Why do we use the words 'us' and 'them', when neither group exists

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In summary, the conversation discusses the use of generalizations and stereotypes when speaking about different groups, such as Republicans, Democrats, and Christians. The potential harm and inaccuracy of these generalizations is noted, and the idea of being more specific when discussing a group is suggested. Additionally, the conversation touches on the topic of progressive tax rates and how they affect different income levels. The conversation ends with a discussion about the use of tax-free dividends and their impact on the tax system.
  • #1

Zero

I know, I knoww, try not to flame me too hard...


Why do we use the words 'us' and 'them', when clearly neither group exists? Is it because it makes it easier to make blanket statements without thought, or what? I think whenever I see someone say 'the Republicans' or 'all liberals', that person is likely to be wrong in whatever tey are saying. When speaking about a specific group, I think we should be specific, or not name a group at all. For instance, I don't blame 'Republicans' or 'Conservatives' for all the tax cuts designed to help rich people. I blame Bush and his advisors. I don't blame 'America' for lousy labor and environmental practices, I try to pick out the specfic corporations that do it, like Walmart.

I post this because I see people post things like 'what has the U.S. done to you?', or 'America(or another country) is evil(or some other negative statement)', as though a country exists as some sort of monolithic object.
 
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  • #2
LOL.

I don't blame liberals or Democrats for wanting to redistribute my hard earned tax money to worthless loafers who don't deserve it.

I don't blame environmentalists for destroying the undergrowth of our national forests with sit-ins and spikes.

I get specific. I blame you, personally. :)

Im kidding, of course, and I take your point. There is no real way of getting around the stereotypes, however. Maybe in the americas and europe, perhaps. But it will take the 3rd world an age or so to overcome the very same things we are struggling with now. Unfortunately, this means the other 65% of the world. :/

It is a long and arduous road, brother.

Will we survive it is the real question.
 
  • #3
Incorrect Zero. You should blame Republicans and Conservatives for tax cuts. Most Republicans and Conservatives dislike a progressive income tax. President Bush is less committed in this regard than I wish him to be.

I'm speaking for the entire membership of above political parties in a desparate attempt to aviod using "we".

Regards
 
  • #4
Funny, Ganshauk, except when you go to the big generalizations, Republicans are devout Christians, and by their religious beliefs, are obligated to give all of their excess wealth to the poor. See what I mean about not generalizing? A person in the 'Religious Right' should, by all accounts, own next to nothing, or else be labled a hypocritical liar who will not only burn in hell, but also shouldn't be called anything but a liar. Look at the wealth held by the 'Christians' in government, and get back to me...

No, Ganshauk, I do get your joke, and I am just showing that making a claim to be part of a group doesn't make mean you follow my(or anyone's) interpretation of what it means to join that group.

GENIERE, I'm not sure what you are trying to say about a 'progressive' tax rate, because no one is sure how much taxes anyone else pays, but I wouln't be surprised to learn that America has a fairly flat tax, in practice.
 
  • #5
Zero, I’m sure you know a progressive tax means the more you earn the greater percentage you pay. Most of us who are employees have few means to hide income. It certainly cannot be considered a flat tax. Those of us that are highly compensated, as my company likes to call it, can shelter more money than those with lower earnings via IRA’s and 401K plans, but the amounts are limited. Eventually, that money will be taxed if one lives long enough to access it. The negative of sheltering money is that it decreases disposable income. It’s kind of like; Pay now, buy later.


Regards
 
  • #6
Originally posted by GENIERE
Zero, I’m sure you know a progressive tax means the more you earn the greater percentage you pay. Most of us who are employees have few means to hide income. It certainly cannot be considered a flat tax. Those of us that are highly compensated, as my company likes to call it, can shelter more money than those with lower earnings via IRA’s and 401K plans, but the amounts are limited. Eventually, that money will be taxed if one lives long enough to access it. The negative of sheltering money is that it decreases disposable income. It’s kind of like; Pay now, buy later.


Regards

On the other hand, things like the new tax-free dividends also benefit the rich, and make the system much closer to a flat tax situation. After all, we all know of enough individuals and corporations who not only make profits, but also avoid taxes, that we should object to any further tax cuts for wealthy people and companies in the near future,
 
  • #7
*edited because Alias is habitually breaking PF rules...Greg, can you deal with this?*


No, Ganshauk, I do get your joke, and I am just showing that making a claim to be part of a group doesn't make mean you follow my(or anyone's) interpretation of what it means to join that group.
Get with it. Join the group.
GENIERE, I'm not sure what you are trying to say about a 'progressive' tax rate, because no one is sure how much taxes anyone else pays, but I wouln't be surprised to learn that America has a fairly flat tax, in practice. [/B]
Pay your bill then show me the math.
 
