Posts tagged with "France"

Status envy: We covet social position more than wealth

May 25, 2021

New research has found that we experience more intense status envy than “stuff” envy. That is, our sense of envy is stronger when the object of that resentment is better off socially (for example, in terms having more influence or respect), rather than better off materially (for example, by having more money or a nicer house), Psych News Daily reports.

The study was conducted by researchers from Hungary, France, and the United States—and has been published in the journal, Frontiers in Psychology.

As the researchers explain, humans evolved in complex social environment—and we, therefore, feel the need to respond to social cues about our status relative to others. The emotions that underlie these social dynamics—such as envy—serve to “increase the stability of social hierarchies and avoid costly disputes,” the authors write.

To participate in the study, the researchers recruited about 400 Hungarians via social media. Most were women, and their average age was 32.

The researchers divided the participants into two groups:

  • They instructed one group to think of a friend or acquaintance who was better off than they were materially.That might include having more money, more financial security, or a nicer home.
  • The second group was asked to think of someone who was better off socially—for example in terms of receiving more respect, admiration, or influence.

Both groups also were asked to respond  on a scale of one to ten to a series of statements designed to assess their levels of benign and malicious envy. “Malicious envy” drives people to reduce someone else’s status, whereas “benign envy” motivates people to increase their own status. Then they were asked whether they believed that the envied person’s advantage was “deserved” or “undeserved.”

Overall, Psych News Daily reports, the researchers found that the participants had significantly higher envy ratings for social status than they did for material wealth.

What’s more, respondents were more likely to experience benign envy when they felt the envied person’s advantage was deserved. Likewise, they were more likely to experience malicious envy if they felt that advantage was not derserved.

Demographic factors such as gender, age, and education did not play a significant role.

Research contact: @PsychNewsDaily

Biden to join virtual G7 event on efforts to combat COVID-19 on February 19

Febraury 16, 2021

U.S. President Joe Biden will participate in a virtual G7 event on Friday, February 19, during which he plans to discuss efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild the world economy, CNN reports

According to the BBC, the G7 (or Group of Seven) comprises the world’s seven largest so-called advanced economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The group regards itself as “a community of values,” with freedom and human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and prosperity and sustainable development as its key principles.

The virtual meeting, hosted by the United Kingdom, also will include leaders of the European Commission and European Council.

The Friday confab will be Biden’s first meeting with the leaders of the G7 as president and represents a departure from former President Donald Trump’s retreat from handling of the pandemic and global relations.

He’ll specifically focus on areas including “coordination on vaccine production, distribution, and supplies, as well as continued efforts to mobilize and cooperate against the threat of emerging infectious diseases by building country capacity and establishing health security financing,” a White House statement released Sunday evening said.

When it comes to rebuilding an economy badly battered by the pandemic, Biden is set to focus on “the importance of all industrialized countries maintaining economic support for the recovery,” the statement said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement this past weekend that he will use the virtual event to call for global cooperation in the battle against the “common foe” of coronavirus. Johnson will charge the leaders to “work together on a joined-up global approach to pandemics that brings an end to the nationalist and divisive politics that marred the initial response to coronavirus,” the statement said.

“Quantum leaps in science have given us the vaccines we need to end this pandemic for good. Now world governments have a responsibility to work together to put those vaccines to the best possible use. I hope 2021 will be remembered as the year humanity worked together like never before to defeat a common foe,” Johnson said.

Even as global Covid-19 cases have declined in recent weeks, the virtual meeting comes just as new variants are threatening to throw a wrench in government vaccination plans.

Biden’s vow to coordinate with other governments on the pandemic and global economy offers yet another break with Trump’s approach to foreign policy.

As the pandemic surged globally last May, Trump announced he was postponing the summit, “because I don’t feel as a G7 it probably represents what’s going on in the world.”

“It’s a very outdated group of countries,” he told reporters aboard Air Force One at the time.

CNN notes that, throughout his term, Trump publicly questioned and denigrated the value of the America’s  most longstanding alliances, including with USA from the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris climate accord, the World Health Organization,and a slew of other United Nations agencies.

On his first day in office, Biden reversed several of Trump’s attempts to withdraw from international agreements—beginning the process of rejoining the Paris climate accord and halting the departure from the World Health Organization.

In remarks at the State Department earlier this month, Biden declared that “diplomacy is back at the center” of US foreign policy as he vowed to “rebuild” US alliances worldwide.

