, 2019, 09:15:03 pm »
The action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one's good character or the moral correctness of one's position on a particular issue.
Christ had this to say about such practices (Matthew 6):

1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

John the Baptist put it this way (Matthew 3):

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 
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Jacaré

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #381 on: July 06, 2019, 01:26:47 pm »
When I use the term "virtue signalling," I'm referring to empty gestures and platitudes that are designed to demonstrate the user's righteousness, but without actually doing anything. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, my politically liberal hipster son tells us the new term is "performative wokeness," suggesting that even on his side of the aisle there's some recognition that it's all about showing off.
"He was old, Ephraim. He was 52."
 
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Taalcon

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #382 on: July 06, 2019, 03:07:35 pm »
So two scenarios: 

1) Someone is in a position of influence, and they state their strongly held belief to encourage awareness and introspection, and to potentially cause a discussion on the subject designed to cause change.

2) Someone wishes they were in a position of influence in a community (or desires to remain to be seen as such), and they state an opinion that is already popular and has already been stated within their community to bolster their respect and influence among them.

I often see (on both sides of an aisle) that when someone does 1), and that expressed belief disagrees or is not popular with the person hearing the expression, that they are suddenly declared as doing 2), allowing it to be written off as hollow.

This is done in politics, but it is also done with issues that should NOT be tied to politics, but unfortunately, HAVE been. It's become popular (on both sides) to take a complex issue, and because a specific solution being championed by The Opposing Party is not acceptable for one reason or another, the next thing to do is to pretend that Complex Issue Doesn't Exist. Not to acknowledge "this is a complex issue with many potential ways of addressing it," but rather, "No, your solution is for a problem that doesn't exist." It turns Complex Issues that SHOULD NOT BE PARTISAN into partisan ones, because the specific approach to tackling it is not politically expedient for one reason or another. Rather than grapple with the complex issue, it's far easier to spread a smear campaign suggesting they're idiots for even suggesting a problem exists.

Disregarding and laughing at a whole idea is a lot simpler than working with the nuance of differing solutions. So the very existence of Real Problems that effect lives become Partisan to even acknowledge.
 
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Roper

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #383 on: July 06, 2019, 09:09:31 pm »
Thanks, Taalcon.

It's also interesting that complex issues quickly devolve into, "The Constitution (or the Supreme Court) says I can do it so STFU."

Democrats do it with abortion.
Republicans do it with guns.

I wonder if we'll ever get to a place where reasonable people can work toward reasonable solutions without having to become a Crusader or a Victim.
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 

JLM

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #384 on: July 07, 2019, 01:19:30 am »
 Le sigh.  The tax issue of 1770's was the lack of representation and perceived unfairness with respect to the tea and stamp tax to fund Briton's war against France.  But the Revolutionary War had other justifications too beyond taxes.

The killing of others because of a mere tax policy change by fairly and democratically elected representatives would be completely unjustified.  If such were to come to civil war, then our nation would deserve the destruction that would result.

As for the WHO statistics, you raise an interesting point in how to interpret data.  As a measure of general happiness and mental health, I would exclude doctor assisted suicide since those individuals almost all have a terminal illness and likely feel that they have already lived full lives.  Also, there are 51 European countries, so 7/51 is not half.

Europe isn't perfect, but much of the continent seems to have a better approach to a fair and just society than the USA
 

Roper

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #385 on: July 07, 2019, 01:54:32 am »
The killing of others because of a mere tax policy change ... would be completely unjustified.
That's what Britian thought. It doesn't matter if it's justified or not. If the U.S. government raises taxes to over 50% to pay for social programs, there will be Ruby Ridge on a nationwide scale. And it won't be civilians firing the first shot. It will be government forces ordered by an increasingly authoritarian Commander in Chief to enforce the law.  But Democrats know it won't come to this. They know they can't pay for everything by raising taxes on the general populace, so they target the wealthy. That's not going to happen. Wealthy people stay wealthy because they have teams of lawyers who shelter their incomes from as much taxation as possible.

Here are the solutions:

1) Increase taxes across the board. Republicans won't allow that.
2) Cut spending across the board. Democrats won't allow that.
3) Increase deficit spending. Both parties seem just fine with that option.

I expect we'll go bankrupt before we go to war. Then we'll be in economic servitude to China rather than fighting a civil war. I'm not convinced that's a better option.
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 

N3uroTypical

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #386 on: July 07, 2019, 11:09:33 am »
The killing of others because of a mere tax policy change by fairly and democratically elected representatives would be completely unjustified.  If such were to come to civil war, then our nation would deserve the destruction that would result.
Indeed.  You might want to spend some time thinking about the decline of the British Empire, and think about that decline in terms of what it "deserved".   It's a far better use of your time than watching CNN.

Fortunately, there are enough people around who understand why "tax the rich" isn't a solution, to keep those who don't understand from enacting destructive policies.  And thus, things won't come to civil war, because the presence of those smart people justify the nation's continued existence.  Although I fear Roper is being prophetic here, so we'll see what the future brings.