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  • #8
Originally posted by Zero
...Republicans are devout Christians, and by their religious beliefs, are obligated to give all of their excess wealth to the poor.

Er...really?
I have seen nothing, anywhere, in any christian doctrine that states this. Some have done so maybe, but there is no stipulation that says as much (as far as I know). Islam decrees that a certain amount must be given, and I believe buddists are supposed to.

I do agree with the proplems of generalization that you point out. However, it is impractical (if not impossible) to avoid it.

On the other hand, things like the new tax-free dividends also benefit the rich, and make the system much closer to a flat tax situation

This perhaps deserves it's own thread. It is a common belief that has been grasped by the Democrats as a sort of propoganda bludgeon. It is also not true.

It helps the rich, sure. It also helps anyone with a healthy stock portfolio. In the US, most middle class families have such investments.

I am not rich but I do receive a healthy portion of my income through stock dividends. Such tax cuts would be a great relief to me and all other middle class individuals who struggle upwards by shrewd investments.

Anyone, I mean anyone at all - retarded people, unemployed people, minorities, homeless, rich and poor people heck even foreigners - can own stock that yields dividends. It helps everyone with enough sense to own it.

Being against dividend tax cuts is ill-considered, shortsighted, and oppressive. Think about it.
 
  • #9
See, Ganshauk, instead of looking at this as an economics problem, you look at it as a partisan issue. It is easy to explain away things by sticking a label on them, but it doesn't change facts. And, of course, as I see it, if you are making large portions of your income from stock dividends, you are upper middle class, minimum. You certainly aren't in the majority of people I know personally. And you miss the negative influence that the shift in pay for executives from salary to stock dividends will entail.

Enron, anyone? Bush has done nothing to make sure that executives don't lie about the value of stock to raise their personal (tax free)profits. That is part of what led us to our current economic crisis. Not partisanship, but greed.
 
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  • #10
Originally posted by Zero
Enron, anyone? Bush has done nothing to make sure that executives don't lie about the value of stock to raise their personal (tax free)profits. That is part of what led us to our current economic crisis.
You're not seriously blaming Enron on Bush, are you? WHEN exactly did Enron's (and most of Arthur Anderson's) crimes occur? (hint: Bush wasn't president yet).

The crime doesn't occur when the suspect is arrested, the crime occurrs BEFORE the suspect is arrested (this should be self-evident).
 
  • #11
Originally posted by russ_watters
You're not seriously blaming Enron on Bush, are you? WHEN exactly did Enron's (and most of Arthur Anderson's) crimes occur? (hint: Bush wasn't president yet).

The crime doesn't occur when the suspect is arrested, the crime occurrs BEFORE the suspect is arrested (this should be self-evident).

Ummm...like Ken Lay and Shrub weren't in cahoots? No, I blame politicians, and suggest that Bush's tax plan will cause more Enron-like accounting.


I blame POLITICIANS.
 

1. Why do we use the words 'us' and 'them' when neither group exists?

Humans have a natural tendency to categorize and group things based on similarities and differences. This extends to groups of people, where we often create an "us" vs. "them" mentality. This can be seen as a way for us to establish a sense of belonging and identity within our social groups.

2. Is the use of 'us' and 'them' language harmful?

While the use of this language may seem harmless on the surface, it can perpetuate exclusion and division between individuals or groups. This can lead to discrimination, prejudice, and conflicts. It is important to be mindful of the language we use and its potential impact on others.

3. Can the use of 'us' and 'them' be unlearned?

Yes, the use of 'us' and 'them' can be unlearned through conscious effort and awareness. By recognizing and challenging our own biases and assumptions, we can begin to break down these barriers and promote inclusivity and understanding.

4. Are there any benefits to using 'us' and 'them' language?

In certain situations, the use of 'us' and 'them' language can help foster a sense of camaraderie and unity within a group. It can also serve as a way to differentiate between groups with different beliefs or values. However, it is important to be cautious of its potential negative effects and to use this language thoughtfully and inclusively.

5. How can we promote more inclusive language instead of 'us' and 'them'?

One way to promote more inclusive language is by using neutral terms or inclusive pronouns such as "we" or "our" instead of "us" and "them". It is also important to actively listen and seek to understand different perspectives and experiences. By recognizing our shared humanity and focusing on what unites us rather than what divides us, we can move towards more inclusive and understanding communication.

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