Research contact: @CNN

Trump postpones military parade until 2019, citing ‘inflated’ costs

August 20, 2018

Everyone loves a parade—or do they? Last February, President Donald Trump asked the Pentagon to plan a parade showcasing U.S. military might—similar to the one that he and the FLOTUS attended in Paris on July 14 in celebration of Bastille Day.

He was in love with the idea of seeing tanks and tactical vehicles rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue—but the American people? Not so much. In fact, based on findings of an informal poll conducted by the Army Times, most people don’t support it. Nearly 9 out of 10, (89%) of that publication’s readers who responded said the parade would be “a waste of money and troops are too busy.” Another 11% supported the idea, describing it as a “great opportunity to show off [the] U.S. military.”

On August 17, The New York Times reported, Trump was forced to postpone plans for a military parade this fall in Washington, D.C.—blaming local officials for inflating the costs and saying they “know a windfall when they see it.”

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser  pushed back on Twitter, saying that she had “finally got thru” to the president to convey the “realities” of what it costs to stage events like military parades in the city. She put the number at $21.6 million, although, she stipulated, the city’s costs are just a fraction of the total, with federal agencies also kicking in millions of dollars.

A day earlier, the Pentagon said Mr. Trump’s parade to celebrate the military could be postponed to 2019, as officials acknowledged that the event could cost more than $90 million.

The parade was initially scheduled for November 10— Veterans Day weekend—of this year. In a pair of tweets, the POTUS allowed for the possibility of a parade in 2019, the Times said. He speculated that this year he would, instead, attend another parade planned at Joint Base Andrews and a military parade in Paris.

The president also took a jab at the local government in Washington, saying the city is poorly” run. Mayor Bowser, a Democrat, slapped back—mocking the president by ending her tweet with a parenthetical “sad” — a word Trump often uses in his own tweets.

Estimates for such events often are based on past costs for similar parades. For the 2017 inauguration, which included a parade, officials estimated that it would cost the city $20 million, according to The Washington Post. Federal agencies put up millions of dollars, as well. Most of the costs are security-related expenses.

On August 16, Secretary of Denfense James Mattis,  supported his boss by dismissing reports of a cost estimate of more than $90 million, saying, “I guarantee you there’s been no cost estimate.”

Large military parades are atypical in America, although President George H.W. Bush staged one in the nation’s capital in 1991 after the conclusion of the Persian Gulf War.

Research contact: tcopp@militarytimes.com

Face value: Denmark bans burqas

June 1, 2018

On May 31, Denmark banned the burqa—joining Belgium, France, and the Netherlands in outlawing the head-to-toe veil worn in parts of the Muslim world. Turkey also bars burqas and niqabs, at least in some places. The perceived problem with the veil is that it hides a woman’s identity and poses a security threat.

The legislature, called the People’s Assembly or Folketing, passed the so-called “burqa ban” in a 75-30 vote, according to The Guardian. The government said it is not aimed at any specific religion and does not ban headscarves, turbans or the traditional Jewish skull cap.

Few Muslim women in Denmark wear full-face veils, based on a report by The Telegraph UK.  Indeed, in Europe, only a tiny fraction of Muslims choose to wear it—an estimated 30 women in Belgium, 400 in France, and 200 in the Netherlands; while it is mandated in many Middle Eastern nations, including Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and Pakistan.

Denmark’s Justic Minister, Søren Pape Poulsen, said police officers would be able to use their own discretion when they see people violating the law, which comes effective on August 1.

Those deemed to be in violation would be subject to a fine of about $10. Repeat offenders could be fined up to $95 or jailed for up to six months.

In addition, The Telegraph reported, the new law would allow people to cover their face when there is a “recognizable purpose” such as cold weather.

Following news of the vote, Amnesty International’s Europe Director Gauri van Gulik issued the following statement: “All women should be free to dress as they please and to wear clothing that expresses their identity or beliefs. This ban will have a particularly negative impact on Muslim women who choose to wear the niqab or burqa.  Whilst some specific restrictions on the wearing of full-face veils for the purposes of public safety may be legitimate, this blanket ban is neither necessary nor proportionate and violates the rights to freedom of expression and religion.

She added, “If the intention of this law was to protect women’s rights it fails abjectly. Instead, the law criminalizes women for their choice of clothing and in so doing flies in the face of those freedoms Denmark purports to uphold.”

Research contact: @h_alexander