Yeah, let's all spend a little time thinking about the fall of the British empire, and the Roman empire, and all the other empires that fell (which is all of them).

Quote
But the Revolutionary War had other justifications too beyond taxes.
True.  Here's how Wiki puts it:  "The Boston Tea Party was a significant event in the growth of the American Revolution. Parliament responded in 1774 with the Intolerable Acts, or Coercive Acts, which, among other provisions, ended local self-government in Massachusetts and closed Boston's commerce. Colonists up and down the Thirteen Colonies in turn responded to the Intolerable Acts with additional acts of protest, and by convening the First Continental Congress, which petitioned the British monarch for repeal of the acts and coordinated colonial resistance to them. The crisis escalated, and the American Revolutionary War began near Boston in 1775."

JLM opening position: "Civil war over an adjustment in tax policy?  Really?"

JLM current position: "The killing of others because of a mere tax policy change by fairly and democratically elected representatives would be completely unjustified."

You can atone for your CNN apologia and rejoin the group of relevant opiners, once your position looks like "History is replete with examples of uprisings over taxes, including bloody and government-changing examples, and now I understand why "just tax the rich people" is not the fix-all I've spent so much time thinking it was."

« Last Edit: July 07, 2019, 11:37:38 am by N3uroTypical »
What-about-ism is pointless. I like to think most people's responses to such arguments would be, "Yup. That person, who happened to wear the same political jersey I do/did, was totally wrong on that, too."
-Taalcon
 
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Jason

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #387 on: July 07, 2019, 12:10:04 pm »
I heard an interesting idea that may seem basic to others, but on which I have been thinking. The US government exists to secure our rights, not to grant us rights. The rights exist and the government is there as a tool to allow us to exercise them. The rights pre-date the government. Where do the rights come from? From God does not work for me, because Freedom of speech does not come from the Bible.
 
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Roper

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #388 on: July 07, 2019, 12:50:45 pm »
The US government exists to secure our rights, not to grant us rights. The rights exist and the government is there as a tool to allow us to exercise them. The rights pre-date the government. Where do the rights come from? From God does not work for me, because Freedom of speech does not come from the Bible.


I believe you're absolutely right, Jason. I think the Declaration of Independence states it best:

Quote
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

Self-evident truths which existed before government:

- Equality
- Right to life
- Right to liberty
- Right to pursue happiness (the original proposition listed property instead)
- Consent to be governed (this is often replaced with admonitions to obediently submit. Consent is not submission.)
- Right to alter or abolish government if it becomes destructive of the previous rights
- Right to institute a new government to effect safety and happiness

I suppose one can believe such rights are an endowment from God or that they are a self-evident and unalienable birthright of every human on the planet. The application remains the same regardless of origin.
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 

JLM

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Re: Current Events - US Politics Edition
« Reply #389 on: July 07, 2019, 01:53:00 pm »
I don't "watch" any news since most TV news is mostly opinion pieces at this point.  I read the news online, mostly CNN, NPR, Washington Post and New York Times, where the delineations between news and opinion are more clear.

You do make a good point about tax shelters.  The wealthy pay lower taxes than the middle class precisely because Congress makes take policy that allows it.  Often these tax exemptions are created to incentivize certain types of business investment.  Unfortunately, much of the current policy is decades behind the current economic and social needs.  This was made worse by the recent Republican tax changes, where many of the tax benefits that had been available to the lower and middle class were taken away and more were given to the already super wealthy.

I agree that just raising the base tax rate on the wealthy won't work without rooting out the unfair and unnecessary tax exemptions.  I'm actually in favor of a flat tax approach, that mostly does away with tax deductions, replacing them with limited tax credits.  For example, each minor child would allow a fixed $5000 tax credit, each dependent adult child would be $2,500, charitable donations could be credited at 50%, and mortgage interest would be a 10% credit up to some cap.

For example, let's assume a base tax rate of 30% with 4 different tax scenarios and the assumed credit schedule above.

1) Family with 3 kids, $50,000 income, donates $1000 each year to charity, rents. 
Base tax: $15,000
Credits: $15,500
Net tax: $500 back

2) Familiy w/5 kids, $150,000, LDS tithe payer, $10,000 in mortgage interest.
Base tax: $45,000
Credits: $33,500
Net tax: $11,500

3) Corporation, $ 10,000,000 profit, donated $500,000 to charity
Base: $3,000,000
Credits: $250,000
Net tax: $2,750,000

4) Single, no kids, $50,000 with 50% member stake in LLC with $200,000 in profits, $5000 on mortgage interest.
Base: $45,000
Credits: $500
Tax: $44,500

Other possible areas of tax credit could be student load payments, education payments, charitable service hours, loan forgiveness, and so on. 

I believe that this approach would be more fair than our current system.  A flat base rate treasts all income equally, while the tax credits are proportional to what the tax payer gives back to society. 
 
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